Children’s Perspectives on Their Learning in School Spaces: What Can We Learn from Children in Brazil and Finland?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Early Childhood. 2018, 50 (3), 259-277. 10.1007/s13158-018-0228-6
In this study, we investigated children’s perceptions of their learning experiences in early childhood education and care using data from two different settings: Brazil and Finland. We adopted a qualitative and cross-national research design. Photographs were used to gather children’s representations of their learning places and spaces and also later to elicit reflections during group interviews. This process of using photographs allowed us to elicit children’s perceptions about their learning. The analysis consisted of content categorization of the photographs, content analysis of the interviews, and juxtaposition of materials in a comparative framework. The children represented and conceived their learning experience in four categories of school spaces: objects, actions, significant others, and cultural practices. By analyzing each of these categories, we identify five core elements of children’s perceptions about their learning: relevance of peer interactions; recognition of learning through play; children’s acknowledgment of their own competence for learning; school spaces as places for learning actions; and present time as the timeframe for learning. Practical implications of these findings are discussed, including the importance and relevance of considering children’s perceptions.Children’s Perspectives on Their Learning in School Spaces: What Can We Learn from Children in Brazil and Finland?