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'A Day in the Life': advancing a methodology for the cultural study of development and learning in early childhood.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Julia Gillen
  • C. A. Cameron
  • S. Tapanya
  • G. Pinto
  • Roger Hancock
  • S. Young
  • B. Accorti Gamannossi
Journal publication date02/2007
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


This paper explores the methodology of an ecological investigation of aspects of culture in the interactional construction of early childhood in diverse global communities: Peru, Italy, Canada, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. Regarding culture as a dynamic dimension of the child's socialisation, the approach taken was to film a 'day in the life' of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl in each location. The principal investigators viewed these five 'days' and selected clips were made into a compilation tape, to be interrogated and interpreted by the local investigators and the child's family. These latter reflections were also taped and then applied to a growing appreciation of the child in cultural context. Other inter-researcher techniques were used to elucidate and explore events and values further. Reflexive concerns as to the interplay between aims and methods in interpretive research are critical components of this endeavour to develop new cultural understandings of the girls in context.