Visual Methodologies and Approaches to Research in the Early Years
Editor: E. Jayne White
Seeing the World through Children’s Eyes brings an overarching emphasis on ‘seeing’ to early years research. The book provides an opportunity to see and hear from leading researchers in the field concerning how they work with visual methodologies and young children. It explores the problems, pitfalls and promises that these offer for reflexive, critical inquiry that privileges the ‘work of the eye’ whilst implicating the researcher ‘I’ for what is revealed. Readers are invited to see for themselves what might be revealed through their discoveries, and to contemplate how these ideas might influence their own seeings.
Author: E. Jayne White

This paper summons Bakhtin's principle of visual excess to the field of video research. Bakhtin's dialogic approach emphasises the visual as an effort of the eye, as well as the subjective “I”. Seeing is thus re-caste as an event where subjective and cultural boundaries are encountered, lived, and offer insight to those involved. Video is therefore posited as a visual and axiologic encounter that allows one to perceive beyond one's own limits. Here the researcher does not come with a predetermined set of categories or criteria, but seeks to encounter the form of language and the meaning of those forms, from multiple (polyphonic) visual and ideological standpoints. I argue that taking this approach opens up possibilities for seeing as an opportunity for dialogic speculation and interrogation- one that forms the basis of my research orientation. By way of demonstration the paper will introduce an example of video filmed in an infant educational setting which highlights the additional insights offered through different visual fields and their interpreted meanings. Synchronising four visual fields of the same event - from the view of the infants, teacher and researcher - visual surplus is thus operationalized as a multi-voiced polyphonic event. Dialogues concerning their pedagogical significance - for the teacher and the researcher - are discussed alongside the footage itself. Together they highlight subtle, yet highly significant potentialities for video work that set out to engage with the experience of the eye as an encounter with ‘other’. I argue that such visually oriented engagement can act as a central source of understanding and insight that far exceeds traditional approaches in educational research that view participants as mere objects for amusement or manipulation. Moreover, this approach poses a new video methodology in which meanings take precedence over what is aesthetically received.

In: Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy
Author: E. Jayne White

This editorial starts an important discussion concerning the contemporary use of video that involves young children, including infants, in an age of visual culture within the open learned society that comprises the Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy. The author puts in motion an agenda for ethics committees and researchers to consider these issues carefully before determining the use of video involving young children in educational research.

In: Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy
Author: E. Jayne WHITE


Play holds a precarious status in early childhood education curriculum and even more so in pedagogy. Misaligned with adult-ceatred discourses that seek to name and frame learning according to established curriculum ideals, the educators’ quest is to capture evidence of leaving in an ontologic trap that binds teachers in the service of the state and its priorities. Yet, an increasing body of dialogically inspired research seeks to suspend such authoritative strongholds by revealing the nuanced state of play that exceeds such framings. In this paper the dialogic notion of visual surplus is specifically exploited through the deployment of 360 degree footage filmed in an ece centre, and dialogues about what is seen, generated as part of a larger study. Through such excess playful encounters with and about young learners – often in spite of, not because of, well-meaning adult interventions – make a mockery of those claims that are made by adults through their play. Instead, a democratic agenda is set for play as a series of alteric as well as agentic events that lay bare the trap and attempt to escape it.

In: Beijing International Review of Education
In: Seeing the World through Children’s Eyes
In: Pedagogy and Edusemiotics

The power of video as a route to activism is not new to education. Its efficacy in galvanizing political action and advocacy concerning important social issues plays an important role in raising public consciousness and a ‘call to arms’. In the early 1980’s Anne Smith understood this more than most. Her use of video as a mode of political advocacy was part of a larger intellectual and political quest to alter public perspective and policy concerning women and children in Aotearoa New Zealand at that time. Since her death in 2016 the videos she made in the 1980s to early 1990s have now been made freely available to the public and continue to be relevant today. Back then they were produced and disseminated through hours of labour with a group of supporters who shared an understanding of the importance of video to galvanise political consciousness and action. This paper explores the thinking behind the production of these videos and their impact in the public domain with the help of Anne’s life-long partner John Smith and then goes on to look at subsequent work. The paper then goes on to consider, with Professor Anne Meade, the strategic potential for video in the field that can learn much from Anne Smith’s legacy. Together they highlight the power and potential of video to mobilise policy and practice concerning children in the public realm as agentic citizens and to progress the important work Anne started through such modalities into the future.

In: Video Journal of Education and Pedagogy