Ethnography in early childhood education and care

Mirja Köngäs, Kaarina Määttä

Tutkimustuotokset: Kirjoitus lehdessä tai erikoisnumeron toimittaminenArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Childhood research is increasingly being conducted from different disciplines, and research methods for showing the child's world are also increasing and evolving. This article examines the challenges and opportunities of childhood research in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) environment from an ethnographic approach. The purpose of the article is to create a vision of what ECEC ethnography is, which can be used to make visible the culture of an under-school-age child, his or her experience, feelings, voice, and actions. A key challenge in ECEC ethnography is that the researcher is a representative of adult culture, emphasizing the need for reflexivity. We highlight five key themes for the researcher: the acquisition of material, the degree of researcher participation, taking on the role of a researcher, reaching the child's voice, and describing the results in a child-centered and ethically sustainable way. Respect for the child and earning the child's trust are essential. When successful, ECEC ethnography provides knowledge and understanding of childhood in a way that can contribute to supporting children's development and overall well-being.
JulkaisuInternational Journal of Research in Education and Science
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 24 elok. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Vertaisarvioitu alkuperäisartikkeli


  • ECEC ethnography
  • childhood research
  • child-centeredness
  • Reflexivity


  • Yleinen kasvatustiede


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