Contested spaces in early childhood research: advocating a dialogic approach

Pascal, Chris (2019) Contested spaces in early childhood research: advocating a dialogic approach. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 27 (2). pp. 153-156. ISSN 1752-1807

01. Editorial - Chris Pascal.pdf - Accepted Version

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I am writing this Editorial from my study in central England which, as part of the UK, is in the process of making a momentous and life changing decision about leaving the European Union, a decision that will have a transformative impact on our country and its peoples for many decades to come. This process has generated some of the harshest, negative, poorly informed and adversarial dialogues I have ever participated in and witnessed, and as a citizen I long for something different. The experience has made me deeply aware that the quality of our civic life, and its ethical underpinning, is diminished by such public discourse and that we each have a responsibility to work to ensure we realise a more civilised and civic form of interaction in all
domains of our personal and professional lives.

So, in this Editorial I wish to examine the roles we, as early childhood researchers, play in generating respectful and egalitarian dialogues which reach across our diversities and differences, and to consider how we handle the contested nature of these dialogues. In particular, I want to think about how we in EECERA and in our Journal, contribute to the perpetuation and disruption of ‘contested spaces’ in the discourse about, and practice of, research into early childhood policy and practice. By ‘space’ I mean the opportunities we have as researchers to ensure our work feeds into the development and transformation of early childhood policy and practice in an ethical manner. ‘Space’ is a complex concept which describes the encounter between researchers and those whom they wish to influence (be that other researchers, funders, politicians, practitioners, parents and more) who hold a wide range of world views, cultures, ideologies, values, politics, histories, hopes and intentions. Promoting these paradigmatic spaces are important if we wish our work to make a difference but they are often contested and shaped by the nature of the discourses we promote in our research. These spaces have always been contested as the field of early childhood research constitutes a fascinating interface of various, and often conflicting, social, political and economic visions and realities. The Journal, like our Association, is a contested space that shapes, and is shaped by, our actions and interactions, which in turn, have a significant impact on the way our work is perceived and used by those within the sector and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
8 March 2019Published Online
1 February 2019Accepted
Subjects: CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Depositing User: Julia Everitt
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 09:00
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:55

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