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Title: Listening to the voices of young children in a nurture class
Authors: Cefai, Carmel
Spiteri Pizzuto, Sue Anne
Keywords: Nurturing behavior
Child development
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Cefai, C., & Spiteri Pizzuto, S. A. (2017) Listening to the voices of young children in a nurture class. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 22(3), 248-260.
Abstract: The inclusion of the student perspective in helping to promote more effective learning, engagement and positive behaviour is becoming increasingly evident in both educational research and school and classroom practice. Giving students the opportunity to have a meaningful and influential voice enhances both the teaching and learning processes, impacting both academic and social behaviours. The student voice perspective is also making inroads into the area of special educational needs, where children are participating more actively in their own assessment and individual educational plans. This paper presents the findings of a project in a nurture class (NC) in Malta which sought to capture the views of the pupils attending NCs. Through a child friendly, qualitative approach young children were given the opportunity to discuss and express their feelings and thoughts of what it means for them to be a pupil in a NC in primary school. The paper presents the themes which emerged from a thematic analysis of children’s voices during semi-structured group interviews and collaborative mapping and poster design, and concludes with suggestions on how the NC may operate as a more child friendly space at the school.
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