'Why am I in all of these pictures?' From Learning Stories to Lived Stories: the politics of children's participation rights in documentation practices

Caralyn Blaisdell, Lynn J. McNair, Luke Addison, John M. Davis

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In this paper, we report on Phase One of a small action research project that examined how Learning Stories were put into practice at one Scottish nursery. Specifically, the paper looks at young children’s participation rights and how they were enacted within the authorship of the stories. The project used an action research approach in which qualitative data about participants’ current experiences with the stories was used to spark reflection, experimentation and change in documentation practices. Drawing on Phase One data from young children, parents and practitioners at the nursery, our findings illustrate the complex enactment of children’s participation rights, including children’s right to information, freedom of expression and their right to express their views and have those views taken into account. The paper concludes that more work needs to be done in the field of Learning stories to (a) acknowledge the complex political and material considerations at play in the creation of pedagogical documentation and (b) to accommodate children’s own authorship, through flexible, non (or less) written methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Early online date1 Dec 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2021


  • Learning Stories
  • participation rights
  • children’s rights
  • early childhood education and care
  • social justice
  • pedagogical documentation

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