ERG SES C 07, Children and Education
Educational leaders have the responsibility for good practice and the realization of children’s rights in the educational setting. Various frameworks and legal structures have an impact on educational leaders’ roles and responsibilities and are central to understanding the working mechanisms in a school setting from a rights- based approach. This abstract presents preliminary results from a Ph-D project, aiming to explore ways of stimulating ethical leadership in a school setting with a focus on children’s rights and the educational leader’s role in rights-protection and rights -provision.
Children’s rights in Norwegian schools are secured and expressed through laws and regulations, such as the National Curriculum and the Education Act. These comply with the international legal framework as seen through the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. Children’s rights have also been further strengthened after revisions of the Norwegian Constitution in 2014, where human rights is now specified in chapter E, §§92-113, with a particularly strong emphasis on children’s rights. A close read of these documents reveal a strong children-centered approach to rights in schools, as expressed through the chosen language and emphasis given. However, although the legal framework for the protection and provision of rights is relatively clear, there are issues when it comes to practice. There seems to be a gap between how rights are formulated in the various documents and what constitutes the reality in schools. We see that ethical dilemmas and situations where children’s rights are at stake in schools frequently occurs, ranging from a wide area of issues. Examples are bullying, access to special education, school facilities, participation and mechanisms to ensure children if they are abused at home. From a school setting, it is the school leaders’ responsibility to ensure the realization of rights. However, such unwanted incidents suggest that there is a need to look further into how these legal frameworks functions with regard to the schools’ responsibilities of rights-protection and rights-provision.
This leads to the following research question, which this abstract seeks to explore:
" How is the responsibility of the educational leaders specified and expressed in the various political and legal frameworks governing the educational sector in Norway."
This study will contribute to the understanding of educational leadership and children’s rights in the European research community by providing insights and knowledge of how children’s rights are protected and provided for in a Norwegian educational context. This study is relevant for the conference as it presents new research from the intersection between children’s rights and educational leadership. Given the status of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights as legal frameworks and foundations of practice in a European legal and societal setting, it is interesting to see how this plays out in a given national setting.
Creswell, J.D. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design. Choosing among five approaches. 2nd edition. London: SAGE Publications. Hatch, A. (2002). Doing Qualitative Research in Educational Settings. New York: State University of New York Press Silverman, D. (2010). Doing Qualitative Research. London: SAGE Publications. Weick, K.E., Obstfeld, D. & Sutcliffe, K.M. (1999). Organizing for high reliability: Processes of collective mindfulness. Research in Organizational Behaviour, 21, 81-123 The Committee on the Rights of the Child. (2010). Concluding observations on Norway’s fourth periodic report from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Available at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/crc/docs/CRC.C.NOR.CO.4.pdf Barneombudet (the national ombud for childrens’ rights). (2012). The status of children’s rights. Available at: http://barneombudet.no/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/status-for-barns-rettigheter-barneombudet-2012.pdf White Paper nr. 31. (2007-2008). Quality in schools. Ministry of Education and Research: Oslo The Official Norwegian Report 2014:7. Pupil’s learning in the school of the future. Ministry of Education and Research: Oslo The Official Norwegian Report 2015:2. To belong. Measures to achieve a safe psychosocial school environment. Ministry of Education and Research: Oslo The Official Norwegian Report 2015:8. The School of the Future: Renewal of subjects and competences. Ministry of Education and Research: Oslo Acts and regulations: The Education Act. (1998). Available at: https://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/1998-07-17-61?q=Oppl%C3%A6ringsloven National Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion in Primary and Secondary Education and Training (LK06) Available at: http://www.udir.no/Lareplaner/Kunnskapsloftet/ The Norwegian Constitution (2014). Available at: https://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/1814-05-17 The Convention on the Rights of the Child. Available at: (http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/crc.pdf The European Convention on Human Rights. Available at: http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf Møller, J. Not yet specified, but several books, articles and reports could be of relevance. Welstad, Trond Erik (2011). Skoleledere som rettsanvendere, I: Jorunn Møller & Eli Ottesen (red.), Rektor som leder og sjef - om styring, ledelse og kunnskapsutvikling i skolen. Universitetsforlaget. Kapittel 6. s 119 - 146 Other publications from Welstad are also of relevance.
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