Look who's talking: factors for considering the facilitation of very young children's voices

Kate Wall, Claire Cassidy, Carol Robinson, Elaine Hall, Mhairi Beaton, Mallika Kanyal, Dana Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Grounded in children’s rights, this article advances understanding of the affordances and constraints in implementing Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in educational settings with young children – those under 7. It starts from the premise that if we are to foster democratic skills and understanding in children and young people, we need to develop practices that support this from the earliest age. The article presents the outcomes of a seminar series facilitating dialogue among international academics working in the field and a range of early years practitioners. This opportunity for extended dialogue led to the development of a rich and sophisticated conceptual clarity about the factors that need to be considered if Article 12 is to be realised with very young children. Eight factors were identified as pivotal for consideration when facilitating voices with this age group: definition; power; inclusivity; listening; time and space; approaches; processes; and purposes. This article explores each in turn and proposes a series of provocations and questions designed to support practitioners in their endeavour to elicit young children’s voices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-278
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
Volume17
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • student voice
  • young children
  • children's rights
  • UNCRC
  • early childhood

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