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Early Childhood Research Centre Seminar Series: Seminar 3

24 June 2021 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM


‘Resilience in times of Anxiety and Uncertainty: Ways of thinking in Early Childhood Pedagogy and Research’

Froebelian principles and educational resilience
Dr. Sacha Powell, Chief Executive Officer, Froebel Trust

Froebelian Principles in the 21st Century: Play environments and play opportunities for young children. Participatory research in times of crisis
Prof. Mathias Urban, Desmond Chair of Early Childhood Education, and Director of the Early Childhood Research Centre, Dublin City University

In 2019 the Early Childhood Research Centre at Dublin City University (www.dcu.ie/ecrc), in collaboration with the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, Maynooth University, received funding from the Froebel Trust for a critical, participatory investigation of play environments and play opportunities afforded for young children experiencing stressful situations in Irish ECEC, home and community contexts. Underpinned and informed by an ethos of Froebelian principles, their critical relevance in society in the 21st century, and the right to play as enshrined in the UNCRC, our project addresses the question ‘How is and can play be supported in ECEC settings, at home and in the community for children experiencing disadvantage and stress in their life situations’?

The premise for the study is that many children in present-day Ireland are experiencing high levels of disadvantage for multiple reasons, including homelessness, poverty and migration. It is well understood that play is a means for children to understand, find their place, manage and make meaning of their worlds. Consequently, play is a valuable resource for children, a potential counter measure to trauma and stress. However, conditions for early childhood educators and families coming together to create supportive play environments in contexts of deprivation are critically under-researched in the Irish context.

The premise of our investigation–that deprivation is a consequence of the political choice on maintaining inequality–has been exacerbated by the (still ongoing) Covid-19 pandemic. In the context of our project, Covid-19 has also taken away the possibility of direct engagement and interaction between educators, families, children and researchers in a shared space of inquiry. The disruption of the research process forces us to rethink approaches to critical participatory research in time of crisis and disruption.

In my contribution to the seminar, I will present this work in progress, and discuss the epistemological, practical, and political implications that extend beyond the project on hand.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 865 1269 4589
Passcode: 966155


24 June 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
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University of Roehampton