Theorising power and listening : the route to a culture of voice

Arnott, Lorna and Wall, Kate; Arnott, Lorna and Wall, Kate, eds. (2022) Theorising power and listening : the route to a culture of voice. In: The Theory and Practice of Voice in Early Childhood. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780429259630

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Listening in early childhood education is more than the act of hearing; it is a processing of hearing, understanding and acting upon what is heard. While seemingly simple when written as this series of tasks, in reality it is a reciprocal process, involving a complex power-laden relationship between adults and children, or even between children. The relationship is framed by the social context within which the dialogue and communication (in a broad and not always verbal sense) occurs. This is not surprising when coming from the perspective that childhood is a social construction and lived experiences are unique (James et al., 1998). From this perspective, listening becomes a cultural process as part of everyday early childhood practice, which encompasses a relational and social pedagogy.