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Conducting research in preschool as a culturally sensitive environment

Conference contribution
Authors Jonna Larsson
Pia Williams
Ann Zetterqvist
Published in EECERA European Early Childhood Education Research Association
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Language en
Keywords preschool,, children,, ethical awareness,, research,, strategies.
Subject categories Educational Sciences


Research aims This paper aims to highlight a perspective on preschool as a culturally sensitive environment (Larsson, manuscript). A position is taken that additional attentiveness is needed when research is conducted in educational settings and concerning young children. Relationship to previous research works The presentation is based on ethical considerations and strategies, founded on time spent in four different preschools. The initial focus of the research was to capture children and preschool teacher’s encounters with physical phenomena (Larsson, 2013a, 2013b). Theoretical and conceptual framework The presentation draws on research focusing on diverse ethical aspects and positions, as discussed by Fleer and Ridgway (2014) and Quennerstedt, Harcourt, and Sargeant (2014), together with the importance of taking a child-, as well as, children’s perspective (Jonsson & Williams, 2013; Sommer, Pramling Samuelsson & Hundeide, 2010). Paradigm, methodology and methods The data production is characterized by the method of ‘shadowing’ (Czarniawska, 2007), where the researcher is positioned close to the teacher and the children. Ethical Considerations This method, urge for additional ethical aspects leading to the development of novel tools to handle the tension of being close and supportive and at the same time ensure distance and generate data. Main finding or discussion The result is expected to generate knowledge about functional strategies for researcher’s attendance at preschool and raising ethical awareness when conducting research in preschools. Particularly in relation to young children’s possibilities to identify when being filmed and gaining opportunities to withdraw in the present moment. Implications, practice or policy The results implicates that additional attentions is needed when conducting research in preschool settings

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