Learning Circle Reflections - February 2017


This pre-BECERA session, held on 16th February, was run by Faye Stanley. The February 'Learning Circle Reflections' come from Aline Cole-Albäck.

In preparation for the BECERA Conference on the 21st February, Faye Stanley and Alison Moore, two of CREC’s PhD students presented to the group for feedback.


Faye started her presentation titled: “Positionality: Insider and outsider perspectives between practitioner and researcher” by introducing her research context, and acknowledging the importance of making the researcher’s positionality visible.
Faye’s (current) PhD title is: An Exploration of Professional Values of English and Swedish Pre-school Teachers. It is a Polyvocal Ethnographic study where different perspectives are explored:
Voice 1 – the researcher’s voice through six pre-selected video clips
Voice 2 – the teacher’s voice in response to the video footage they are in
Voice 3 – the teacher’s voice in response to the video footage from the other country
Voice 4 – the researcher’s synthesis of all voices
The data from the participants is also made visible using Wordle, generating word clouds.
Faye talked about how social constructivism and symbolic interactionism informs her research, drawing on authors such as Vygotsky (1987), Hedegaard and Fleer (2008), Geertz (1973) and Blumer (1998).
Faye emphasised how important the recognition of the researcher’s social positionality is, and how a researcher needs to continuously critically reflect on the research process (Berger, 2015). The notion of positionality is intimately linked to ethical aspects of research, which Fay will also address in her presentation at BECERA. Faye was wondering if she needs additional voices, such as for instance dialogue with an ‘expert group’. This is a question she will ask the BECERA audience.
Alison’s presentation will be on a pilot study she may or may not include in her PhD research titled: “Changing Practice in Children’s Centre Teams: How to Create an Open listening Climate Respecting the Voice of the Child”.
In her pilot “Improving Pedagogy in Children’s Centres: Using photovoice as a reflective lens to listen to children’s voices”, Alison introduced the concept of photovoice to practitioners as a tool to reflect on practice and as a method to collect evidence. Alison mentioned photovoice has previously mainly been used in larger project such as exploring homelessness, but that it was used very effectively in her small focus groups, with an immediate positive impact on practice. Penny Lancaster’s (2003) RAMPS framework was used together with a research directed diary, to reflect on and document the photos.
The colleagues present greatly enjoyed both presentations, learning more about ‘Polyvocal Ethnography’ and ‘Photovoice’, as ways of capturing and valuing different perspectives in creative ways.


The next Learning Circle meeting is scheduled for Thursday 23rd March and will be lead by Jenny W on 'The Viva Experience'.
The Learning Circle
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