25 SES 02 A, Participation to Connect Members of the School Community
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states in article 12 the right to participation which includes the right to learn how to act and to be democratic. The research aim of our qualitative study is (1) to proof a didactical approach empowering children as researchers, (2) to understand their learning pathways by gaining research and participation experiences and (3) to explore how children reflect on the relevance of being researchers as well as on the opportunities to influence school life in the role of researchers. The study is part of the scientific companying of a participatory primary school in Germany. Within a qualitative action research approach, a right-based didactical concept was developed and put into school practice. This didactical concept based on children-as-(co)researcher approaches (Lundy 2007, Murray 2017;Mayne/Howitt/Rennie 2018; Büker 2019, Hüpping/Büker 2019). Children were asked to identify needs for change of school life affairs and were empowered to explore their questions and ideas systematically in the role of researchers and were given opportunity to discuss their findings and demands with relevant members of school community. N=22 children (age 6-10) took part in the setting. Their learning processes were gathered by ethnographic observations. Children’s perspectives were gained by interviews (n=8). The research adheres to the principles and practice of international standards of research with children. The Actor Network Theory (Eßer 2013) enables schools to be understood as a network of relationships, in which child agency can be viewed in a differentiated manner. Futhermore a special approach to understand competence as a social and intersubjective process forms the theoretical framework. Children´s agency is analysed by using the right-based, hierarchical model of children`s research participation (Mayne/Howitt/Rennie 2018). Within this study, the participant children decide to improve school lunch. In aware of their right to participation, they developed questionnaires and collected data among their peers. The results were given to the caterer, who changed the menu plan. The children also developed a new concept for organising lunch time. Children show a sophisticated understanding of the relevance of research for actively shaping their environment in a systematic way. Our study reveals the micro-level of participation in school, shows children’s views on participation as a right in sense of article 12 and allows implications for further research and practice.
Büker, Petra (2019): Combining Children's Participation Rights in Research with Professionalisation of Educators and Teachers – Critical Analysis of a Transition Study Design. In: Murray, Jane; Swadener, Beth Blue and Smith, Kylie (Eds): The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Rights. London, New York: Routledge. 519-534. Eßer, Florian (2014): Agency Revisited. Relationale Perspektiven auf Kindheit und die Handlungsfähigkeit von Kindern. In: ZSE Zeitschrift für Soziologie der Erziehung und Sozialisation 34, H. 3, S. 233–246. Hüpping, Birgit und Petra Büker (2019): „Kinder als Forscher*innen in eigener und gemeinsamer Sache – ein Weg zur Partizipation? Ein kinderrechtebasierter didaktischer Ansatz.“ In: Der pädagogische Blick. 27, H. 3, S. 159-173. Lundy, Laura (2007): ‘Voice’ is not enough: conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In: British Educational Research Journal 33, H. 6, S. 927–942. Mayne, Fiona/Howitt, Christine/Rennie, Léonie J. (2017): Using interactive nonfiction narrative to enhance competence in the informed consent process with 3-year-old children. In: International Journal of Inclusive Education 21, H. 3, S. 299-315. Murray, Jane (2017): Welcome in! How the academy can warrant recognition of young children as researchers. In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 25, H. 2, S. 224–242.
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