Taking a "generous" approach in research with young children
The genesis for this research lay in the definition of curriculum in the New Zealand early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996). The curriculum is defined as the 'sum total of the experiences, activities, and events, whether direct or indirect, which occur within an environment designed to foster children's learning and development" (p. 10). As a teacher and teacher educator, my focus had primarily been on direct aspects of curriculum, but the notion of the indirect intrigued me and provided the impetus for my doctoral research. The focus was broad: to explore the scope and boundaries of curriculum in one New Zealand early childhood education centre that catered for children 0 to 5 (Stephenson, 2009b). This involved exploring the influence of indirect (or "hidden") aspects of curriculum, identifying the process by which potential aspects of curriculum were excluded (i.e., the null curriculum), and describing the ways in which children participated in the processes of extending and proscribing curriculum.
Stephenson, A. (2011)., Taking a "generous" approach in research with young children, in E. Johansson & E. J. . White (eds.), Educational research with our youngest, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 135-160.
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