Exploring new ways of thinking about and reporting quality in early childhood settings

Year: 2021

Author: Hunkin, Elise

Type of paper: Individual Paper

Early childhood professionals, academics and advocates are calling for urgent alternatives to the positivist, universal interpretations of quality in early childhood settings that dominate policy accreditation and assessment practices globally. In response, this study explored what digital ethnographic approaches can offer to our practices of conceptualising and reporting quality in early childhood settings. Families, educators and managers were recruited from one room of an early childhood service and asked to self-report their every day, lived experiences of quality to an online platform for two-weeks. Using their own mobile phone, participants contributed photo, video, text or audio data in response to the researcher prompts, and could also contribute spontaneously. To limit the data set, participants were asked to focus on quality transitions – what and where were transitions? Who was involved? What was the individual’s experience? What was their perception of the child’s experience? The studies’ preliminary findings are discussed in relation to what was learnt about lived experiences of quality transitions, and the potentialities of online digital ethnography platforms as a tool for education research and policy.