303 – Young children’s perspectives of time in early childhood education and care in Iceland and Croatia

Presentation - ECV2022-303

Young children’s perspectives of time in early childhood education and care in Iceland and Croatia

Alison Clark,University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway (alison.clark@ucl.ac.uk)
Kristín Dýrfjörð, University of Akureyri, Iceland (dyr@unak.is)
Anna Magnea Hreinsdóttir, University of Iceland, Iceland (amh@hi.is)
Adrijana Visnjic-Jevtic, University of Zagreb, Croatia (adrijana.vjevtic@ufzg.hr)

Background: Research interest in the relationship between time and daily schedules in preschools and children’s awareness of events, time, and the clock is growing. The theoretical background relates to children’s perception of time, including pedagogical and polymorphic time and children’s right to have a voice in matters that concern them.

Aim: This research aims to provide insights into young children’s perspectives of time spent in ECEC.

Method: Participatory research methods were applied to provide insight into the world of children and increase adults’ understanding of their views. Data were collected by observing and participating with approximatley 180 children, age 4–5 years old in six preschools in Iceland, and by in-depth observation and interviews in one preschool in Croatia. The researchers used drawings and dialogue to focus on the issue of the clock.

Results: The findings indicate that children experience time as a sequence of events. Different types of daily schedules and practices affect children’s perception and experiences of time. Deciding where and when to play with friends was important to children and gave meaning.

Conclusions: This exploratory study identifies both the importance and complexities in including young children’s perspectives in co-constructing knowledge and meanings about the relationship with time in ECEC and its impact on definitions of quality. It implies that children’s perception of time should be part of organising the pedagogical rhythm of the daily schedule.

Implications for children and families: How time in preschool is organised is important to children and their feelings of wellbeing.

Implications for practitioners: The influence of the schedule and timetable is well known in preschool settings; this research gives practitioners a space to reconsider what is important and why.

Funding: University of Iceland research grant

Key words: children’s perspectives, meaning making, preschool practice, play, daily schedules

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

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