Intentions : «This thesis examines how insights gathered from the subjective experience of the early childhood teacher can challenge assumptions that underlie the occupation’s lack of professional recognition.» (p. i)
Questions/Hypothèses : «“How do fictions of childhood evoke responses in early childhood teachers?” [...] “What are some of the factors, including assumptions about gender and childhood, that underlie the devaluation of early childhood education?” [...] “What do the early childhood teacher’s responses to the stories reveal about her subjective teaching experiences?”» (p. 11)
Échantillon/Matériau : «I selected two sets of concrete representations through which to explore the abstract concept of childhood: 1) representations of childhood in fiction (four films, one television episode, and one picture book), and 2) my readings and teachers’ conversations around these fictional representations, which generated further representations of childhood. To address my research issues, I developed three conversations around childhood and teaching, or three phases of inquiry: a focus group study with five early childhood teachers, a case study in memory work with one teacher, and a narrative account of a co-constructed, semi-fictional conversation between teachers, mothers, a curriculum theorist, and a literature/film student.» (p. 12)
Instruments : Guide d’entretien
Type de traitement des données : Analyse de contenu
According to the author, «[i]n responding to fictional representations of childhood, the teachers demonstrated extraordinary ease in crossing the liminal spaces between adulthood and childhood, in assuming the perspectives of child protagonist, adult viewer, teacher, mother, and child self, and in “occupy[ing] all these positions at once” [...]. These discussions opened into reflections that juxtaposed the complex ways that early childhood teachers form their conceptualizations of childhood (such as through memory, motherhood, and gendered expectations) with the ways they understand actual children. The polyvocal nature of the teachers’ talk, or the “layers of consciousness,” was deliberately highlighted in the thesis [...]. Writing became a central part of my inquiry, and the resulting experimental representations [...] reflect my struggles to find my own researcher voice. My purpose in these accounts was to attend to and name the contradictions that early childhood teachers, predominantly women, face in a historical and societal context that positions them in the space between two discordant expectations: fostering their own growth (in the public domain) and having no commitments greater than responding sensitively to children (in the private domain).» (p. ii-iii) Note : La thèse évoque le lien entre les relations familiales et le métier d’enseignant, et le lien entre l’enfant et le parent.