Children’s participation in early childhood: realistic, rhetorical, problematic?

Tang, Feng Ling, Scollan, Angela ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9005-5838 and Farini, Federico (2019) Children’s participation in early childhood: realistic, rhetorical, problematic? In: Early years: making it count, 20-23 Aug 2019, Thessaloniki, Greece. (Published online first)

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Abstract

This documentary research based paper interrogates issues around young children's participation in decision making in families and early years settings. Children's participation has been one of the most debated aspects of UNCRC. Existing research explore initiatives and practices of children's participation in societies (Hart 1992; Wyse 2001; Lansdown 2010) and address challenges in promoting children's authentic participation (Fitzgerald, Graham, Smith and Taylor 2010; Raby 2014). Inspired by Hart's (2011) highlight of power relations and children's struggle for equality toward the realization of their participation rights, this paper adopts children's rights perspective and a socio-cultural lens to interrogate complexity involved in young children's participation in decision making. This paper employs a critical approach to documentary research rooted in interpretivism to examine the historical, social, cultural, economic, political contexts of existing research of children's participation and address purposes, authenticity and credibility of relevant documents (Hammersley and Arkinson, 1995). Ethics applies to a careful interpretation and evaluation of existing research to prevent producing stereotypes and biases to the minimum (O'Leary, 2014). Preliminary findings portray a complex picture of young children's participation in decision making. Children's rights perspective reinforces adults' understanding of the importance of children's participation in society, however, it does not ease the tensions among adults regarding perceptions of children's competencies. Socio-cultural aspects are interwoven into the process of young children's participation in decision making with adults and children wrestling with power relationships. This paper highlights the intersection between children's rights perspective and socio-cultural aspects to facilitate and widen young children's participation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords (uncontrolled): children's participation, children's rights perspective, a socio-cultural lens, decision making, documentary analysis
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 27555
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Angela Scollan
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2019 08:41
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 18:31
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/27555

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