As I got to learn it got fun': Children's reflections on their first year at school

Year: 2004

Author: Perry, Bob, Dockett, Sue

Type of paper: Refereed paper

There has been a great deal of recent interest in children's voices in research about starting school. This paper describes one strategy used by the Starting School Research Project to engage children as research partners in discussions about starting school.

Children from three Kindergarten (first year of school) classes were asked to reflect on how they had changed over their first year of school by thinking about what they were like when they started school, and comparing that to what they were like at the end of the school year. They were encouraged to draw representations of themselves at each of these times and to add a brief comment. The data on which this paper is based consists of the reflective drawings and comments from 52 children. Analysis of these indicate that children have a clear view of themselves within the context of school and distinct notions of the ways in which they have changed. Much of their focus is directed towards dispositions-such as having friends and how they feel about school-and to their increasing school-based knowledge. Implications for practice are drawn from the children's perspectives of their first year at school.