Inclusive or exclusive participation: paradigmatic tensions in the mosaic approach and implications for childhood research

Caralyn Blaisdell

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Early childhood research continues to be dominated by psychological research in the positivist paradigm. The Mosaic approach is one work that contests this dominant discourse on early childhood, using task-based, participatory inquiry to share power and involve children as co-constructors of knowledge. However, there are paradigmatic tensions underlying the use of task-based methods. In this paper I examine these tensions in the context of my own experience as an early career researcher. In particular the complex role of the researcher is discussed, and connected to issues of inclusion and exclusion regarding children’s participation in the research process.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalChildhoods Today
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2012


  • early childhood
  • positivist paradigm
  • mosaic approach
  • task-based methods
  • inclusion
  • exclusion
  • child participation

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