Journal of Childhood, Education & Society <p>Journal of Childhood, Education &amp; Society is a double-blind peer-review journal that accepts research and review articles in English.</p> Journal of Childhood, Education and Society en-US Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2717-638X <p><strong>Attribution:</strong> You must give <a id="appropriate_credit_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">appropriate credit</a>, provide a link to the license, and <a id="indicate_changes_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">indicate if changes were made</a>. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.</p> <p><span id="by-more-container"></span><strong>NonCommercial:</strong> You may not use the material for <a id="commercial_purposes_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">commercial purposes</a>.</p> <p><span id="nc-more-container"></span><strong>NoDerivatives: </strong>If you <a id="some_kinds_of_mods_popup" class="helpLink" tabindex="0" title="" href="" data-original-title="">remix, transform, or build upon</a> the material, you may not distribute the modified material.</p> <p>Author(s) must confirm that the Journal of Childhood, Education &amp; Society retains all the copyrights unconditionally and indefinitely to publish<span style="font-size: 0.875rem;"> articles.</span></p> Frequency and duration measurements of children’s outdoor free play: A Scoping review <p>Outdoor free play encompasses unstructured, self-directed play in the outdoors and has been shown to support children’s health and development. Accurate and reliable measures are required to conduct research on children’s outdoor free play and examine cross-sectional and longitudinal variation. This study systematically reviews and evaluates measurement approaches for children’s outdoor free play used in existing literature. A scoping review was conducted to identify English-language peer-reviewed and grey literature that included measurements of the occurrence, frequency or duration of outdoor free play with children aged 2 to 17 years old. Studies were excluded if the outdoor free play measure included structured settings or activities, or focused on a specific location or play activity. Quantitative and qualitative content analysis was used to consider outdoor free play terminology, definition, and operationalization; positioning in relation to other variables and the topic of interest; and data collection context. A total of 4,860 unique studies were identified. After screening and full-text review, 184 papers were taken forward for analysis. Parent-recall questionnaires were used in 70.1% of included studies to measure outdoor free play, often using a single question to capture the variable. A lack of differentiation between outdoor play emanating from structured and unstructured settings was common, as was limited consideration of contextual factors such as season, school or non-school days, and time of day. The implications of existing approaches to measuring children’s outdoor free play and the need for valid and reliable measures to further research examining children’s outdoor free play are discussed.</p> Rachel Ramsden Michelle O'Kane Eva Oberle Mariana Brussoni Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 1 40 10.37291/2717638X.202451314 The impact of integrating Jolly Phonics Lessons application into English literacy lessons on UAE preschoolers’ phonics skills <p>The Jolly Phonics Lessons application is a digital tool that is designed to enhance the preschoolers’ reading and writing skills through synthetic phonics approach. This study examined the impact of integrating Jolly Phonics Lessons application into literacy lessons on the emergent reading and writing skills among kindergarten students, ages 4-6, in the United Arab Emirates through a comparative study between pupils (Group-A), whose literacy classes were integrated with the application, and pupils (Group-B) who were taught using the traditional method of teaching literacy. Mixed methods research design was followed to analyze the effects of integrating the application. The Phonemic Awareness Assessment Inventory (PAAI) tool, field notes, and artifacts were utilized to measure the development of students’ letter-sound identification, letter formation, phoneme blending and segmenting abilities. In addition, the paper compared the growth on phonics skills between students in Groups A and B. The results showed that students in Group-A outperformed pupils who received literacy instruction through traditional methods. The findings from the PAAI scores exhibited dramatic growth in letter-sound recognition and letter formation, and substantial increase in phoneme blending and segmenting abilities of Group-A. The T-statistic for differences between two means at 95% confidence revealed that there is a significant difference between the performance of students in Groups-A and B. Implications from this study highlight the positive impact of incorporating Jolly Phonics Lessons application into literacy classes on low-achieving students. On this bases, future research of Jolly Phonics Lesson application to support mixed-ability classes or students with dyslexia.</p> Noora Almansoori Robin Ogdol Aisha Alteneiji Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 41 60 10.37291/2717638X.202451299 Children’s experiences: The institutional grip of evaluation in Swedish school-age educare <p>Swedish school-age educare has, in the last 25 years, undergone extensive reforms with revised goals for work in practice and new working conditions. The reforms and changing conditions seem to have challenged practice in terms of quality. Since 2010, instead of programme evaluation for generating knowledge about the expected benefits for children of attending school-age educare, quality and evaluation have been regulated in the Education Act 2010:800(2010) as decentralised, continuous, ongoing systematic quality work led by school leaders and teachers themselves. The aim of this study was to examine the norms and the social order forming evaluation in school-age educare practice, including how staff think institutionally about evaluation, how evaluation is classified and categorised and identifying institutional shadows. The article is built on interviews with 53 staff members in twelve different centres. The interviews were analysed using Mary Douglas’ (1986) theory about how institutions think. The analysis contains a careful reading of interviews through a theoretically informed institutional lens and has resulted in different categories of evaluation in SAEC, as well as the identification of an institutional shadow. Children’s experiences is discussed as the institutional grip and shadowing goals and results in evaluation. Finally, it argues for institutional change.</p> Karin Lager Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 61 71 10.37291/2717638X.202451334 Balancing acts: Parental coping and adaptation during COVID-19 in Türkiye <p>The global health crisis, COVID-19, swiftly enveloped people all around the world. Upon the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 as a pandemic, numerous countries have determined their own road maps. The main purpose of this study was to understand the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the life balance of parents with children aged 0-6 years in Türkiye. This study was a cross-sectional design. The data was collected from 514 parents who have at least one child at the age of 6 or less. Results showed that there were several direct and indirect relationships between demographic measures (gender, age, educational status, number of children in home and employment status of parents), mediating variables (self-rated measures such as support from distance learning, support from others), and endogenous variables (life balance variables). The findings of the study showed that “new normal” has entailed potential job losses for some individuals and changed perspectives and delivery methods of education. The findings also highlighted the importance of parents’ engagement into education for understanding and helping children’s development.</p> Ahmet Simsar Mehmet Akif Karaman Halil Ibrahim Sarı Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 72 88 10.37291/2717638X.202451338 Leading in times of uncertainty: Early childhood directors navigating the COVID-19 pandemic <p>Early childhood (EC) directors played a critical role in the successful operation of childcare centers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Directors were responsible for adhering to health and safety protocols and caring for the well-being of their staff, children, and families. Due to the need to remain open for other first responders’ families, Directors were challenged with fluctuating numbers of staff and children, and in other cases, they were tasked with transitioning their programs online to serve children. This study examines 10 US EC Directors’ perspectives and leadership experiences during the Pandemic. From interviews with the participants, themes emerged to illustrate how EC Directors utilized adaptive leadership skills and strengths-based leadership. Findings from this study are beneficial not only to understand how EC Directors led during the Pandemic, but also which skills, resources, and supports are necessary for future times of crises and challenging times. This article offers recommendations for researchers, policymakers, and other decision-makers on how best to support EC Directors in future times of uncertainty.</p> Sara Movahedazarhouligh Meredith Jones Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 89 103 10.37291/2717638X.202451296 We didn't know it was that bad: Unearthing parent perspectives on Universal Pre-K policy <p>Families are the ultimate recipients of the effects of policy, but seldom get a seat at the policymaking table. This study investigated how parents perceive the impacts of unequal teacher compensation policies on New York City’s (NYC) Universal Pre-K (UPK) expansion. Utilizing Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological systems theory and Schneider and Ingram’s (1993) theory of social construction and policy design to create a rich conceptual framework, this qualitative study analyzed parents' voices through document and social media discourse analysis expanding from 2014 to 2021, and semi-structured interviews (n=15). Participants reflected the demographic diversity found in NYC, the largest school system in the country. The data analysis occurred in three sequential stages: (a) content analysis of documents, (b) thematic analysis of interview data, and (c) compilation of findings from these analyses to draw comprehensive conclusions. Findings revealed that while parents had limited engagement with policy, they were able to articulate the detrimental effects of compensation policies—particularly the effect of teacher turnover on their daily lives—with a disproportional effect on parents of racially minoritized backgrounds or living in low-income neighborhoods. The rich interviews unearthed the dissonance between the policy’s intent and its effect on perpetuating racial and socio-economic biases. Recommendations for advocacy and engagement are provided.</p> Maria Mavrides Calderon Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 104 119 10.37291/2717638X.202451336 Silent and oral reading methods on improving English reading comprehension among generation alpha pupils <p>Reading comprehension enables each child to make meaning of the world. Therefore, it is important to develop this during the child’s primary years in school. Using ex post facto design, this study investigated the effects of reading methods on English reading comprehension of randomly selected 75 Grade 2 pupils in a private school in the Philippines. The scores of pupils who read two comparable narrative passages in oral and silent were compared. Paired t-test results revealed a significant difference between oral reading and silent reading. Silent reading had a greater positive effect on the comprehension of the pupils. Likewise, it was the most preferred reading method among the respondents. Focus group discussion with English teachers' results suggested that silent reading was preferred specifically because it helps in understanding the story better, remembering words, and concentrating given its quiet and peaceful nature. It is recommended that teachers employ sustained silent reading classroom practices such as Silent Reading Activity (SRA) Reading Laboratory, Genuine Love for Reading activities through the Four-pronged approach, and Drop Everything and Read time. These methods will help to support the reading needs and preference of the generation alpha pupils and to further strengthen the positive effects of silent reading on improving their reading comprehension.</p> Karen Mariel M. Mendoza Ruth A. Ortega-Dela Cruz Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 120 133 10.37291/2717638X.202451306 Documenting the development and achievements of early and preschool children: Different curricular approaches <p>The public education policy of an individual country determines, among other things, the ways of documenting the educational process and children’s outcomes. This paper explores the opinion of preschool teachers about documenting children’s development. The sample included preschool teachers from two systems, or two different curricular approaches. One exists in the Republic of Croatia (curriculum based on the competence framework) and other in Bosnia and Herzegovina (curriculum based on normative outcomes). The measuring instrument <em>Questionnaire of Preschool Teachers’ Opinions on Monitoring the Psycho-physical Status of Children</em> (α= .847), was constructed for research purposes. The <em>Questionnaire</em> was based on relevant literature and insights into existing educational practices. On a dichotomously structured 4-level scale, preschool teachers estimated that the most important purpose of documenting children’s development is the planning of developmental incentives (M=3.63; SD= 0.495). They agree that monitoring should be continuous throughout the entire academic year (M=3.53; SD= 0.666). Likewise, preschool teachers are less inclined to one-time assessments of a children’s psycho-physical status, considering “a testing” unlikely to provide a realistic image of their development (M=1.88; SD=0.797). No correlation was found between preschool teachers’ age, length of service, and level of education. Using the <em>t-test</em> of independent samples, a mild/weak, but statistically significant difference in the preschool teachers’ assessment between the subsamples was determined.</p> Ivana Visković Marina Zeleničić Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 134 145 10.37291/2717638X.202451317 Professional occupational activities and functions of Greek infant-toddler educators: Roles and responsibilities <p>During the last years, infant and toddler practice is receiving increased attention at the policy level. Yet, little is known about what infant/toddler practice entails and how educators working with children of this age group view their role and professional identity. The present mixed methods study aims at filling the research gap on what the professional identity and the work of infant and toddler educators entails, what are the characteristics that constitute an infant/toddler educator professionally and on the extent to which they are well prepared to perform their multi-dimensional role. 51 Greek infant/toddler educators responded to an online questionnaire which included close and open-ended questions. Results reveal that the role of infant/toddler educators is complex and multi-faceted and that infant/toddler educators spent most of their time in education and care practices rather than managerial practices. In addition, results highlight that care moves beyond narrow definitions that include routines, to a broader image of care which involves educational and relational aspects. Divergences between practices adopted in infant and toddler classrooms have also been revealed. The results highlight the need to further explore infant and toddler educators’ voices about their role, professional identity and work.</p> Konstantina Rentzou Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Childhood, Education & Society 2024-02-10 2024-02-10 5 1 146 160 10.37291/2717638X.202451318