Recovering from the earthquake : early childhood teachers and children collaboratively telling stories about their experiences

Bateman, Amanda & Danby, Susan (2013) Recovering from the earthquake : early childhood teachers and children collaboratively telling stories about their experiences. Disaster Prevention and Management, 22(5), pp. 467-479.

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Purpose – Traumatic events can cause post-traumatic stress disorder due to the severity of the often unexpected events. The purpose of this paper is to reveal how conversations around lived experiences of traumatic events, such as the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011, can work as a strategy for people to come to terms with their experiences collaboratively. By encouraging young children to recall and tell of their earthquake stories with their early childhood teachers they can begin to respond, renew, and recover (Brown, 2012), and prevent or minimise more stress being developed.

Design/methodology/approach – The study involved collecting data of the participating children taking turns to wear a wireless microphone where their interactions with each other and with teachers were video recorded over one week in November 2011. A total of eight hours and 21 minutes of footage was collected; four minutes and 19 seconds of that footage are presented and analysed in this paper. The footage was watched repeatedly and transcribed using conversation analysis methods (Sacks, 1995).

Findings – Through analysing the detailed turn-taking utterances between teachers and children, the orderliness of the co-production of remembering is revealed to demonstrate that each member orients to being in agreement about what actually happened. These episodes of story telling between the teachers and children demonstrate how the teachers encourage the children to tell about their experiences through actively engaging in conversations with them about the earthquake.

Originality/value – The conversation analysis approach used in this research was found to be useful in investigating aspects of disasters that the participants themselves remember as important and real. This approach offers a unique insight into understanding how the earthquake event was experienced and reflected on by young children and their teachers, and so can inform future policy and provision in post-disaster situations.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 66454
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: disasters, story telling, Christchurch earthquake, conversation analysis, early childhood education, CEDM, Centre for Emergency and Disaster Management
DOI: 10.1108/DPM-10-2013-0177
ISSN: 0965-3562
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2014 03:04
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 17:32

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