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SOME 4 YEARS OLDS’ VOICES ON FRENCH PRESCHOOL SYLVIE RAYNA (University PARIS 13 - INRP) 17th EECERA Conference (29 august -1 september 2007) SYMPOSIUM.

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Presentation on theme: "SOME 4 YEARS OLDS’ VOICES ON FRENCH PRESCHOOL SYLVIE RAYNA (University PARIS 13 - INRP) 17th EECERA Conference (29 august -1 september 2007) SYMPOSIUM."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOME 4 YEARS OLDS’ VOICES ON FRENCH PRESCHOOL SYLVIE RAYNA (University PARIS 13 - INRP) 17th EECERA Conference (29 august -1 september 2007) SYMPOSIUM « Young children participating in research »

2 AIMS A presentation of some preliminary findings from the ongoing French pilot study of 4 years olds’ voices on preschool, a study linked with the CCB international project on how preschool in 5 countries is serving children of immigrants, complementary to teachers’ and parents’ voices (Tobin, 2006 ; Bertram, 2006 ; Pascal ; 2006 ; Gill, 2006 ;Tobin, Arzubiaga & Mantovani, 2007 ; Bove, 2007 ; Brougère, Guénif & Rayna, 2007 ; Preissing, 2007).

3 METHODOLOGY Listening children voices throughout free conversations -Piaget’s “clinical method” (developed from the 1920s) and notion of “equilibrated exchanges” (1964). -Children perspectives studies (Formoshino, 2004 ; Clark, Kjorholt & Moss, 2005 ; Einarsdottir, 2007 ; Preissing, 2007) Stimulating young informants’ voices by the use of video cue - Tobin’s multivocal approach (1989,1990) used for stimulating adults’ voices in the CCB project. Important challenges both methodological and ethical (Gill, 2007 ; Bove, 2007).

4 Children 24 duos or trios Including children whose parents came from Ivorian Coast, Tunisia, Iran, China, Portugal (grand-parents from Spain) Homogeneous or mixed groups - depending on children choice and circumstances - (boys / girls ; immigrant/non immigrant) 2 preschools: -Paris (where the video was made: alumni, after being filmed + others children, 2 years later) - a little village in the South of France. (3rd site: 3 preschools in poor area)

5 Videos The same 20 minuts French video and 5 minuts clips from the other countries that the adults have seen. Alumni and children from the village (same day than teachers and parents). Alumni: only the French video. They stopped themselves the video and commented the chosen images or episodes. Other children: accelerated French video + and one or more clips (depending on group dynamics and circumstances).

6 Children free conversations About 30 minuts. 2 researchers (3 for the alumni) facilitating children’s spontaneous comments and discussion among them as well as with them, during and after the videos presentation. Videotaped then transcribed.

7 ANALYSES Content analysis of the free comments and discussions (about the videos and their own experiences). Similarities and differences among children’s views on the main topics (according to gender, immigration backgrounds, preschool context). Links with teacher’s and parent’s views.

8 Interpretation Tobin’s bakhtinian approach of the multiple meanings of what is said (reflect of societal tensions within individual utterances), and idea of ‘performance’ (from Butler’s work) played by the speakers for the listeners (researchers and peers) (2006).


10 PLAY Immediate identification of the free play episodes and precise location in the French preschool day, i.e., exclusively: -« in the playground ! » (recess and leisure time) -in the classroom at the arrival : « when the parents arrive, so we play » (if parents and children were welcomed in the classroom) -or « when work is done! » Awareness of the marginalization of play in the classroom (reality - adults’ view) Importance of play: play episodes are the favorite ones for most of them (particularly boys). Knowledge and expertise.

11 DEFINITIONS AND CRITERIA OF PLAY JUSTIFICATION OF THEIR PREFERENCE A funny activity opposed to boring work: (I prefer) «In the playground! Because we like very much the playground! » « Playing in the playground !(…) because it’s longer, the work! » - « The playground! », - « Me too! », - « It’s better because we can have fun in the playground! », - « We can have fun and climb on this… »

12 Having fun in the playground

13 A self-initiated activity opposed to teacher-initiated activities (in the classroom): (We are doing) « … what we want! » (except fighting) / (inside) « No, we are not doing what we want! (…) We are working! » (reality - adults views) Free mouvement: «They are not sitting, they are on the ground, they are playing! » Exemples: « I like the playground because I like to play football »

14 FAVORITE PLAYS, PLAY MATERIALS AND PLAY SETTINGS Importance of motor play or pretend play, shared with friends (gender issue): «I like to play with the toboggan, the barre …, also the roll » - « Prefer… the playground! », -« Yes, me too, have preferred the playground! », - « The playground, too! (…) The bicycles… ». -« Peek a boo! »,(…), - «with his friends! » - « In the playground, we have fun », - « We play… », - « The witch! », - «Yes, the witch! » Children as experts for evaluating quality of space and play equipment: « It’s so cool !!! It’s bigger … in this… !»

15 Knowledge about pretend play and roles Understanting cultural activities « We play !(…) the bull! (…), there is one who plays the bull and the others, they try not to be gored! »

16 « Bull play » in South of France

17 HAVING FUN WITH A PLAYING ADULT The animator during leisure time: (I prefered)« when the children have to go to the playground (…) because he (the animator) said ‘come here! come here!’» (pretending a policeman purshasing the children) « It’s when, it’s when he (the animator) made noises! I loved it! » (peek a boo, inside) Confirmation: US episode (in the classroom): - « They are dancing! », - « No, they are doing something crazy! », - « They are doing something crazy ! », (…) - « No, that, she (our teacher) doesn’t do it, us! », (…) - « Yes, me, us, we would like it! »

18 « During recess she always stays inside. But, TODAY, she is playing outside! » (smiling)

19 A discrimination of the different roles and attitudes of French adult’s, echoeing the professionnal’s views on their distinct roles. (during recess) « It’s only the children who are playing …,(the teachers) they are looking after us » « She goes again in the classroom, she does not stay with us! » « Sometimes, the teachers scolde us when we have made something silly. He (the animator) too… but the teacher is not doing that! (play) (…) She is looking if people are doing something silly !(…) In the evening, he, he is always joking, and sometimes he scoldes the children »

20 LITTLE PLACE GIVEN TO PLAY IN THE CLASSROOM Echoeing teachers’ and immigrant parents’ voices (rules, conflicts) « No, we are not doing what we want! (…) We are working! » « We cannot run in the classroom !» « We are not authorized to bring cars! »

21 PLAYING INSIDE Personal preferences (+ gender issue) Children as expert’: critical view on undervalued pretend play (reality - teachers’views) « … and kitchen, yes! But it’s, but it’s hard! (…) Plates, forks, and also (…), there, it was just one!»

22 WORK Immediate identification of work episodes Preferences

23 DEFINITIONS AND CRITERIA OF WORK Visible and evident characteristics of work: (It is) « Work! (…) Because I have seen! » « Because I see them sitting when they are working » « Because they are painting! » - « It’s because, because that, that is work!», - « Because, the others, they are doing work »

24 « Because I see them sitting when they are working »

25 « Because they are painting! »

26 « Because, the others … they are doing work »

27 WORDS AND ‘CONSIGNE’ (teacher’s orders) Children analyses of the French pedagogy: - « Because the teacher is saying that (…), because she says ‘the older will work’ » - « The teacher asks me sometimes to go to the painting to do a work! », (…) - « She asks us! » - « Yes she tells us stories and she tells us, she tells us the work, also, that we have to do » - « Me, I don’t like to do works where one’s re-say things! » (reality - teachers views)

28 - « The teacher asks me sometimes to go to the painting to do a work! », (…) - « She asks us! »

29 EXAMPLES OF WORK Evocation of: « painting » « drawing » « sticking » « graphis’ » « writing » « counting » « mathematics » « Evaluations » Comments: « This is not play (…) because he is writing in attached letters!!! » « I like to do cross words, me! »

30 FINISHING WORK ! A familiar setting, subtle knowledge and strategy. « He, he is working ad the others are in the playground (…) because he has not finished! » - « Us, the last time, we were in the classroom alone, and the others were in the playground.» - « (Not finished) the work! »(…)- « The teacher went away and the other one stood » - « Sometimes I have not finished my work (…) So I can’t go to recess », - « And me, one time, we have not finished our work… and we have let it, and after, when it was finished the recess,… we finished our work » - « Me, I finish quickly quickly to go to play! (…) In haste, I do it!»

31 PREFENCES Some children showed boring attitudes during the presentation of the work episodes of the French video or evoided to answer questionsconcerning work « after, I will no more work (…) because after… it’s holidays » A little number prefers to work than to play (gender issue) girls: « drawing » boys: « It’s for example when we stick squares, rectangles, triangles … Its that my prefered work! »

32 FIGHT Current events, part of the preschool reality (a lot of fight? during recess)« Yes, yes, yes! »

33 DEFINITIONS AND ANALYSES OF FIGHTS Descriptions: (boy) « Well, we kick, because we must roll upon each other… yes, because it’s like that, fighting! » The others’ affair - boys’ and older children’s-: (girl) « Not us! But the others, yes, sometimes! » (girl) « It’s very rare! » (boy) « Girls, they don’t like to play fighting » (boy) « It’s often the big ones who are fighting too much (…) Me, I fight a little than the big ones (…) But the big ones are fighting always, always » Immigrant children less stigmatized than in teacher’s discourse ?

34 Play and fight: (boy) « Girls, they don’t like to play fighting » (boy) « My favorite friend is A., but sometimes he fights me, but me too, sometimes I fight him every day, some times, but he, he fights more » Punishment: (girl) -« No, other than, the teacher, she punishes us », (boy) - « Yes a little, it’s only me who is fighting »,(…) (girl) - « (everything is authorized) except fighting» (girls) -« They (teachers) look after », (…) - « They punish », - « On the bench! » (boy) « … he went to the teacher and the teacher did not even punished me, because she was too far, she got up, she did ‘t see me! » Expert comment: « And the playground it is not for fighting, it’s for playing, too! (…) And when they have no ball, they fight! »

35 CARE Importance for the children Echoeing immigrant parents’ interests Complexity of children views : knowledge and tensions

36 FOOD Preferred episode: (Ivorian Coast girl) « And also I preferred the snack and the lunch! » Identity: « (repeats) ‘Do you like salsifies, children ?’… I don’t eat pork… nor meat, nor burgers (…) I am Tunisian » Regulations: - « (snack) …we are not allowed! » Autonomy: - « They do’nt let us eat… they don’t let us the dish» -«They have knifes! » (…) «- There are knifes but it’s the lady who is cutting, because we cannot cut very well! » Conviviality: - « We, we don’t have birthday (at school) (…) Me, I do it at my grand-ma home »

37 LANGUAGES Non spontaneous evocation Identification and quotation of several langages Hesitations, jokes, ‘performance’ « Shame », early awareness of langages considered as subaltern, of the no-place for other languages in the French republican preschool Links with immigrants’ conditions and tragedies Sounds of other voices …(immigrant communities, wilder society)

38 NO … YES! (grand daughter of Spanish immigrants) (suprised /US video) « It’s Spanish’!!! » (?) « No! » « No… yes » (?) « I can count in Spanish (…)They are speaking in Spanish! » (laughing) (?) « grand ma! … grand pa! » (?) « No, only me (in the school) ! » (?) « No, I don’t know Spanish » Spontaneous comments : pleasure, identification Answers: hesitations, embaressment ?

39 HERE YOU HAVE NOT YOUR VOICE T., B. (non immigrants) and S. (West Africa) T. (?) - « English! » B. - « Ah…me, I know English… I say ’English’ » S. - « Me, I know Chinese », (?) « …French », (?) « With nobody, I speak at home Chinese, and after my brother and my mum,and my dad and my sister they laught, because I speak Chinese! », (?) « They speak… English and, and, and, and, and, and, French! » (…) T. - « And me,me me, me, me, I am speaking French, English and Italian and Chinese ! » S.- « And, and me, I can speak French, and, and, and, and, and Jap… » (…) T. - « And I know …, me, … Au…(…) I know Austria! » S. - « Me, me… I can say, I can say….I can say dog (=chien) in, in, in Chi…in Chinese! » (?) « I don’t know! » (…) « But me, at home I can and here, I don’t know! » T.- « There you have not, here you have not your voice, here you have not your voice … »

40 PEULAR … IS EATING PEAR ! A. (West Africa), R and L. (non immigrant children) R.: (?.) « In English! ( …) in Italian » A.: « And, and in French! » E. : « In…I’ve forgotten » R. : « Also one can speak in Sp… » A. : « In Spanish! (…) in Spa…on can speak in … One can speak in Spanish and also in French and in Peular… » (?) « I know… Peular … It’s eating pear! (mouving) … and also Peular it’s for, its for, its for eating… Also one can eat pear and also one can eat apple… » R. : « We must eat all because… » A. : «Because we must not waste, even than… even than, France, even than France will no more give us to eat … Yes! » R. : « No! » A.: « Moreover, moreover… » R.: « It’s not that! » A. : « Yes, it’s that! And more over, he has, R.,he has a house that have burnt !» (……..)

41 CONCLUSION Fruitfulness of Tobin’s method for studies with children. Value of studies on young children perspectives 4 years olds: precious informants with Valuable perspectives Effective sociocognitive and communicative competencies for understanding and constructing their social world ( Musatti, 1983 ; Rayna & al., 1990; Pontecorco, 1996 ; etc.)

42 A sophisticated knowledge of preschool and beyond … Like the teachers (and parents): - Main themes : spontaneously been treated. -Clear representation of the French pedagogy, it’s double face, the rules and roles of the different professionals, their own role as students, monolinguality. But, unlike the teachers (and parents): -Specific interest on play (and play with adults)and preferences for self- initiated activities Like the immigrant parents: -Tension (languages) -Importance of care aspects Even though their views are not exactly the same (recess, autonomy, etc.)

43 Towards children participation Listening children’s wishes, subtle critical analyses, dreams Including their missing voices and particularly those of immigrants’ ones, in the cultural negociation needed by a democratic and fruitfull transformation of preschool settings in multicultural societies.

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