Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://une.intersearch.com.au/unejspui/handle/1959.11/2397
Title: Young children's perspectives of their place in the world: The value of an Importance Filter
Contributor(s): Sargeant, Jonathon Gilbert (author); Gerber, Rod (supervisor); Paterson, David Leonard (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2005
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/2397
Abstract: The perspectives of young children are of considerable interest to the community yet remain largely misunderstood. This study, utilising an open-ended questionnaire to explore the perspectives of 505 children aged between eight and twelve, investigates those features of a child's world which children themselves identify as being of most importance. In directly asking children about their worries, their hopes and their expectations of the future, this study reveals a significant resource of knowledge and perspective that can be considered by adults in their teaching, parenting and planning for the future. The children demonstrate an optimistic view of the world and the future that is also encased in a deeper understanding of key global, local, and social issues than previously thought. The children demonstrate that they are not only aware of such issues but also have an understanding of their wider effect. This study challenges the notion that children are adversely affected by knowledge of global issues outside their control. The effects of external media and the reputed social decay of society and the pessimistic worldview reportedly held by young children are questioned. In acknowledging the children's understanding of key issues, this research identifies that children engage in an internal cognitive processing of information that allows them to maintain an optimistic view of the world. This paper will introduce the concept of the Importance Filter to describe a constitutive element of childhood. The author of this study contends that children access various information sources, but respond based on the construction of their Importance Filter. From this study it appears that children maintain a local and family orientated focus and view the future with an optimism not based on ignorance, but on genuine expectation and hope that the future will be positive for them. The function of the Importance Filter is explained in this thesis. By understanding the role of the Importance Filter, it is argued, adults will be better equipped to work with children in effecting positive change in their community while embracing the key foundations of optimism currently being expressed by the children.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2005 - Jonathon Gilbert Sargeant
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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