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Working papers provide an opportunity for research centre members to present their current work in a collaborative and supportive environment in order to gain constructive feedback and refine journal papers in preparation for publication.

Number One: Layen and Hattingh (January 2017)

Title:  Students as Researchers: Developing and challenging cultural assumptions and perceptions

Abstract:  This study examines the disruption of cultural assumptions relating to forest pedagogy in early childhood education and care, as experienced by a group of undergraduate and postgraduate student researchers.  

The study is framed by cultural-historical theory, acknowledging that children’s learning and development takes place in social contexts and is shaped by cultural and societal values and practices.  Analysis of the data illuminates and challenges taken-for-granted understandings of approaches to forest experience and how this impacts the child as a competent and powerful social individual.  

The study found that the students’ assumptions about the child required reconsideration in the light of a culturally different approach to outdoor pedagogy.

Number Two: Lewis (March 2017)

Title: Examining the nature of young children’s well-being in the early years curriculum: multiple meanings

Abstract: This paper examines the nature of young children’s well-being, by firstly understanding how it is theorised and secondly, understanding how practitioners conceptualise well-being. This is important because there are multiple explanations of well-being rooted in philosophy, psychology and economics but there is little consensus about the specific nature of child well-being. In addition, despite the appealing interest of well-being, limited research exists about understanding well-being in a curriculum context and from the perspective of the practitioner. The paper draws upon key findings from a three-year PhD study which captures qualitative data via multiple methods in two primary schools in Wales. The paper shows that existing theories of well-being relate to young children and suggests that a theory of child well-being may not be an immediate concern for the early years sector. The findings indicate that the objective dimension is not the leading well-being discourse amongst practitioners working with young children, it is one of many. Various implications are briefly considered.

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