Educators’ perceptions of facilitating children’s participation in early childhood education

Jonna Kangas
Tuulikki Venninen
Mikko Ojala
University of Helsinki

The aim of this research is to provide a better understanding of children’s competence, vulnerability and power issues, and to promote better decision making and protection of children by educators. This means the pedagogy in early childhood education needs to be based on understanding the nature of children’s participation and participatory learning. Further on it requires understanding about how the educators working in day care could aim the pedagogical process to supporting children’s participation via developing practices. Research is based on a large survey conducted in the Finnish early childhood education (ECE) field and analysed through abductive content analysis. The results show that in the pedagogical process three kinds of participation supporting means could be identified: facilitating environment and atmosphere; facilitating professional skills for learning and supporting children’s perspective; and facilitating ongoing participatory practices. Finally, a framework of developing participatory practices was constructed from the findings to represent the pedagogical cycle of participation.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 41 Number 2 June 2016

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