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Hatti Sambrooks

An Exploration of Child Voice through Primary Classroom Wall Displays


Discipline/professional area
Education and Childhood

Outline of research project

This study aims to explore how child’s voice is represented through choice of content on wall displays, and the value displays serve in relation to identity. Having explored aspects of this at Masters Level I am keen to build further to consider how wall displays could be interpreted as reiterating concepts around the ‘idealised child’ (Burman 2017). Positioning this study within child voice discourses, to inspect an aspect of education often taken for granted and not really ‘seen’ (Causey 2017) which may influence children’s identities and ways of representing their voice. Current practice uses children's work to go on display, but does not seem to include them in the process. Tarr (2004) asserts walls in classrooms silence engaged and authentic expression, thus muting voice. There are notions of relational power between children and adults at school and what this might mean in everyday school practices, (Taylor and Robinson 2009), such as displays.

Key references

Kraftl, P. (2006). Building an idea: The material construction of an ideal childhood. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 31(4), 488-504.

Clark, A.,  Moss, P., & National Children's Bureau. (2011). Listening to young children : The Mosaic Approach (2nd ed.). London: National Children's Bureau.

Massey, D. (2005). For space. London: SAGE.

James, A., & Prout, A. (2015). Constructing and reconstructing childhood : Contemporary issues in the sociological study of childhood (Classic ed., Routledge Education classic edition series). London: Routledge.

Soja, E. (1996). Thirdspace : Expanding the geographical imagination. Blackwell.

Tarr, P. (2004). Consider the Walls. YC Young Children, 59(3), 88-92.

Director of studies
Prof. Carol Taylor

Dr. Rebecca Mallett

Expected Completion date
Estimated 2020

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