Any Questions? Young children questioning in their early childhood education settings

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Young children’s questions may offer powerful leverage for knowledge acquisition and deep level learning, yet often go unrecognised and undervalued in early childhood education (ECE) settings. When young children’s questions are not heard or respected, they are denied their UNCRC Article 12 right to express their views freely and have ‘due weight’ accorded to them. A pilot case study framed by critical pedagogy and young children’s rights perspectives was conducted in the Midlands region of England to investigate the nature and extent of young children’s questioning in ECE settings and its relationship with knowledge acquisition and learning. Early childhood students recorded questions young children (n=9) (2.2-4.5 years) asked in ECE settings. Four categories of young children’s questions emerged, two oriented to knowledge acquisition and learning. Evidence also revealed effects of performativity impeding knowledge acquisition and learning by both adults and young children in ECE settings. Further study is indicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-130
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2022


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Young Children Are Researchers
  • Young Children’s Questions
  • Young Children’s Rights
  • Children’s Agency
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education


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