‘Seeing’ the Toddler: Voices or Voiceless?

Chapter
Part of the International perspectives on early childhood education and development book series (CHILD, volume 5)

Abstract

Is ‘seeing’ believing? What comprises the focus of seeing, how is it seen and who decides what is to be privileged in doing so? Such is the dilemma facing all observational investigations since what can be ‘seen’ is always impaired or enhanced by what each person brings to their gaze—be it frameworks or ideologies that limit or create potential. How much more challenging is such seeing when the subject of our gaze is an infant or toddler who speaks a distinct corporeal language that has long been forgotten by the adult, and who draws from a sociocultural domain that is only partially glimpsed by the early childhood teacher or researcher? In this chapter I expand on the idea of ‘seeing’ as a dialogic endeavour—thus calling for an exploration of voice that goes beyond singular monologic parameters, into the polyphonic terrain of speculation, uncertainty and reflexivity. Taking this approach, I argue that there is potential to re-vision the very young child as a competent yet vulnerable communicator of and with many voices, one who is capable of conveying complex meaning through genres that strategically orient them towards or away from intersubjective harmony.

Keywords

Early Childhood Education Strategic Orientation Early Childhood Teacher Teacher Interview Multiple Voice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bakhtin, M. (1968). Rabelais and his world. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Google Scholar
  2. Bakhtin, M. (1981). The dialogic imagination (M. Holquist, Ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bakhtin, M. (1984). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics (C. Emerson, Ed.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bakhtin, M. (1986). Speech genres & other late essays (C. Emerson & M. Holquist, Eds.). Austin: University of Texas.Google Scholar
  5. Bakhtin, M. (1990). Art and answerability (M. Holquist & V. Liapunov, Eds.). Austin: University of Texas.Google Scholar
  6. Berthelsen, D. (2010). Introduction. International Journal of Early Education, 42(2), 81–86.Google Scholar
  7. Broström, S., & Hansen, O. H. (2010). Care and education in the Danish Crèche. International Journal of Early Education, 42(2), 87–100.Google Scholar
  8. Carr, M. (2009). Kei tua o te pae: Assessing learning that reaches beyond the self and beyond the horizon. Assessment Matters, 1, 20–46.Google Scholar
  9. Cassirer, E. (1953). The philosophy of symbolic forms. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, A. (2004). The mosaic approach and research with young children. In V. Lewis, M. Kellett, C. Robinson, S. Fraser, & S. Ding (Eds.), The reality of research with children and young people. London, England: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Cohen, L., & Uhry, J. (2007). Young children’s discourse strategies during block play: A Bakhtinian approach. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 21(3), 302–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dalli, C., White, E. J., Rockel, J., Duhn, I., Buchanan, E., Davidson, S., et al. (2011). Quality early childhood education for under-two-year-olds: What should it look like? A literature review, Ministry of Education, Retrieved 28 September, 2011, from http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/ece
  13. Derry, S. J., Pea, R. D., Barron, B., Engle, R. A., Erickson, F., Goldman, R., et al. (2010). Conducting video research in the learning sciences: Guidance on selection, analysis, technology, and ethics. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19, 3–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Education Review Office. (2007). The quality of assessment in early childhood education. Wellington, New Zealand: Author.Google Scholar
  15. Frank, A. (2005). What is dialogical research and why should we do it? Qualitative Health Research, 15(7), 964–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gillen, J. (2000). Listening to young children talking on the telephone: A reassessment of Vygotsky’s notion of ‘egocentric speech’. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 1(2), 171–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hicks, D. (2002). Reading lives: Working-class children and literacy learning. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  18. Holquist, M. (1998). Afterword: A two-faced Hermes. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 97(3/4), 781–790.Google Scholar
  19. Løkken, G. (1999). Challenges in toddler peer research. Nordisk Pedagogik, 19(3), 145–155.Google Scholar
  20. Markova, I., & Linell, P. (1986). Coding elementary contributions to dialogue: Individual acts versus dialogical interactions. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 26(4), 353–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Matusov, E. (2007). In search of “the appropriate” unit of analysis for sociocultural research. Culture and Psychology, 13, 307–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Matusov, E. (2009). Journey into dialogic pedagogy. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  23. Matusov, E., & Smith, M. P. (2005). Teaching imaginary children: University students’ narratives about their Latino practicum children. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 705–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McNeill, D. (2005). Gesture & thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Medvedev, P., & Bakhtin, M. (1978). The formal method in literary scholarship: A critical introduction to sociological poetics. London, England: The John Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  26. Millikan, J. (2003). Reflections – Reggio Emilia principles within Australian contexts. Castle Hill, NSW: Pademelon Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ministry of Education. (2004). Kei Tua o Te Pae Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.Google Scholar
  28. Ministry of Education. (2007). Kei Tua o te Pae Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.Google Scholar
  29. Ministry of Education. (2009a). Kei Tua o te Pae Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.Google Scholar
  30. Ministry of Education. (2009b). Te whatu pokeka: Kaupapa Māori assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.Google Scholar
  31. Perkins, M. (2009). Paparazzi or pedagogy? A review of the literature about photography in assessment. Early Education, 46(Spring/Summer), 22–25.Google Scholar
  32. Roth, W. (2001). Gestures: Their role in teaching and learning. Review of Educational Research, 71(3), 365–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sands, L., & Weston, J. (2010). Slowing down to catch up with infants and toddlers: A reflection of aspects of a questioning culture in practice. The First Years: Ngā Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 12(1), 9–15.Google Scholar
  34. Stuart, D., with Aitken, H., Gould, K., & Meade, A. (2008). Evaluation of the implementation of Kei Tua o te Pae Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars: Impact evaluation of the Kei Tua o te Pae 2006 professional development (Report to Ministry of Education). Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  35. Sullivan, P. (2007). Examining the self-other dialogue through “spirit” and “soul”. Culture and Psychology, 13(105), 105–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sullivan, P., & McCarthy, J. (2005). A dialogical approach to experience-based inquiry. Theory and Psychology, 15(5), 621–638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tobin, J., & Hsueh, Y. (2008). The poetics and pleasures of video ethnography of education. In R. Goldman, P. Roy, B. Barron, & S. Derry (Eds.), Video research in the learning sciences (pp. 77–92). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  38. Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., & Liszkowski, U. (2007). A new look at infant pointing. Child development, 78(3), 705–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. UNICEF. (2008). Report card 8: The child care transition; A league table of early childhood education and care in economically advanced countries. Florence, Italy: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.Google Scholar
  40. Voloshinov, V. (1973). Marxism and the philosophy of language (M. Silverstein, Ed.). New York: Seminar Press.Google Scholar
  41. Webbsoft. (2007). Snapper: User handbook. Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Webbsoft Technologies. http://www.webbsoft.biz
  42. White, E. J. (2009a). Assessment in New Zealand early childhood education: A Bakhtinian analysis of toddler metaphoricity. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC. http://arrow.monash.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/monash:34937 Google Scholar
  43. White, E. J. (2009b). A Bakhtinian homecoming: Operationalising Bakhtin in a NZ ECE setting. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 7(3), 299–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. White, E. J. (2010). Polyphonic portrayals: A Dostoevskian dream or a researcher’s reality? In K. Junefelt & P. Nordin (Eds.), Proceedings from the Second International Interdisciplinary Conference on Perspectives and Limits of Dialogism in Mikhail Bakhtin (pp. 87–96). Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Scandinavian Languages, Stockholm University.Google Scholar
  45. White, E. J., & Peters, M. (Eds.). (2011). Bakhtinian pedagogy: Opportunities and challenges for research, policy and practice in education across the globe. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations