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Children’s experiences during circle-time: a call for research-informed debate

Leach, Tony and Lewis, Ellie (2012) Children’s experiences during circle-time: a call for research-informed debate. Pastoral Care in Education, 31 (1). pp. 43-52.

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Abstract

The concept of pupil voice is widely employed in research from across the world when claiming children and young people have a genuine, legitimate right to be heard on matters they consider important, and when considering ways of engaging them as important ‘influencers’ of policy and decision-making. This article is concerned with problematic issues around power and pupil voice during circle-time. It is argued that the space in which children and young people are ‘allowed’ a voice is prescribed by adults and is frequently located within interventions for improving schools, pupil behaviour and promoting their social and emotional development. Based on a rigorous analysis of the findings from a small case study about children’s experiences during circle-time, and using the concepts of social identity and social representation, this article highlights the dangers of inadvertently creating a climate within which children can feel isolated and threatened, and bullying can thrive. Increasingly, it would seem children are being invited and expected to reveal things in circle-time that will need careful and experienced handling from the point of safeguarding the child’s well-being, offering the required support and ensuring the child’s protection and confidentiality. It is argued these findings highlight the need for a robust research-informed debate about children’s lived experiences during circle-time, and the impact of those experiences in terms of children’s identities and self-esteem.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: 10.1080/02643944.2012.702781
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
School/Department: School of Education
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/483

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