Anticipating the Future? Case studies in the Inner Lives of Children

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The early cultural experiences of children have long been recognised in psychiatry and more recently in education as all important ,but this has rarely been acted upon. Traditional curricula and structures continue to be imposed without listening to the voices of the recipients. What would happen if we did hear what they say? What can they reveal that has any value?

This research, which stems from studies like The Human Experience: The Early years, and The Causes of Exclusion, explores several case studies which reveal some of the major patterns of conceptual development. Attitudes towards the home and school and towards siblings and peer groups are analysed, together with young people's subconscious conceptions of themselves. The question asked, both in methodological and epistemological terms, is how much can we learn about the future of these young people still, ostensibly , in their formative years and how much can we predict from what they reveal inadvertently.