In spite of our apparently connected global environment, people are becoming less connected. Digital communication leads to fewer face-to-face engagements, and many young children are separated from their parents for extended periods. The post-truth phenomenon has resulted in mistrust between policymakers and the people they serve, whilst increased immigration has led to some rich countries adopting a protectionist stance that transforms collaboration into separatism.
At its 2014 meeting, the European Early Childhood Education Research Association’s Young Children’s Perspectives Special Interest Group considered how these issues were affecting young children, particularly the many thousands entering Europe at that time as refugees and migrants escaping conflict in their home countries. Many of those displaced young children found themselves situated on the margins of their new contexts. The feeling of being ‘othered’ can be existential for any young child experiencing liminality, yet a sense of belonging is important for young children’s well-being and development of identity: the feeling of belonging lies at the core of social inclusion. This book, the idea for which arose out of this meeting, is drawn from leading edge empirical studies, and reveals the diverse experiences of young children’s marginalisation.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.
Table of Contents
Foreword Tony Bertram and Chris Pascal
Introduction: Perspectives from young children on the margins Jane Murray and Colette Gray
1. ‘Seen but not heard’: Practitioners work with poverty and the organising out of disadvantaged children’s voices and participation in the early years Donald Simpson, Sandra Loughran, Eunice Lumsden, Phillip Mazzocco, Rory McDowall Clark and Christian Winterbottom
2. Flourishing on the margins: a study of babies and belonging in an Australian Aboriginal community childcare centre Linda J. Harrison, Jennifer Sumsion, Ben Bradley, Karen Letsch and Andi Salamon
3. ‘Little bit afraid ‘til I found how it was’: children’s subjective early school experiences in a disadvantaged community in Ireland Claire O’Rourke, Christine O’Farrelly, Ailbhe Booth and Orla Doyle
4. Welcome in! How the academy can warrant recognition of young children as researchers Jane Murray
5. Early learning in preschool: meaningful and inclusive for all? Exploring perspectives of migrant parents and staff Katrien Van Laere and Michel Vandenbroeck
6. Do young children perceive change in the daily lives of their families during participation in a therapeutic family support programme? Kelly Baird and Rebekah Grace
7. Patterns and attributes in vulnerable children’s messy play Sue Gascoyne
8. Here we like playing princesses – newcomer migrant children’s transitions within day care: exploring role play as an indication of suitability and home and belonging Kris Kalkman and Alison Clark
9. On the margins of racism, immigration and war: perspectives on risk and protection of young children of Ethiopian origin in Israel Nira Wahle, Yael Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Yael Dayan, Orly Erlichman and Dorit Roer-Strier
10. Crossing cultural barriers: children’s views on the recuperative holiday experience Colette Gray
Jane Murray is an Associate Professor based in the Centre for Education and Research at the University of Northampton, UK. Previously an early childhood teacher, she teaches, researches and publishes in the field of education, specialising in early childhood education, children’s agency and social justice. Jane is editor of the International Journal of Early Years Education. She has worked with UNICEF and with governments in countries including Ethiopia, Bhutan, Georgia and the UK.
Colette Gray is a Principal Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and Undergraduate and Postgraduate Research Methods at Stranmillis University College, Northern Ireland. Her research interests are informed by the rights-based participatory approach. Using a range of child-friendly research methods she seeks to give children a voice on matters that impact their lives. She is widely published and was until recently Head of Research Development at the University College, editor of the International Journal of Early Years Education and Visiting Professor to Marjon University, Plymouth.