226 – Preschool children’s views of participating in a case study in Iceland

Presentation - ECV2022-226

Preschool children’s views of participating in a case study in Iceland 

Anna Elísa Hreiðarsdóttir, University of Akureyri, Iceland (annaelisa@unak.is)

Background: The study was based on Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which gives children the right to form their own views, the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting them, and supports the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

Aim: To present research concerning preschool children’s assessment of participating in research where a temporary makerspace, a workshop where children could create, problem solve, and develop skills, talents and thinking, was set up in their preschool in Iceland. This paper explores how the children experienced the presence of the researchers, their equipment, and the children’s participation in the research.

Method: After each workshop, the children filled out an evaluation form, first alone and then with their teacher, who wrote down comments. The children participated in a focus group interview where they discussed their experiences, and the researchers’ field notes were used to give a fuller account of the data.

Results: The main findings were that the children were interested in and had many opinions about the project. The children considered the activities they had the most control over as most important and fun; including using an iPad and a GoPro camera as part of their play and to observe one another. The children used emojis in a more complicated way than expected, such as using many emojis or to describe small parts of their experience.

Conclusions: Children discussed, reflected, and made critical comments about their experiences. Children are able participants in research, but at the same time, researchers must be careful in their roles and not overstep children’s boundaries.

Implications for children and families: Researchers listen to your views and learn from them. 

Implications for practitioners: In Iceland, children’s voices and participation are important to society. Therefore, what the children who participated in this research had to say can be of interest to you. 

Funding: The European Commission, Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) and the University of Akureyri research fund.

Key words: children’s voices, children´s wellbeing, qualitative methods

This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

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