Constructing ideas and theories about quality : the accounts of young children in two early childhood classrooms in Singapore

Harcourt, Deborah Sue (2008) Constructing ideas and theories about quality : the accounts of young children in two early childhood classrooms in Singapore. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Early childhood research and policy are focusing increasingly on issues of 'quality' in early childhood education. Much of the focus, however, has been on adult-generated notions of quality, with little attention being devoted to children's own views of their experience in early childhood settings. Conducted in the context of early childhood education in Singapore, this research breaks new ground by contributing children's own insights into their experience in two early childhood classrooms in Singapore. Informed by the sociology of childhood conceptualisation of child competence (James & James, 2004), the research methodology drew on the mosaic approach to researching with children used by Clark and Moss (2001), whereby children's photography, mapping and conversations were used by them to consider their early childhood settings.

The findings of this study were generated, beginning with the understanding that young children have the competence to articulate their ideas using a range of symbolic literacies. They formed views and constructed theories about their preschool experiences, in particular about the teachers, the curriculum, the physical environment and friends, and gave a clear indication of what constitutes good quality in those domains. When offered a platform to discuss the issue of quality in early childhood settings, the children articulated ideas about their own best interests.

This study calls for those engaged with children, to act upon the contributions offered by this group of children to our understanding of quality.

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ID Code: 16658
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Farrell, Margaret & McArdle, Felicity
Keywords: quality, socio-cultural theory, children’s accounts, new sociology of childhood, United Nations Convention on the Rights Of the Child (UNCROC), early childhood education, Singapore
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:07
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2012 04:07

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