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A Critical Realist Reflection on the Use of Social Media as Third Space for Rights Education in Early Childhood

  • Francesca ZanattaEmail author
  • Gabriela Martínez Sainz
  • Jenna Gillett-Swan
Original Article
  • 38 Downloads

Abstract

The promotion and advancement of Rights Education in Early Childhood ought to be supported through the development of spaces that allow for interdisciplinary discourses among different stakeholders. The project #ChildRightsChat emerged from interactions between the authors to use a digital space to promote the advancement of an interdisciplinary and global discussion about children’s rights. A primary aim was to facilitate adult learning about the protection and promotion of children’s rights in practice. Chats in Twitter, through structured and moderated interactions, were designed to share knowledge and experiences around specific topics. The present paper presents the authors’ reflections, as moderators of #ChildRightsChat, through a critical realist analysis. The findings explore how social media can be understood as a learning environment in ‘third space’, with respect to the nature of interactions that occurred, the context as a learning space, and the voices heard in the chat. The implications of social media to include global perspectives for the advancement of rights-based practice in early childhood education and care are considered.

Keywords

Children’s rights Critical realism Social media Reflective practice 

Résumé

La promotion et l’avancement de l’éducation aux droits en petite enfance devraient être soutenus par l’élaboration d’espaces permettant des discours interdisciplinaires entre différentes parties prenantes. Le projet #ChildRightsChat est né des interactions entre les auteurs pour l’utilisation d’un espace numérique pour promouvoir l’avancement du débat interdisciplinaire mondial sur les droits de l’enfant. L’un des principaux objectifs était de faciliter l’apprentissage des adultes sur la protection et la promotion des droits de l’enfant dans la pratique. Des discussions sur Twitter, par le biais d’interactions structurées et modérées, ont été conçues pour partager des connaissances et des expériences sur des sujets spécifiques. Le présent article présente, à travers une analyse critique réaliste, les réflexions des auteurs en tant que modérateurs du #ChildRightsChat. Les résultats explorent la manière dont les médias sociaux peuvent être perçus comme un environnement d’apprentissage du « troisième espace » , relativement à la nature des interactions qui se sont produites, du contexte comme espace d’apprentissage et des opinions entendues sur le chat. Les implications des médias sociaux pour inclure des perspectives mondiales destinées à l’avancement d’une pratique basée sur les droits en éducation et protection de la petite enfance sont prises en compte.

Resumen

La promoción y el avance de la educación de derechos en la primera infancia se deben apoyar mediante el desarrollo de espacios que den acceso a discursos interdisciplinarios entre diferentes participantes. El proyecto #ChildRightsChat surgió de interacciones entre las autoras para utilizar un espacio digital para promover el avance de una discusión interdisciplinaria y global acerca de los derechos de los niños. Un primer objetivo era facilitar el aprendizaje de adultos sobre la protección y promoción de los derechos de los niños en la práctica. Se diseñaron conversaciones en Twitter mediante interacciones estructuradas y moderadas para compartir conocimiento y experiencias sobre temas específicos. Esta investigación incluye las reflexiones de las autoras como moderadoras de #ChildRightsChat, mediante el uso de un análisis realista crítico. Los resultados exploran cómo las redes sociales pueden entenderse como un ambiente de aprendizaje en un ‘tercer espacio’, con respecto a la naturaleza de las interacciones que ocurrieron, el contexto como espacio de aprendizaje, y las voces escuchadas en el chat. Se tuvieron en cuenta las implicaciones de redes sociales que incluyen perspectivas globales para el avance de prácticas basadas en el derecho en la educación y el cuidado preescolar.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the participants to #ChildRightsChat and the reviewers for this article for their support and opportunities for reflection.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University East LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationQueensland University of TechnologyKelvin GroveAustralia

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