ChildrenÕs Interests, Inquiries and Identities argues that the powerful relationship between interests and informal learning has been under-recognised and undervalued. The book proposes new principles for understanding childrenÕs learning. It provides evidence that we need to look beyond the activities or topics children may currently be selecting to find out who and what has stimulated their interests, how we might identify and interpret interests more analytically and deeply, and how we might respond and engage with these in ways that take childrenÕs interests seriously. Moving beyond play-based activities, Helen Hedges explains and illustrates a number of ways by which childrenÕs interests can be interpreted and understood, to get to the heart of what really matters to, and for, children. The book draws on examples from research with children aged under 5 years, and young adults aged 18-25. It also includes a chapter on teachersÕ interests. It presents new and original models for interests-based curriculum and sociocultural curriculum and pedagogy for future examination in research and practice.
This book demonstrates that leaving behind long-standing, taken-for-granted practices that have influenced understandings of curriculum, pedagogy, learning, and outcomes allows a new perspective of childrenÕs interests to emerge. It will be of interest to researchers, postgraduate students, and practitioners in the early years, parents, and other professionals who work with young children.