Edinburgh Research Explorer

The Relationship Between Young Children’s Transitions and Power: "Why are all the doors locked? I don’t feel free…I am not in charge of me anymore”

Research output: Working paper

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Increasing attention to the relationships between transitions, power, spaces and schooling, this article explores the disjuncture between seemingly liberal concepts in transition processes and hierarchical abuse of power. The ethnographic study focuses on transition, as children move from one early years setting to four schools in one Scottish city. Overall, the study found that the perspectives of children can often be silenced by educational professionals, or overshadowed and undermined by procedures. Children were expected to become acquiescent, as they adjusted to coercive practices that limited children’s access to spaces in school. The results suggest a need for a commitment to listening approaches, which may encourage educationalists to become respectful and responsive to children’s transition discourses and subsequent social realities.

    Research areas

  • Keywords: early childhood, transition, power, children’s geography, ethnography.

ID: 149115363