Literary criticism of children’s literature focusses on the power relations between the adult writer and the child reader. At one end of the spectrum, this relationship is described as ‘domination’ (Knowles & Malmkjaer, 1996); at the other,... [...]
Children and Childhoods
The aim of Children and Childhoods SIG is to explicate, develop, and enhance understandings of children and young people and their childhoods. This includes: how childhoods are shaped socially, historically and culturally, and how the ‘relational child’ experiences the educational institutions and forces that mediate their life. It concerns children as objects and / or subjects for study, and the spaces and places in which childhood occurs, particularly formal and informal education. A strength of the SIG is that it enables interrogation of the boundaries and transitions in children’s lives, including from early years to childhood, childhood to adolescence, adolescence and beyond, and how these are shaped and informed by education.
The SIG will create a forum for academics, practitioners, and students to engage critically in debates of the contested nature of childhood; for example, as a socio-biological construction, a hybrid of interdisciplinary subjectivities, or from the standpoint of the agentic, relational child. Importantly the SIG will bring together colleagues with wide-ranging interests to contribute to knowledge development and exchange, not least around the burgeoning research into the nature and meanings of children’s well-being and resilience. At the same time the SIG will seek to establish dialogue with and between other BERA SIGs, including Early Childhood Education and Care, Youth Studies and Informal Education, Social Justice, and Sexualities, in order to draw together and share the respective assemblages of knowledge and understanding within BERA about the complexity and diversity of children’s lives.
This is a timely opportunity to establish a Children and Childhoods SIG. Childhood studies has emerged as a critical intervention in the field of education and developed interdisciplinary knowledge about children and young people’s everyday and everynight experiences. The aims of the SIG are, therefore, to:
- Explore critically the concepts and methodologies utilized to situate and explicate childhoods and children’s experiences within the contexts of formal and informal education;
- Interrogate changes and continuities in understandings of childhood and their impact upon the spaces, places, relations and practices of education;
- Enable interdisciplinary discussion of new and complementary theoretical insights from other SIGs;
- Explore the epistemological issues arising in childhood research, including interrogating questions of power, ethics and participation.
- Raise the profile of childhood studies within BERA by hosting seminars, encouraging publication, and supporting collaborations between established and early careers researchers.
Latest SIG Content
How inclusive of children are our educational research methods?
Research Intelligence issue 139: Marking 30 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child This special issue of Research Intelligence, guest-edited by Carmel Capewell and... [...]
The value of recognising the school meal as a site for developing learning opportunities: Reflecting on experiences as a post-doc ECR
Food is an important factor in a number of social spheres, and one of the sites in which food is used to feed future citizens and leaders is the school dining hall. New meanings have been given to what is traditionally known as the school... [...]
This blog post springs from a symposium I convened at BERA Conference 2018 entitled ‘Using creative methods to explore complex topics with young participants’. The symposium reflected my growing interest in the topical areas of creative... [...]
Integrating a parenting education programme into the primary and secondary school curriculum in Nigeria
All young children tend to misbehave from time to time, which makes it necessary for parents/guardians to step in with disciplinary measures. Although the need for child discipline is broadly recognised, there is considerable debate regarding... [...]
Student behaviour, motivation and the potential of attachment-aware schools to redefine the landscape
The starting point for our article (Parker & Levinson, 2018) was the apparent contradiction in current government policy between an essentially top-down, ‘zero tolerance’ behaviourist model of discipline in schools, as in the Bennett report... [...]