Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)

Using qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate constructions of ethnic identity in the early years

Invitational seminar with the Institute for Education, Community and Society

Venue: Room. 1.18 Paterson’s Land, Moray House School of Education

Date: Thursday 9th June 2011

This seminar is a joint CREID and Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) initiative, presenting recent research on young children’s constructions of identity in the early years. The focus of this seminar is on young children’s ethnic identity and its links with other parts of identity. The seminar seeks to develop debates concerning different approaches to researching young children’s identity. The papers presented use both qualitative and quantitative approaches and the seminar will explore how these approaches can be usefully combined.

The aims of the seminar are:

  • to explore young children’s constructions of ethnic identity (including links with other parts of social identity) and their social implications
  • to explore the use of qualitative and quantitative methods in conducting research with young children
  • to foster debates on combining qualitative and quantitative approaches



Professor Paul Connolly, Director, Centre for Effective Education, Queen's University Belfast

Paul Connolly

“Using survey methods to explore preschool children’s ethnic awareness and attitudes”

Paul is Professor of Education at Queen’s University Belfast and also holds the position of the Donald Dewar Visiting Chair in Social Justice and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. He is Director of the Centre for Effective Education at Queen's University and also Founding Editor of the international journal Effective Education. Paul was also recently elected as Co-Chair of the Campbell Collaboration Education Coordinating Group.

He has researched and published extensively in the area of race, ethnicity and young children. Much of his research has been ethnographic and concerned with exploring young children’s experiences and perspectives and the ways in which race, ethnicity, gender and social class articulate with one another in young children’s lives.

His books include: Racism, Gender Identities and Young Children (1998, Routledge); Researching Racism in Education (with Barry Troyna, 1998, Open University Press); and Boys and Schooling in the Early Years (2004, Routledge).

Paul is also interested in the use of quantitative methods in research with young children and, particularly, the use of experimental and quasi-experimental designs in the evaluation of early childhood programs.

Kristina Konstantoni, CERES and CREID Research Associate and Associate Tutor/Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

Kristina Konstantoni

“Young children’s constructions of ethnic identity drawing on an in-depth ethnographic case study”

Kristina is a CERES and CREID Research Associate and an Associate Tutor/Lecturer on the BEd (Hons) Primary Education Degree and BA in Childhood Studies at the University of Edinburgh. Kristina is also a (Co)-Convener of several courses of the BA in Childhood Studies and of the Children’s Rights Honours Social Policy course. Kristina has recently completed a PhD in Education funded by the ESRC and has an MSc in Childhood Studies. Kristina's main research interests are in equity, social justice and children’s rights and participation, and how these are taken forward in educational policy and practice. Kristina has also been involved in several research projects as a Research Fellow (CREANOVA Project, funded by European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme and also research commissioned by the Scottish Social Services Council). Kristina's professional background includes teaching English as an Additional Language, teaching assistant in early childhood settings both in Scotland and Greece and children project worker in the YWCA Roundabout Centre.