Young children's perceptions of their school experience: a comparative study between England and India

Mallika Kanyal, Linda Cooper

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


    The research aimed at exploring young children's perceptions of their school experience using three different (but interrelated) theoretical perspectives: the interactionist, systemic and socio-cultural perspectives. Twelve five-six year old children from a state funded primary school in south-east England and fifteen five-six year old children from a university campus school in north India formed the sample for the study. Three different methods for collecting qualitative data were used: (a) children's drawings (b) children's paired interviews and (c) photographic/video evidence of different areas of the class/setting, taken/videoed by children themselves. Findings from England and India, both, revealed similar results that children liked coming to school and enjoyed doing a range of activities with their teacher(s) and friends. They however, wanted to spend more time outside. Their perceptions of why they attend school ranged from adult-imposed reasons to those which might be of benefit to themselves. The main difference between the two groups was in their perceptions of the outside space and the use of school facilities. These differences could be attributed to the different socio-cultural and economic state of the settings in respective countries. These differences are understood and discussed in relation to different theoretical perspectives, as mentioned earlier.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2
    Pages (from-to)3605-3613
    Number of pages9
    JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Issue number2
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2010


    • Young children
    • school experience
    • England
    • India


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