Sargeant, J. & Gillett-Swan, J. (2015). Empowering the disempowered through voice-inclusive practice : Children's views on adult-centric educational provision. European Educational Research Journal,14(2), 177-191. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/1474904115571800
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a significant platform to include children’s views on issues that affect their lives, yet, in many contexts, particularly in educational practice, children’s perspectives continue to be irregularly sought and are rarely acted upon. By providing children’s perspectives on what they would like adults to know, this article explores a unique view of childhood and the interactions with family, community, educational experiences and well-being. The children’s insights about their worlds that they feel adults are missing potentiate the development and incorporation of voice-inclusive practice. While the sense that each child makes of their Lebenswelt – the ‘ingredients’ – is idiosyncratic and will be influenced by many factors, including peers, teachers, parents, other adults and the media, it is the nature of this personal understanding that is poorly understood, and consequently ignored by adults. By exploring the commentary of more than 1000 children across five countries – Australia, England, New Zealand, Italy and Sweden – this research reveals an overwhelming collection of what the authors describe as ‘comments that rhyme’ in terms of the identification of expressed sentiment and thematic representations of their perspectives.
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