‘Finding a voice’: utilising Tronto’s ethic of care framework for developing undergraduate students’ attentiveness to 'voice' in working with children

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


This paper is from a special issue of the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal focused on the needs of children as care receivers and the affordances of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Here our conceptual gaze is on the education of future practitioners as caregivers and how they come to understand and put into action the concept of voice. We highlight our attentiveness to voice through promoting democratic and open opportunities for discussion and more equal access to power for undergraduate childhood studies students.
Our paper highlights our attentiveness to voice in the application of learning involving a conceptual framework and our students’ work. There has been little explication of how university lecturers who are responsible for educating future practitioners approach the complexity and conceptual messiness of ‘voice’. There are dangers of objectification if curricula simply foreground the UNCRC and are only concerned with utterances and the need to listen to children. We explore our conceptual approach to avoid this through foregrounding Tronto's (1993) ethic of care as the foundation for student learning. The framework considers the recognition of different voice discourses linked to an undergraduate course, the coordination and enabling of voice, the receiving and working with the voice of others.
Our approach helps students to understand the complexity of listening to, recording, and reporting what children say, including the intricacies and dilemmas in the relations mediating voice and the positioning of the child in relation to knowledge generation.
Period6 Sep 2022
Event titleBritish Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2022
Event typeConference
LocationLiverpool, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational