Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Carmen Huser

Proposed Title

Children's perspectives of play

Research

The study aimed to explore children's perspectives of play, and children's ways of participation in research to inform ethical practice. Recently, research has acknowledged children as primary stakeholders of play whose perspectives are underrepresented, and the importance of including their understandings to inform play-based pedagogy. Less attention has been paid how children choose to participate in such research.

Sociocultural play theories and contemporary notions of children's rights informed the study.

The qualitative study used an interpretive paradigm. Constructivist grounded theory framed data generation and analysis acknowledging individual and collective acts of creating meaning. Children's play was video-recorded and shown to the children to stimulate group conversations. 17 four-to-five year old children from one Australian childcare centre participated. Conversations were transcribed and coded. Children's verbal expressions and nonverbal participation were interpreted.

The findings contribute to existing knowledge, highlighting children's perspectives of play are diverse; the importance of peers; the role of adults; the influence of the physical context and nature of play, such as choice and control. Further, the study contributes to childhood studies, in particular to little research reporting how children consent, choose to participate, and dissent, acknowledging children's right to express their views in their preferred and capable ways.

Why I chose CSU

I chose to undertake my PhD at CSU first and foremost to follow Sue's and Bob's offer to supervise my thesis. Both have been highly respected academics in early childhood research internationally, especially in my areas of interest: researching children's perspectives. Secondly, the establishment of the Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE) at the time of my enrolment drew my attention to CSU's commitment to enhancing research and encouraging interdisciplinary research in the educational field. The involvement in the federally funded Collaborative Research Network Excellence in Research in Early Years Education CRN, one of the largest networks of research-productive EYE academics worldwide promised to be an inspiring and supportive environment to research in the early childhood education field and to promote my own learning journey.

Memberships

  • ENSEC – European Network of Social Emotional Competence: co-chair since: February 2011; member since: September 2009
  • Scientific Committee for the ENSEC conferences in 2013; 2015; & 2017
  • CSU School of Education Board: postgraduate student representative: 2013-2016
  • European Early Childhood Research Association: member including membership of Special Interest Group "Children's perspectives"/ "Rethinking play" 2011-2013

Publications

Huser, C., Dockett, S. & Perry, B. (2016). Transition to school: Revisiting the bridge metaphor. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 24(3), 439-449, DOI: 10.1080/1350293X.2015.1102414

Huser, C. (2016). Spielend lernen?! Spielpädagogische Ansätze aus der Kinderperspektive. [Learning playfully?! Children's perspectives of play-based pedagogical approaches.] In I. Hunger & R. Zimmer (Eds.), Bewegungschancen bilden. (pp. 131-135). Schorndorf: Hofmann.

Cowie, H., Huser, C. & Myers, C. A. (2014). The use of participatory methods in researching the experiences of children and young people. Croatian Journal of Education, 16, (2), Special Edition, 51-66.

Huser, C. (2014). Wo die wilden Kerle in Bewegung kommen! Bewegte Sprachförderung mit dem Bilderbuch [Where the wild things start to move! Movement-oriented language promotion with story books]. In I. Hunger & R. Zimmer (Eds.), Inklusion bewegt. Herausforderungen für die frühkindliche Bildung. (pp. 263-268). Schorndorf: Hofmann.

Huser, C. (2011). Bewegungsspiele mit vollem Körpereinsatz. Krabbeln, klettern, springen. [Physical play with the whole body. Crawling, climbing, jumping.]. Kleinstkinder, Themenheft Bewegung, 27-33.

Huser, C. (2011). Objekterfahrungen – Materialien entdecken. [Object experiences and exploration] In R. Zimmer (Ed.) Psychomotorik für Kinder unter 3 Jahren. Entwicklungsförderung durch Bewegung. [Psychomotricity for children under 3 years. Fostering development through movement.] (pp. 63-72). Freiburg, Basel, Wien: Herder.

Zimmer, R., Huser, C. & Madeira Firmino, N. (2011). Bewegte Sprache – Sprachförderung durch Bewegung. [Moving Language – Promoting language through movement.] (DVD). Freiburg: Herder.

Huser, C. (2010). Children's voices on play in a Mosaic Approach study: Children as conscious participants in a case study. Boğaziçi University Journal of Education, 26 (1), 35-48.

Conference presentations

Huser, C. (2016). What do children say about play? Insights into play from children's perspectives in a prior-to-school setting. Conference presentation, Early Childhood Australia National Conference 2016 "This is Childhood", 5-8 October 2016, Darwin, Australia.

Huser, C. (2015). Ethical spaces for children's active participation in research. Conference presentation, 5th ENSEC Conference "Social Emotional Learning and Culture", 1-4 July 215, Lisbon, Portugal.

Huser, C. (2015). Spielend lernen?! Spielpaedagogische Ansaetze aus der Kinderperspektive. [Playful learning?! Children's perspectives of play –based pedagogical approaches] Conference presentation, 9th Kongress Bewegte Kindheit [Conference Active Childhood], 19 – 21 March 2015, Osnabrueck, Germany.

Huser, C. & Cowie, H. (2013). Children as active researchers; Pre-Conference Workshop Presentation, 4th ENSEC Conference "Social and Emotional Competence in a Changing World", 3 July – 7 July 2013, Zagreb, Croatia.

Huser, C. (2013). Promoting second language acquisition in early childhood settings through the medium of movement; Conference Presentation, 23rd EECERA Conference "Values, Culture and Contexts", 28 August – 31 August 2013, Tallinn, Estonia.

Huser, C. (2013). Wo die wilden Kerle in Bewegung kommen! Bewegte Sprachförderung mit dem Bilderbuch [Where the wild things start to move! Movement-oriented language promotion with story books], Conference Workshop, 8th Conference "Bewegte Kindheit" [Active Childhood], 28 February – 2 March 2013, Osnabrueck, Germany.

Huser, C. (2012). Children's voices on play in a mosaic approach study. A thesis from a European Master Program (EMEC) using participatory research methods; Conference Presentation, 22nd EECERA Conference "Pre-birth to three: identities, learning, diversities", 29 August – 1 September 2012, Oporto, Portugal.

Madeira-Firmino, N., Huser, C. Haberer, E. & Zimmer, R. (2012). Promoting language in early childhood through the medium of movement, Conference Presentation, 22nd EECERA Conference "Pre-birth to three: identities, learning, diversities", 29 August – 1 September 2012, Oporto, Portugal.

Huser, C. (2012). Auf die Plätze, fertig … Sprache! [Ready, steady … Language!]; Conference Workshop, Conference "Fachtag Sprache und Bewegung" [Language and Movement], 25 September 2012, Osnabrueck, Germany.

Huser, C. (2011). Auf die Plätze, fertig … Sprache! Bewegte Sprachförderung für den Kindergartenalltag [Ready, steady … Language! Movement-oriented language promotion in kindergarten"; Conference workshop, 7th Conference „Bewegte Kindheit" [Active Childhood], 17 March – 19 March 2011, Osnabrueck, Germany.

Huser, C. (2009). Children's voices on play in a mosaic study. Conference Presentation, Second ENSEC Conference on Promoting Social Emotional Education: Practitioners and Researchers Exploring Evidence Based Practice, 9-12 September, 2009, Izmir, Turkey.