Children’s Perspective on After-School Programs
Michelle Jutzi, PhD, lecturer and postdoc, Institute for Research, Development and Evaluation Research Program Governance in Education, Bern University of Teacher Education, Switzerland; Thomas Wicki, MSc, research assistant, Institute for Research, Development and Evaluation, Research Program Governance in Education, Bern University of Teacher Education, Switzerland and Ueli Hostettler, Prof. Dr. Professor, Institute for Research, Development and Evaluation, Research Program Governance in Education, Bern University of Teacher Education Switzerland
After-school settings have diverse functions and benefits. Most importantly, they offer reliable social and time structures for children before and after their school day. Additionally, such after-school programs (ASP) can be designed to be enriching, foster children’s cognitive activation and offer diverse opportu-nities for play and exploration (Huang & Deitel, 2011). In this paper we describe a method to capture the perception of children who are participating in such programs. The study focuses on a sample of 4 to 11-year-old children who are enrolled in three ASP in an urban area in Switzerland. We used the method of reflexive photography to stimulate the discussion in the research setting. Children were asked to take pictures of the places they like most. Researchers were most interested to understand if and how chil-dren participate in the design of the ASP. The results show that ASP provide ample possibilities for the promotion of social learning and nurturing of children’s autonomy. The children see potential for further development of their autonomous organization of leisure time and responsible personnel should allow for more participation. Further research should explore how insights from children’s perspectives mightbe used to design ASP so children can develop skills in the participative and enriching environment of ASP in more sustainable terms.
Children’s spaces in Swedish school-age educare
–Karin Lager, PhD, postdoc-researcher, University west, Sweden
The aim with this paper is to investigate children’s spaces in Swedish school-age educare settings. The theoretical framework for this project is sociology of childhood focusing children’s agency and as participators equal adults in questions that engage and concern them, and social geography investigating children’s spaces in everyday life and the identity of the setting. The project is designed as a compressed and multi-sited ethnographical study in twelve different settings. Each setting was followed for one week with field observations, informal conversations and interviews with 174 children in 45 groups and 53 staff in 12 groups. The findings show three types of spaces in school-age educare, Storage space, Activity space and Community space, theses three types are different according to children’s agency and to the identity of the setting. The Storage space is characterized of children left to themselves with few affordances from staff. Activity space is characterized of teacher-led activities on a dedicated timeslot each day, focusing activities as sports, creative, play, music and outdoors in line with curriculum content. The Community space are characterized of children as active actors in constructing content, activities and routines.
Children´s agency in extracurricular activities: Response to challenges of fourth industrial revolution
-Mikhail Goshin, PhD, research fellow, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia and Sergey Kosaretsky, PhD, director of the Pinsky Centre of General and Extracurricular Education Insitute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia
The article is devoted to the study of the fostering agency, one of the most important components of human capital, in technology-oriented extracurricular activities. Data were obtained from the survey of 200 children and interviews of 30 children attending modern technology-oriented extracurricular activities. The participants of the advanced practices of technology-oriented extracurricular activities demonstrate a high level of autonomy and initiative both in choosing the extracurricular activities, and in the learning process. Most of them are characterized by independence in goal setting, high level of motivation and interest, knowledge, going beyond school education, taking responsibility for their education, discipline, and the absence of fear of difficulties. Factors fostering agency are the child’s natural abilities, living conditions, type of settlement, socio-economic background of the family, type of school. Аlso important the new formats of technology-oriented extracurricular activities, such as competitions, hackathons, project sessions, and the position of a teacher as a tutor (consultant) rather than an authoritarian didactic leader. But the parental support play a decisive role in developing child’s ability to take responsibility for their own education, creativity and project oriented thinking. If parents support children, they more often like to create something new and are focused on the result applied in practice. The most favorable parental strategy is the facilitating support for the child, creating an environment favorable to his/her interests, when the child is always given the opportunity to make their own choice.