25 SES 09, Children's Rights in Education
Education has by UN been pointed out as the most important instrument to develop the rights of the child. In particular the content in policy and curriculum is seen as playing a vital role in guiding this development (UN, 2006). Also the educational processes and the environment in education are emphasised.
Educational research has provided important knowledge about educational issues in children’s human rights but it is still much in its infancy (cf. I’Anson, 2014). Research reviews show that in particular responsibilities to respect children as holders of rights have been in focus for research (Quennerstedt, 2011). However, responsibilities to educate children for human rights are not a central line of enquiry. This has not drawn much attention from researchers, even though the aim of education is addressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 29) and has been specifically highlighted by the UNCRC Committee (Thelander, 2009). Nor has questions about content or teaching and learning processes caught much interest(cf. Brantefors & Quennerstedt, forthcoming).
To facilitate studies of educational conditions (and also educational planning) related to children’s human rights we suggest an approach to view children’s human rights as a subject field. Our intention, in the presentation, is to draw up theoretical frames for a field of knowledge as a basis for research by exploring theoretical preconditions. The overall objective with this paper is to present and discuss such constituting preconditions for children’s human rights as a subject field. Following questions are explored: What is a subject? What is a field of subject in education? What do we mean by the subject field of children’s human rights? And what are children’s human rights as subject content?
Educational research focusing school-subjects and subject matters is conducted within different research traditions. This paper is outlined in an Anglo American curriculum theory research tradition(e.g. Pinar, 1975; Shulman, 1986; Goodson, 1987) as it further has been developed in a Scandinavian context by for example educational researchers as Englund (1986) and Östman (1995); Englund with special interest in the subject field of democracy and education and Östman in the subject field of sustainable development and education. In this research tradition the content of education; the offering of meaning and the meaning-making and the plurality of meanings is emphasized. Also the question of possible and conceivable moral and political consequences is of central interest.
However, subject fields as for example democratic education and environmental education permeates and cut through education on all levels and stages and are in that respect not what we traditionally mean by (school) subject. With a wider definition on subject, also a subject field could be analysed and discussed as a subject in relation to teaching and learning.Children’s human rights as a subject field correspond with democracy or sustainable development. It is not a (school) subject in itself, but a content of knowledge that goes beyond subject boundaries in all activities in education. Viewing children’s human rights in education as a subject field open up for analysis of the content per se or of how the content is elaborated in teaching and learning.
Brantefors, L. & Quennerstedt, A. (fortcoming). Children’s human rights and education. Identifying educational interest in research on teaching and learning. A research synthesis. Englund, T. (1986). Curriculum as a political problem: changing educational conceptions, with special reference to citizenship education. Diss. Uppsala: Uppsala University. Englund, T. (1997). Undervisning som meningserbjudande [Teaching and learning as offering of meaning]. In M. Uljens (Ed.), Didaktik – teori, reflektion och praktik [Didactics – Theory, reflection and practice], 120–145. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Goodson, I. F. (1987). School subjects and curriculum change. New rev. and extended ed London: Falmer. Gundem, B.B. 2011. Europeisk didaktikk: tenkning og viten [ European didactics: imagination and knowing]. Oslo: Universitetsforl. Hudson, B., & Meyer, M. A. (Eds.). (2011). Beyond fragmentation: didactics, learning and teaching in Europe. Opladen: Budrich, Barbara. I’Anson, J. (2014). Educational research as counterpoint: Reflections on the UNCRC at 25. Paper presented in ECER, Porto, Portugal. Klafki, W. (1995). Didactic analysis as the core of preparation of instruction (Didaktische Analyse als Kern der Unterrichsvorbereitung). Journal of Curriculum Studies, 27 (1), 13–30. Philips, L., Quennerstedt, A., Robinson, C. (2014) The Refraction of Children’s and Young People’s Human Rights in National Curricula in Australia, England and Sweden. Paper presented in ECER, Porto, Portugal. Pinar, W. (1975). Curriculum theorizing: The reconceptualists. Berkeley: Mc Cutchan. Quennerstedt, A. (2011). The construction of children’s rights in education – a research synthesis. International Journal of Childrens Rights, 19 (2011), 661–678. Quennerstedt, A. & Quennerstedt, M. (2014). Researching children’s rights in education: Sociology of childhood encountering educational theory. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35 (1), 115–132. Roberts, D. (1998). Analysing school science courses: The concept of companion meaning. In Problems of meaning in science curriculum, eds. D. Roberts and L. Östman, 5–12. New York and London: Teachers Collage Press. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15 (2), 4–14. Thelander, N. (2009). We are all the same, but... Kenyan and Swedish school children’s views on children’s rights. Diss. Karlstad: Karlstad University. UN; UNESCO & Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (2006) Plan of Action. World Programme for Human Rights Education. First Phase. New York/Geneve. Östman, L. (1995). Socialisation och mening: No-utbildning som politiskt och miljömoraliskt problem [Socialisation and meaning: Science education as political and environmental and moral problem]. Diss. Uppsala: Uppsala universitet.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
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