Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2019 Issue »

    The Practice of Listening to Children

    The Challenges of Hearing Children Out in an Adult-Regulated World

    Haeny S. Yoon and Tran Nguyen Templeton
    In this research article, Haeny Yoon and Tran Nguyen Templeton explore the challenges of listening to children in both classrooms and research that purports to center young children. Through two stories from their respective studies, Yoon and Templeton highlight the complexities of following children’s leads given the competing agendas situating the work of teachers and researchers in neoliberal contexts. Time constraints, curricular mandates, and research expectations limit children’s valuable contributions to their sociocultural communities. The authors’ goal is to discuss the possibilities in taking up children’s words, gestures, and moves as knowledge. They contend that children’s voices should not simply be heard for curricular purposes, for adults’ amusement, to forward a neoliberal agenda, or to maximize our own goals and pursuits. Instead, we should listen to understand the creativity and intelligence of young children whose social worlds are meaningful.

    Click here to access this article.
    Haeny S. Yoon (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7276-2758) is an assistant professor of early childhood education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research and teaching center around play and literacy curriculum in early childhood, specifically through critical ethnography in K–2 classrooms. She works with preservice and in-service teachers on creating spaces for play and inquiry, particularly for children of color, within curricular standards and mandates.

    Tran Nguyen Templeton (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2666-8511) is an assistant professor in early childhood education at the University of North Texas. Her research lies at the intersection of early childhood education, critical childhood studies, and visual sociology. She focuses on young children’s identity development as told in and through their own visual images, as well as the ways that adults conceptualize curriculum and research in response to dominant and reconceptualized notions of childhood.
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