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3.2.2016 @ 14:00 - 16:00

Addressing children’s voices in transition research: Methodological challenges

By Dr. Daniela Jadue Roja, University of Chile 

Musical play links to children’s learning and self-regulation

By Dr. Antonia Zachariou, University of Roehampton, UK

When: Wednesday, 03.02. 2016, 14–16 (2-4pm)
Where: Minerva 218, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, Helsinki
Intended audience: researchers, doctoral and master-level students
No registration required. Queries and further information: Playful Learning Center, plc-helsinki@helsinki.fi


Addressing children’s voices in transition research: Methodological challenges

Dr. Daniela Jadue Roja, University of Chile 

Abstract: Researching with children and acknowledging children’s voices in their experiences is a growing field in early childhood research. Moreover, recognising children as learner agents who directly influence the construction of knowledge and meanings is a core principle of this type of research. Recently, this approach has been taken in diverse studies interested in children’s early experiences of transition especially those to formal schooling. The present talk will address benefits and challenges of researching with children at this early stage, and reflect upon strategies that can strengthen the contributions of this type of research. The presentation will discuss the emerging findings of an on-going one year research study carried out in two regions of Chile. The research is framed in a rights based and listening approach to researching with children using children’s drawings to carry out group interviews with young children. These interviews were in groups of four in Kindergarten and in First grade in 6 schools of different socio-economic situation. Children were asked about their school experiences as well as about their expectations of First Grade and memories of Kindergarten. Group interviews were directed by the researchers and video-recorded with the given consent of the children. Analysis is being carried out by developing a coding framework grounded in the data and in the literature. Special focus of discussion will be given to the construction of a coding framework that aims to speak up for children’s voices. Emerging findings provide with rich and relevant information to research, policy and practice in this field. Above all, it is necessary to build up stronger strategies to be truthful and faithful to children’s voices in research in order to position their perspectives in the discussion and further impact of the findings. On the other hand, an important finding of transition research is the urgent need to focus more on current educational reforms and their impact on teacher’s preparation programs and classroom pedagogies. The shift from discourse to actually practising a playful learning pedagogy is the big challenge that is being set by children who clearly revealed their urge for exercising and developing their sense of agency.

Acknowledgements: This is research is possible thanks to the funds awarded by the Chilean Ministry of Education through its FONIDE program (N°911436); REDES (N°140104); and Basal Funds for Centers of Excellence, Project FB 0003 from the Associative Research Program of CONICYT.

Bio: Dr. Daniela Jadue Roa is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Advanced Research in Education (CIAE) at the University of Chile. She obtained her PhD in Education and MPhil in Psychology & Education at the University of Cambridge. She is also a qualified early childhood and primary school teacher in Chile. Her research interests are children’s voices and agency, self-regulation development, playful learning, visual participatory methodologies, children’s rights and early transitions. Her current research focuses on classroom pedagogies in the transition levels (kindergarten and first grade) and how teacher’s and children’s experience them. She has participated in different international conferences and is currently representing the EECERA organisation in her country. She is a founder member of the Researching Agency in Education and Learning Network (www.raeln.org).

Musical play links to children’s learning and self-regulation 

Dr. Antonia Zachariou, University of Roehampton, UK

Abstract: This presentation will explore how musical play can foster children’s learning, and more specifically, their self-regulation. In this talk, Antonia will draw on results from her research, to discuss the elements of play that appear to be supporting children’s development as learners (self-regulatory development) and open up a discussion as to their significance, implications for researchers in the playful learning area but also for practice, schools, educational establishments. The aim of Antonia’s most recent research was to explore the potential of musical play in affording the emergence of self-regulatory behaviours. The results reported derive from a mixed-methods, cross-sectional study, based on observational methods and developed within a socio-cultural framework. The study was conducted in Cyprus and thirty-six children (aged 6 and 8) were observed during musical play sessions taking place in their music classes. These observations were analysed, using a coding framework, to identify and code any self-regulatory behaviours and were later subjected to quantitative analysis. The results indicated that musical play provided a ground for self-regulatory behaviours to flourish, producing rates that compare favourably with rates reported by previous studies on other types of play. As a step further, the social intentionality of children’s behaviours was explored. During musical play, socially-shared regulation behaviours (children’s ability to collectively regulate their activity, co-construct their goals and tasks) appeared significantly more often than self-regulation or co-regulation. The tremendous importance of this result, alongside the reasons that might have underpinned it will be discussed.  Furthermore, in contrast to what has been reported in other forms of activities, during musical play children were significantly more likely to direct their activity towards fundamental aspects of their task, than to organisational or superficial aspects of a task. This is a particularly significant result. The potential reasons underpinning this result will be discussed alongside its potential implications.

Bio: Dr. Antonia Zachariou holds a BA (Honours, 2009) in Education (Primary School Education) from the University of Cyprus, an MPhil (2011) and a PhD (2015) in Psychology and Education from the University of Cambridge, UK. She participated as a Research Associate in the Play Learning and Narrative Skills Project, at the University of Cambridge. Antonia is currently Lecturer of Early Childhood studies at the School of Education of the University of Roehampton, London. Her research focuses on exploring the links between play and learning, and most recently her main research interest has been in the relationship of self-regulation and musical play.


14:00 - 16:00




Minerva 218
Siltavuorenpenger 5A
Helsinki, Finland
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