Article: A Critical Realist Reflection on the Use of Social Media as Third Space for Rights Education in Early Childhood

Zanatta, F., Martínez Sainz, G. & Gillett-Swan, J. A Critical Realist Reflection on the Use of Social Media as Third Space for Rights Education in Early Childhood. International Journal of Early Childhood  51, 319–333 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13158-019-00249-0

Abstract

The promotion and advancement of Rights Education in Early Childhood ought to be supported through the development of spaces that allow for interdisciplinary discourses among different stakeholders. The project #ChildRightsChat emerged from interactions between the authors to use a digital space to promote the advancement of an interdisciplinary and global discussion about children’s rights. A primary aim was to facilitate adult learning about the protection and promotion of children’s rights in practice. Chats in Twitter, through structured and moderated interactions, were designed to share knowledge and experiences around specific topics. The present paper presents the authors’ reflections, as moderators of #ChildRightsChat, through a critical realist analysis. The findings explore how social media can be understood as a learning environment in ‘third space’, with respect to the nature of interactions that occurred, the context as a learning space, and the voices heard in the chat. The implications of social media to include global perspectives for the advancement of rights-based practice in early childhood education and care are considered.