ISSN 1753-0849

Childhoods Today Online JournalChildhoods Today

An online journal for childhood studies

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Volume 11 Issue 1 - October 5, 2017

Who do they think they are? Perceptions of young people aged 11-12 years

Janice Grinstead, Julian Kranz, and Tom Oliphant with acknowledgements to Dr. Wendy Thorley. University of Sunderland

This paper aims to report part of the findings from a project that addressed young people�s perceptions of self and community in the North East of England. The starting point has been a realization that policy initiatives which address children�s well-being in community are heavily concentrated either on very young children (early years and primary school) or young people (aged 14 to 19). Thus, the original project was aimed at young people aged between 11 and 14; having moved from primary to secondary school, these children appeared to be considered neither as children nor as young people. The researchers wanted these young people to have an opportunity to express themselves about issues specifically relevant to them. The study used a multi-method approach (use of scrapbooks, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups) in three secondary schools to collect its data. This paper reports and discusses findings from interpretation of scrap book imagery used with Year 7 pupils (73 male and 21 female) and four items (out of 18) of the questionnaire only. The findings suggest that the young people surveyed here had a strong sense of their own identity, though confidence in this identity does not appear to be reflected in their perception of how teachers and other professionals see them.