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Illuminating young children’s perceived notions of inclusion in pedagogical activities

Shaw, Patricia A; Messiou, Kyriaki; Voutsina, Chronoula


Kyriaki Messiou

Chronoula Voutsina



This paper presents findings from a research study, which sought to illuminate the perceived notions of inclusion of four to five year old children in pedagogical activities, in the early years classes of two schools in the North of England. It employed a qualitative methodology to gather extensive data with forty children over a six-week period in each school. This included collecting fieldnotes; undertaking observations of children in pedagogical activities; and conducting group and individual interviews. Central to the research aim was the use of participative tools to engage with children’s voices; these included photographs and drawings. Children’s perceived notions of inclusion resonated with two dimensions: belonging and relationships (with practitioner and/or child) and democratic pedagogies. The findings advance the conceptualisation of the notion of inclusion and bring to the fore the voices of a young group of children that has not been studied before. Engaging with children in meaningful ways can enable practitioners to better understand young children’s perceived, multi-faceted notions of inclusion as they experience it within pedagogical activities.


Shaw, P. A., Messiou, K., & Voutsina, C. (in press). Illuminating young children’s perceived notions of inclusion in pedagogical activities. International Journal of Inclusive Education,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 9, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 27, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jul 10, 2020
Print ISSN 1360-3116
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Engaging with voices; Early years; Inclusion; Belonging and relationships; Democratic pedagogies
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