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Questioning 'voice' and silence: Exploring creative and participatory approaches to researching with children through a Reggio Emilian lens

Chicken, Sarah, Tur Porres, Gisselle, Mannay, Dawn ORCID:, Parnell, Jade and Tyrie, Jacky 2024. Questioning 'voice' and silence: Exploring creative and participatory approaches to researching with children through a Reggio Emilian lens. Qualitative Research 10.1177/14687941241234299

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There has been much debate around the ‘voice’ of the child in qualitative research. This paper contributes to these discussions by drawing on the philosophy of Reggio Emilia, which emphasizes dialogical encounters that recognize the value of children's subjectivities. The paper critically reflects on a qualitative study of primary education during the COVID-19 pandemic that involved children aged 5–7 (n = 30), teachers (n = 6) and parents and carers (n = 18) in Wales. The study generated data using creative methodologies, field notes and qualitative interviews. The philosophy of Reggio Emilia was utilized to be reflexive about the processes of research design, fieldwork, data analysis and dissemination, questioning tensions between voice and silence and how research teams can face and respond to the challenging issues that complicate the intent of respecting children's subjectivities and perspectives. A key lesson from this process of reflection and questioning was the need to be attentive to and attuned with the subtleties of children's paralanguage and to maintain a level of flexibility in research design and processes that respected children's requirements and preferences. While the study focussed on children's experiences, the lessons learnt from evaluating the study in relation to the philosophy of Reggio Emilia have value for wider qualitative projects with diverse communities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: early years, children, school, Covid-19, Coronarvirus, school closure; lockdown; online learning; remote learning; pandemic
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1468-7941
Funders: Welsh Government
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 March 2024
Date of Acceptance: 18 January 2024
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 09:53

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