Slowing Down: Documentary Photography in Early Childhood

Horsley, Karen (2021). Slowing Down: Documentary Photography in Early Childhood. International Journal of Early Years Education, 29(4) pp. 438–454.



This study explored nursery practitioners ‘slowed down’ documentary photography in everyday moments. The enquiry draws on Documentary Photography, Visual Sociology and Early Childhood and entails a novel application of the theoretical concept of ‘presence’ (Senge, P., C. O. Scharmer, J. Jaworski, and B. S. Flowers. 2008. Presence: Exploring Profound Change in People, Organizations and Society. Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.). Naturalistic data collection techniques and thematic analysis were employed. An original application of ‘presence’ supported practitioners’ shared language and discursive resource for visual practice that invited questions; supported children’s sensemaking and mediation of relationships. This new theorisation and application of presence offers a ‘holding space’ for these activities and nuanced seeing anew. This creative disruption is significant in speeded-up educational contexts.

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