chapter  3
18 Pages

Participation: Why and how?


In this chapter we discuss how participation has been recognised as an essential entitlement for children, especially in an education and care context. Links are made with international and national initiatives to protect children’s participatory rights, with a focus on the challenges faced by the practitioners/teachers in drawing implications of these policies into everyday practice. Emphasis is placed on the opportunities for staff development and training, not necessarily from a top down perspective, but originating from the needs and reflections from a setting, where capacity to promote participation can get built within the critical discussions at staff meetings. How and when children participate depends mainly on the attitudes and behaviours emanated from adults. An addition of in-house training to this chapter, therefore, provides an example in understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of participation. A need for encouraging empowerment in children is also recognised and explained through a ‘Spiral of Empowerment’.