Exploring conflict in early childhood learning in Israel: a multi-vocal case study

Anne Keary, Julie Faulkner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Early childhood education has been a contested site of learning, framed by shifting constructions of childhood across time and place. An Israeli-Arab kindergarten provides a case where content and pedagogies are negotiated differently from traditional western early childhood (EC) cultural and educational contexts. The Australian authors take up a reflexive researcher stance as they explore how social and political tensions that they confront in their observations play out in relation to an event in pre-school children’s learning. We noted in this Israeli-Arab kindergarten setting a cutting and pasting activity where magazines depicted images of soldiers with guns in a conflict zone. In contrast, in Australian EC contexts, we have an ethos of not playing with guns, let alone negotiating contemporary representations of war. To investigate what is at stake, we use Bakhtin’s notion of heteroglossia to engage with a multi-vocal approach to exploring document and website analysis, interview data and media images of war. We consider how notions of conflict are framed across EC educational settings. Ethical issues emerge for us around daily choices of activities and the philosophical basis for the norms of practice. This led us to consider how we as researchers perceived and positioned ourselves within the Israeli EC context, and the tensions that arose in our thinking as educators while conducting this research. Reflecting on our journey, we discuss how ‘conflict’ is played out in different ways according to temporally and geographically contextualised notions of childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDecisions and Dilemmas of Research Methods in Early Childhood Education
EditorsAnne Keary, Janet Scull, Susanne Garvis, Lucas Walsh
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003126577
ISBN (Print)9780367648510, 9780367648541
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Early Childhood Education

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