Children’s stories and multisensory engagement: insights from a cultural probes study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonKucirkova, N., Kamola, M. (2022) Children’s stories and multisensory engagement: Insights from a cultural probes study. International Journal of Educational Research, 114, 101995
This study builds on child-centred early education models that emphasise active listening to children's voices and follow participatory research methods to accommodate children's expressions. We used the cultural probes method with eleven Norwegian 4-5-year-olds to elicit children's storytelling and multisensory engagement. The children were encouraged to tell a story using open-ended art-making materials provided in a “story box”. Children's stories were analysed according to their structural elements with The Social Relationships in Children's Stories (SRCS) tool, and in relation to the intensity of children's engagement of their six senses (vision, hearing, touch, smell, taste and proprioception) during the activity. The SRCS analysis showed that children's stories centred on real characters performing commonly encountered acts, mostly in rural settings (e.g., ‘a man pushing a tree’ or ‘A mother and a baby relaxing in the forest’). Children engaged their senses selectively, in a sequence of different levels of intensity, with the visual and haptic engagement being the most intensively engaged senses during the story-tellings. Children's real-life stories that engage the hidden senses (olfaction, taste and proprioception) could enrich the methods and design of future education studies.