GA Annual Conference 2006 Lecture Plus : Children's Voices Chair – Oxford Brookes Professor Simon Catling Contributors: John Halocha - Bishop Grossteste Rachel Bowles – Register of Research From the Floor : Jane Whittle : Nottingham Primary Teacher
Childrens Voices: other evidence Rachel Bowles John Halocha has given a very clear picture of the consequences of working from the ideas and questions generated by children. Other evidence can be drawn from i.A sociological study; ii.Work produced in the Valuing Places Project iii.Work arising from a Creative Partnership project. iv.Lead on to other examples such as journey sticks
The research study Essentially a piece of social geography research by Nicola Ross, Glasgow University – but using childrens own evidence and words The following evidence could be replicated – the variations will reflect the nature of the locality and the social conditions – and thus the needs of the children in a geographical sense. See Place and Space Occasional Paper 4 Register of Research in Primary Geography
My way back from school going down the hill. I get very tired walking up the hill in the morning and when its raining heavily I get soaked and when a car drives past me on the hill I have to scramble up the muddy bank, its horrible when a car sokes me with muddy water. Walking to school - girl, village, Cupar area
On my way home I go out the bottom gate I walk up the hill, past Callums house then down the bumpy hill. Then I walk up a small hill, down the biggest hill past Marys, Mr Duncans and the farm, down another small hill, along the main road then Im back home. On my journey to school this is what I see before I go to the shop. In winter the trees host lots of birds which makes Amy and me more happy. Walking to school - girl, small town, Wemyss area
At 8.50am my sister and I start walking to school. We go along the front of our houses, pass the field, go along the back of the houses, go down the path beside the school, then turn in the gate and weare at the school. It takes about 2 minutes. I walk from school throug hear. The woods are good for playing hide and seek Walking to school - girl, new town, Glenrothes area
Valuing Our Town 1 Children in Basingstoke were given cameras as part of the work for valuing their place They went to the places they knew and discovered why Basingstoke was important. They noticed names and buildings and recognised change.
Valuable because they have a purpose or meaning Trade fairs – And birthday treats Train Station And Taxi Rank Home – or we would be out on the street Safety notices The market place and supermarkets for shopping and so on
Change in Basingstoke People: Road signs Then and now A notable landmark Where a relative worked Note the detailed typed notes
Ryans views The museum A 19thC tower The water Splash One boy began by taking landmarks which became an essay in shape – but with detailed understanding of their effect on place
Valuing Our Town 2 In Folkestone, a similar group but with supportive families, produced an increased variety of landscapes revealing perceptive ideas about the sea, downs, rubbish disposal and other community The two schools are compared in more detail in Primary Geographer Autumn 2005 Focus on Valuing Places Picturing Places p.28
The beach I value the beach because it is fun and that the new sea wall is really nice. The beach is really good now the builders have built a wall along the edge. I have good memories of playing on the beach, playing in the sea and having picnics on the beach. The Saga grounds I value the Saga grounds because it is very beautiful and very peaceful and tranquil. It is also very wildlife friendly. I have good memories of walking through the grounds and playing on the grounds
The dumpI value the dump because lots of people recycle things there. We recycle things at the dump. I have got memories of when we went to the dump and my Mum explained how things are recycled. The recycling has gone up to 55% in the last two years. When I heard this I was very pleased about it. It saves our world. In this picture you can see the metal, drink can and glass bottles and jars recycling containers The library I value the local library because it is fun and because it is educational at the same time. I like the Library café as well,the staff are friendly and they employ people who have disabilities. I have good memories about the books,CDs and videos we have borrowed. I also have good memories of the galleries that are upstairs.
Developments 1 The Basingstoke children went on to consider their own connections with the wider world At first they could think of no reasons to find out about other places – then began to think about places with which they and their families had connections
Questions about other places In discussion ten questions were determined by each child to find answers for and to use in creating a PowerPoint about their chosen place The questions are idiosyncratic as were the places chosen
Reasons for the choice of Place I value ……. because I used to live there ( South Africa; Northern Ireland, Dubai) My Great aunt owns a pub and a villa there. (Barcelona). My mum got married there (Spain) My Nan lives there ( Australia) We have been there ( Orlando, St Lucia, Malta)
This boy, who had holidayed in Malta made a conscious attempt to compare this with Basingstoke
The countries chosen These fitted into: the syndrome of holiday destinations Florida, Spain, France, Greece, Malta, St. Lucia, Italy The syndrome of immigration/emigration Australia, S.Africa, N. Ireland, Children with different backgrounds could well come up with a different mix. These countries fitted very well into the knowledge of other countries expressed by children in Milton Keynes from similar backgrounds
The Questions There was a common requirement that all presentations should include a map – which was met fairly well on the whole – equally as well as undergraduates given the same task Core questions included : How many people live there What does the flag look like? How much wild life is there ? What type of food is there?
Questions which were asked and for which no or few answers were found What jobs do they have ? What is the most popular sport ? Is it famous for anything? How far is it from here? What is the meaning of the place name? Do any famous people live there? Do the people there have a religion they believe in (!!)
Topics which were raised but not answered fully Climate – though with perseverance there were interesting details collected about weather. Traditional clothes Traditional food How is it ruled ? What types of schools do they have? What is the vegetation like?
Lots to work on here – again captioning an area for directed work, but another completed study
Evaluations: Skills The PowerPoint presentation format helped otherwise wayward children to be more organised. Some of the more thoughtful children made notes besides their original questions which did not transfer on to the slides but showed more understanding. Literacy skills were enhanced for the majority
Northern Ireland is different because of the size and population. Basingstoke is different because we have pounds and notes and they have euros.
Geographical evaluation 1 There had been some serious researching and over half the class had produced material upon which some sound work on interconnectedness could be done This class had an IAW and this would be the easiest way to manage the wealth of material – show the children how to improve it – probably using literacy time, for captioning had not been attempted.
A Creative project You are Here History, Geography and Art This East London Primary School Is well into developing mental/mind maps. The teachers are well versed in Howard Gardners 7 intelligences An artist worked with them to create a collage of Hackney using felt and symbols