EPs becoming ignorant: Questioning the assumption of listening and empowerment in young children

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This paper argues that a shift needs to take place in adults so that listening to young children can occur. In the context of educational psychologists (EPs), this is perhaps more crucial, as EPs are positioned in a way that makes listening an integral part of their role. Yet, EP work forms part of this 'runaway world' and this sometimes necessitates that practitioners become doubly aware of the need to resist pressures of speed and work load, if any listening is to happen at all. Rancière's writing is used to question assumptions about the young child's voice and our listening. The shift that Rancière suggests starts with the assumption that adults and even very young children are equal, so that the listening which we are advocating is one which does not silence. The paper then moves on to reflect on the Mosaic approach, as a methodological tool and process for listening to young children. Rather than being another method, the Mosaic approach espouses uncertainty and allows for unexpectedness - young children are seen as giving adults the possibility to listen to them. In the conclusion we consider the implications of Rancière and the Mosaic approach for the work of EPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-31
Number of pages10
JournalEducational and Child Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Child
  • Early years
  • Jacques Rancière
  • Listening
  • Mosaic approach
  • Psychologist

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