Using video-based methodologies with young children: identifying protocols for practice

Year: 2013

Author: Bird, Jo, Colliver, Yeshe, Edwards, Susan

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Video-based methodologies are an increasingly popular approach to research in early childhood settings. This is because video data is viewed as an appropriate means of capturing the complexity of interactions that occur between people, time, space and objects in early childhood settings. Accordingly, video has been used to research pedagogical issues in early childhood education and is often used as a basis for video-stimulated recall with both children and educators. Video data has also been widely used within child-centered research and is argued to be amenable to children's diverse modes of expression about their experiences of early childhood settings. Consequently, video data is often viewed as having potentially greater meaning for children, educators and researchers than data generated through interview or discussion alone. However, as a medium which is only recently becoming more widely used in child-centered research, video data needs to be associated with methodological protocols in practice that appropriately recognize and enable children's participation in research. Drawing on sociocultural understandings of children's learning and participation as socially mediated and culturally situated, this paper outlines two issues associated with using video with young children. The first issue is associated with research exploring children's perspectives on learning and considers the need for children to have greater familiarization with the video camera as a tool to adequately capture their perspectives on learning. The second issue derives from research investigating children's activities using digital technologies in early childhood education and considers the practicability of using video devices with young children, including the need to scaffold children's learning in using the devices and the establishment of appropriate guidelines for using such technologies in the early childhood classroom.  Practical protocols for using video-based research methodologies with young children are derived from consideration of these issues and offered as a response to the increased popularity of video methodologies in the early years.