Researching Gender, Social Class and Educational Achievement in the Pre-School
(University of Ulster. UNESCO Centre)
||Este texto se presentó como comunicación al II Congreso Internacional de Etnografía y Educación: Migraciones y Ciudadanías. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, 5-8 Septiembre 2008.
||This paper is part of a wider PhD study focusing on the impact of gender on the educational achievement of children in the early years of schooling with a focus on the impact of social class. The first part of the paper will address the methodological, practical and ethical issues and challenges that are encountered in educational research with children as young as three. Attempting to address such issues with young children themselves, rather than with their parents, teachers and other adult gatekeepers, adds further new dimensions and challenges to the research process. A discussion will be included in the paper on the feasibility of researching pre-school children and the impact of child centred research on the choice of suitable data collection methods. This discussion will include a consideration of young children’s competency to participate in social research and their capacity to give informed consent, whilst simultaneously addressing the issue of power imbalances and the differing styles of communication between adults and children that must be bridged effectively for social research to be successful. As well as a consideration of gender and social class constructions and their relationship with educational achievement, issues around the re-conceptualisation of children as subjects of research, and the implications of this position for educational research, will be explored alongside practical and innovative suggestions for interviewing young children about their experiences. The data upon which this paper is based are taken from an ethnographic case study in one pre-school classroom in the northeast of Northern Ireland and will draw upon data gathered during detailed classroom observations and small, friendship grouped pupil interviews. Through a full discussion of the results of this study the second part of the paper will aim to explore the construction and maintenance of gender identities by those pupils involved, the discursive possibilities provided by the dominant gender discourse and how these possibilities prescribe not only how children learn but also what they learn. This will include a consideration of the gendered and educational discourses prevalent in the classroom, the pupils’ stereotypical and often polarized play choices and friendship patterns and the perceived imbalance of ability between the genders. Issues of curriculum and assessment in the early years will be explored by drawing on data from a teacher interview and it will be argued that the diverse (and highly gendered) discursive possibilities in this pre-school setting may induce the construction of differing self or peer group imposed boundaries/obstacles to the learning opportunities of young children.
||Aquest document està subjecte a una llicència d'ús Creative Commons. Es permet la reproducció total o parcial i la comunicació pública de l'obra, sempre que no sigui amb finalitats comercials, i sempre que es reconegui l'autoria de l'obra original. No es permet la creació d'obres derivades.
||article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Èxit educatiu ;
Classe social ;
Educational Achievement ;
||EMIGRA working papers, Núm. 112 (2007) , p. 1-22, ISSN 2013-3804
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Record created 2012-09-10, last modified 2015-03-29