The story so far..... "A Cry for Justice: The use of children's literature in facilitating preschoolers' awareness of, and sensitivities to social justice issues".

Year: 2006

Author: Hawkins, Karen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper will outline and discuss qualitative research into the above topic at the time of the conference. The PhD research project will be at the point of beginning to synthesise findings; hence the title "The story so far...".

The aims of the research, guided by interpretative perspectives, hermeneutics and a constructive paradigm, are:

• To investigate ways in which children's literature (picture books) can help preschoolers' to reflect upon, clarify and articulate their awareness of, and sensitivities to social justice issues;
• To explore whether preschoolers can critically examine children's literature to identify social injustices;
• To identify transformative and productive ways of sharing the teaching/learning experience that work to enhance preschool children's awareness and understanding of social justice issues through storytime sessions.

The research design is one of Participatory Action Research.

The paper will discuss the research process so far: the proposal, proposal defence, ethical considerations, recruiting participants, participatory action research and initial findings. It will address the "highs and lows" of the research process, initial findings and how they may contribute to early childhood education as a whole and specifically to teaching for social justice.