Children and the COVID-19 Lockdown: From Child Perspectives to Children's Perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleGeneral public

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted the everyday lives of more than 2.3 billion people globally through different societal level protection measures. Many of these measures have significantly impacted children’s lives, for example, through preschool and school closures and by separating children from their family members, friends and other social circles. Yet, as the opinion piece that opens this article illustrates, the consequences of the pandemic can also be quite unexpected for diverse children. This complexity foregrounds the need for child perspectives in the discussions around the pandemic. Yet, amidst the constant newsfeed regarding the current situation, these perspectives were first largely absent, only gradually emerging while most of the discussions have been focused on children's role as potential spreaders of the disease. In this cultural praxis contribution, we first provide reflections on how children's lifeworlds have been transformed by the Covid-19 pandemic in one of the Nordic welfare states, Finland. In doing this, we will rely on news reports, opinion pieces, public social media posts and our experiences as parents and educators. We adopt a child perspective (Sommer, Pramling & Hundeide, 2010), an adults’ attempt to characterize and present children’s lifeworld as it might appear to them, in order to underscore the impact that the changes have had on children’s everyday lives as we understand them currently. More precisely, we will discuss three different ways in which Finnish children have been positioned in relation to the pandemic: a) as vulnerable and relatively passive recipients of care and protection, b) as thriving in non-school settings, and c) as agentic actors capable of acting upon and transforming their circumstances. We conclude the article by discussing the difference between child perspectives and children’s perspectives, as well as what we can learn from and with children during the Covid crisis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Praxis
Volume2020
Issue number26.4.2020
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeE1 Popularised article, newspaper article

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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