Network 25 contributed to the Emerging
Researchers’ Pre‐conference with a workshop ‘Doing Children’s Rights-informed Educational Research’ led by Vicki Coppock.
Prior to the start of the main conference our network had an ‘Open-Space’ session that was focussed around the theme: ‘How might we think differently about a children's rights agenda in educational research? Issues, theories and prospects'. Fourteen members attended this session and five issues were identified and discussed:
- Towards a broader research agenda
- Ethics, inclusion, difference and vulnerability
- Children and the research process
- Theory and educational practice: tensions and possibilities
- Issues with collaboration and dissemination
At the NW25 Business Meeting it was agreed that next year a full day be given to discussion prior to the start of the main conference.
This year saw a further increase in papers submitted to Network 25. Sessions this year were organised around the following themes:
- Children’s participation in the research process
- Children’s rights, emotions and well-being
- Implementation and constructions of Children’s Rights: International
- Democracy, rights, and civic decision-making
- Concepts in Children’s Rights Discourse: the ‘learner’, ‘vulnerability’ and ‘growth’
- Teaching and Children’s Rights
- Ethical Issues and New Orientations in Children’s Rights Research
- Children’s perspectives on formal and informal educational spaces
- Making Connections: Theory and Practice of Using Visual Methods to Aid
- Children’s Participation in Educational Research
- New orientations in Children’s Rights Research
- Children’s Perspectives on Issues of Concern
- Beyond Advocacy and Evaluation: New Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches for Analyzing Rights-based Participatory Pedagogies and Practices
A joint two-part Symposium with Network 14 took place entitled
Children as Members of a Community: Citizenship, Participation and Educational Development
There was one poster accepted this year: When the Rules are Illegal – Rights of Child in the Regulations of the Schools of Polish-German Borderland
This year a special edition of Global Studies of Childhood included papers from network members. A follow up edition is also planned.
Twenty people attended the Network Meeting and there has been an increase in the number of people wishing to be on our distribution list.
1. Experiences and Reflections on this year’s conference
Feedback was very positive re. the facilities and it was thought that the room allocated for network sessions was ideal in terms of size, positioning and ITC.
Vicki Coppock and Louise Phillips guest edited a special edition of Global Studies of Childhood (3:2) that included papers from network members. In all, 48 submissions for the special edition were received and the journal has decided to run with a further special edition from these.
ii. new proposals
A variety of new publication proposals were discussed that included one for the European Journal of Educational Research.
i. proposal for wiki space
Jenna Stevenson and Vicki Coppock outlined how this might work in practice. Such a space would give opportunities to take forward initiatives between conferences and enable a broader range of people to access news and publications by members in relation to research in children’s rights.
4. Update on Fellowship for Solveig Hagglund
A case will be made to Council re. this.
5. Feedback from Open-Space session: How might we think differently about a child’s rights agenda in educational research? Issues, theories and prospects’.
This was the first event that the network had planned outside the main conference programme. Fourteen people attended this session and feedback had been positive. A wide variety of issues had been discussed at the session and some of these were summarised.
Opportunities to open up inquiry through, for example, digital means that might enable children to join in broader conversations, have to overcome barriers such as ethics committees that appear to be quite conservative in their outlook.
Further issues of concern included the limits placed in regard to expectations of young people in regard to knowledge, tasks etc. and the more general issue of the governance of children beyond the classroom. To what extent might a research focus on these broader dimensions issue in a further colonisation of children’s lives? This has to be held in tension with creating opportunities for young people to express views about matters that are of concern to them.
The desirability of closer links with other network areas was discussed, specifically in relation to educational issues. New directions in thinking can be identified here – such as a capabilities approach – that we might discuss within NW25.
The issue of educational theory in relation to children’s rights was also discussed. The focus of much analysis within the network tends to begin with theories of the child and privileges a sociology of childhood approach. But there are other European traditions of educational theory – such as didactics, Bildung, etc. - that might afford a different framing and exploration. For example, what is taught and what is learned in a specific situation and how this might promote children’s understandings of their rights.
It was felt desirable to listen to both European and Anglo-Saxon traditions of thinking, each of which have different vocabularies. It was suggested that the network have a session next year given over to different traditions of inquiry and children’s rights. This could be a joint session with another network (e.g. NW13, Philosophy of Education) and John will see if Gert Biesta might be interested in being involved, given his interests in this area.
6. Ideas for future sessions
Grouping of papers – it was suggested that we put doctoral papers together.
We also discussed having an option for longer papers with minimum 2000 words abstract – with two papers per session, to enable more in-depth discussion.
It was suggested that we work on producing a list of criteria for selection of papers. This could also go on the network main page. (As before, this would emphasise that a prospective paper must have clear reference and relevance to children’s rights, but it is not acceptable to concern research that has yet to take place etc.)
Other criteria might include critical focus e.g. ‘impact’ and innovation methodologically, theoretically etc. It is not sufficient to simply focus upon what children currently say about a topic – there needs to be links made to specifically educational questions: for example, how pedagogies are imbricated in young people becoming bearers of rights, so that children and young people can take their place / be invited into civic (and other) conversations at a variety of different levels.
We also discussed the desirability of creating space to consider research bids – e.g. Horizon 2020.
Open Space – the general view was that this should be repeated next year, but take place on the day before the main conference – so that there are opportunities for full discussion. This would be open to those who have signed up at our Network Business Meeting.