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Understanding communities through the eyes and voices of children

The present study, guided by a child rights framework, aimed to gain insight into young children's perspectives of their communities and to explore the effectiveness of PhotoVoice methodology during this process. Thirty-two children aged three to five years from a childcare centre and a kindergarten classroom from an urban neighbourhood captured photos of their community with disposable cameras, and verbally narrated descriptions of their photos to their teachers and the research team. Analyses of the photos and narratives show that young children are able to effectively talk about their communities. Various themes related to relational and residential communities emerged from the interviews, such as family, peers, home, and neighbourhood. PhotoVoice is found to be an effective research tool with young children, supporting and encouraging expression from them. A number of unanticipated positive outcomes and benefits of the PhotoVoice process are also discussed. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers

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