'Seen but not heard’. Practitioners work with poverty and the organising out of disadvantaged children’s voices and participation in the early years

Donald Simpson, Sandra Loughran, Eunice Lumsden, Philip Mazzocco, Rory McDowall Clark, Christian Winterbottom

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


Living in poverty disadvantages young children reducing school readiness. ‘Pedagogy of listening’ can potentially support resilience remediating against poverty’s negative effects. Little, though, is known about how early childhood education and care (ECEC) practitioners work with children in poverty and the attainment gap between such children and their peers remains significant within England and the US. This article reports research using a mixed methodology which explored these issues in localities across both these countries. We argue a dominant technocratic model of early years provision in these contexts creates normalisation and diversity reduction. This, and austerity measures, stymie pedagogical space and practice organising out listening to children in poverty. We suggest this may help explain why the attainment gap remains so stubbornly resistant to reduction across these countries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number2
Early online date15 Feb 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Feb 2017



  • Poverty
  • children
  • pedagogy
  • listening
  • voice
  • participation
  • early childhood
  • early years

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