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Research Article Open Access

Exploring the Content of Young Children’s Multidimensional Voice Related to School Contexts


Background: School is one of the environments children are engaged in from an early age. For a better understanding of how this specific environment affects young (aged 5 to 6) children’s learning and development, it is important to know children’s personal ideas about this environment. Objectives: We raise the following question: what is the content of young children’s ‘voices’ related to school? Methods: Our research consists of five case-studies. We considered each case-study as a separate unit of investigation, enabling us to investigate the dynamics of the specific context in which each child is involved. Children’s utterances are interpreted as windows on the content of their voice and attribution of meaning. Results: It is evident that not all children’s expressions are schoolrelated. Secondly, when we concentrate on the school-related expressions (regarding school activities, school organization, and teacher’s roles) key messages can be read in the case-study children’s expressions that characterize the patterns of their expressions about school. For instance: a school as a place that is strongly adult led and rule governed. Conclusion: We found that it is possible to identify main ideas in children’s expressions that may be interpreted as contents of their voices, as well as the possible explanatory value for the understanding of children’s perspectives on school.

Anja Tertoolen

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