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July 31 , 2009

Children as Citizens

Engaging with the child's voice in educational settings


This book discusses how consultations with young children could signal a change of thinking about how children might influence policy and shape the development of a child-friendly state. While the consultations in this study were germane to political decisions, they took place as multi-modal dialogue with children in their educational settings. Framed by Australia’s national early years learning framework which focuses on children’s belonging and identity, the consultations saw unique partnerships formed among children, educators, families and policy officers, providing ways in which children’s voices may be engaged in educational spaces throughout the world.

Using a qualitative case study approach, these consultations were documented through observations, interviews, artefact collection and document analyses, allowing the authors to construct a framework for engaging children as citizens that is transferable to a variety of settings.

Chapters provide:

• an insight into the various aspects involved in children’s consultations from conceptualizing and planning consultations with young children, to implementation and documentation, through to the uptake and consequence of children’s messages;

• factors that contribute to the effectiveness of consultations, challenges that arise, and areas for improvement when engaging with children’s voices;

• implications for children’s participation as valued citizens and a framework for considering young children’s voices in decision-making processes.

This book offers fresh ideas for working with young children in the decision making process and will appeal to early childhood researchers, educators, policymakers and practitioners across various sectors, agencies and disciplines.

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