My work focuses on the development of innovative pedagogies and research methodologies (including visual approaches) that facilitate effective talk about learning (metacognition). I am interested in the development and exploration of democratic spaces where learners can talk about their experiences of learning.
I have worked extensively in partnership with teachers of all ages and stages, using practitioner enquiry approachesand have a growing interest in how tools with pedagogic and methodological origins can be used to support theorised practice. I have used the same ideas when working under a 'students as researchers' or student voice heading with children as young as 4. I am interested in methodologies for gathering learners’ views on experience, curriculum and learning. I am particularly interested in how visual approaches can facilitate voice with young children – I often think we have not been asking children their opinion or to participate in appropriate ways. I am interested in generating knowledge of ethical practice for eliciting voice within a democratic community and to do this, particularly with young children, then I think we need to look to more creative methods and practices for supporting the level of participation and ensuring authentic voice.
- The power of arts-based research methods in early years
- Research Briefing: using creative, playful arts-based methods in research with young children.
- To be assigned
more professional activities
- Socially Innovative Interventions to Foster and to Advance Young Children’s Inclusion and Agency in Society through Voice and Story
- Beaton, Mhairi (Principal Investigator) Wall, Kate (Visiting Academic) Arnott, Lorna (Visiting Academic) Cassidy, Claire (Visiting Academic)
- The AdVoSt -project will take into practice the theoretical guiding principles for facilitating and enhancing young children’s voice in specific contexts (Wall et al., 2017). This will be done in close cooperation with practitioners working with indigenous children in Finland, marginalized, indigenous, and immigrant children in Canada, and children with diverse ethnical and cultural backgrounds in the UK. Previous literature indicates that young children are often viewed as ‘becomings’ rather than ‘beings’ within their communities. This is especially the case with children from non-mainstream communities, where ‘becoming’ might also mean to become a mainstream citizen, meaning simultaneously compromising identity, culture and language (e.g. von Benzon & van Blerk 2017; Sköld & Vehkalahti 2016).
The AdVoSt-project will enhance educators' knowledge of multiple storytelling pedagogies including perspectives of land-based learning. The research-based development of composing narratives with young learners through art, writing, photography, performance and digital representations privilege young children’s voice enabling their full citizenship. These research-based initiatives will contribute to the development of child centred learning that is focused in land-based pedagogy and play. Play helps children to gain positive learning experiences (Tang & Adams 2010). Children’s varied play engagements often use culturally relevant toys and ephemera which help them to narrate their stories and facilitate hearing the voices of young children. However, educators, administration, local communities and parents do not always know how to promote such play to enhance children’s literacy engagements. Additionally, the digital delivery of early childhood education with distance management sets diverse challenges for educational activities.
The AdVoSt-project recognizes the challenges concerning minority and indigenous children and will facilitate knowledge sharing between the participating countries and beyond. Using a community-based qualitative, comparative case study approach, the project will ensure that local cultural contexts play a key role in all research activities.
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