Hearing in the early childhood setting: Children’s perspectives

Laura McFarland
Lysa Dealtry

This study investigated children’s perspectives on their hearing during group activities in a preschool setting. A case study design framed by a children’s participatory rights perspective was used. The sample included 69 children aged three to five years in a regional Australian preschool. Children completed self-report booklets about their hearing. Parents completed surveys indicating children’s health conditions and identified hearing issues. Results suggest that children have most difficulty hearing while other children are talking and when sitting at the back of the mat, and that most children who report hearing difficulties during group time have not been formally identified with a hearing problem. Implications for ensuring children can hear optimally in early childhood group-time situations are discussed. Given the focus in past research on adults’ reports of children’s hearing, the importance of gaining children’s perspectives of their hearing in the early childhood setting by using self-report methods is also discussed.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 42 Number 2 June 2017.

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