Child voice: How immigrant children enlightened their teachers with a camera

Jane B. Keat, Martha J. Strickland, Barbara A. Marinak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Changes in global patterns of residence mean that preschool teachers welcome immigrant children and families into preschools in increasing numbers. Many teachers report both anticipation and apprehension about having immigrant children in the classroom. Apprehension is related to concerns about a lack of enough knowledge about languages and cultures to sensitively work with children and families. To overcome apprehensions and challenges, teachers are encouraged to learn from the work of other adults. This study builds upon research that suggests that teachers can also look to the children as a source of knowledge. The purpose of this study was to explore how preschool immigrant children might use a disposable camera to communicate with their teachers. The participants of this qualitative study were immigrant and native-born students in a local preschool. Each child was given a disposable camera, instruction about taking photographs and the request to take pictures of what was important to them. Data were collected by recording each child telling the teacher about the pictures. Data were analyzed for themes, patterns and categories. Findings indicated that the messages that the children conveyed to their teachers included important information about language development and family cultural identity. Findings also identify teacher strategies that helped and hindered child ability to communicate during the photo-narration process. An implication of the study was a shift of child agency within the teacher child relationship during photo-narration activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Child voice: How immigrant children enlightened their teachers with a camera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this