Exploring Jordanian Preschool Children’s Expressions of Their ‘Voice’ in Accordance with The United Nations Convention on The Rights of The Child

  • Abdallah Alawneh

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The main purpose of this research was to explore the status of Jordanian preschool children’s ‘voice’, as reflected by their expressions of their rights in the context of the Jordanian culture and in accordance with United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by the Jordanian government in 1991. Moreover, the research aimed at detecting how much Jordanian preschool children’s voice is heard and responded to by their teachers; since teachers and other significant adults within the child’s Micro- and Meso-systems are the ones who can decide whether children can have a voice, due to the power and age gaps between the two parties. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory was adopted as the main theoretical framework, in addition to some other theories depending on the method of data collection and analysis used. Researching with children in this thesis adopted both direct and indirect (or creative) methods of data collection: shared-interviews, ball-game and children’s drawings. Moreover, preschool teachers were asked in an interview and a questionnaire about their opinions of enhancing children’s ‘voice’, and improving their expression of the rights afforded to them by the UNCRC. The sample consisted of eighteen preschool children (five-year-olds), and eighteen preschool teachers, who volunteered to participate in this research, after securing relevant assents and consents from both parties.

The findings showed that Jordanian preschool children could express their voice both directly and indirectly. They could answer questions of the shared-interviews or dialogues. A significant finding emerged that reflected children’s ability to express their preferences for activities that promoted their well-being, such as referring to their physical health, recreational interests and social relations in their community. Participant teachers, even without knowing about the researcher’s knowledge and ability to uncover their true intentions, claimed that they did their best to create a supportive school environment that helped preschool children in freely expressing their ‘voice’, and encouraged them to ask for their rights.
Date of Award11 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHelen Lomax (Main Supervisor) & Samantha McMahon (Co-Supervisor)

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