Socially Innovative Interventions to Foster and to Advance Young Children’s Inclusion and Agency in Society through Voice and Story

Project: Research

Project Details

Description

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.

Layman's description

The objectives of the study are to:
1) provide a deeper understanding of how innovative pedagogical approaches can facilitate the voices and agency of all young children
2) promote socially just means to include socially marginalized communities in the ways that value and honour the cultural diversity they bring with them to ECEC settings
3) through in-depth case studies to provide opportunities for knowledge exchange and comparisons for mutual learning
4) have impact on wide range of stakeholders, including the policy makers and local authorities, so that they can make more informed provision to include young children meaningfully in their local communities

Based on these objectives the overarching research question is:
How might social innovation of promoting all children’s voices and agency including those from marginalized communities via land-based pedagogy and play support social cohesion and wellbeing through examination of processes and outcomes?
AcronymAdVoST
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/01/20 → …