by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Reflections Magazine : Reflections Issue 60 Spring 2015
16 CHILD RIGHTS: advocacy in everyday practice Sabina Klepp Gowrie Victoria Professional Learning A child's day in an education and care setting is a constellation of play, learning, interactions, decisions, ideas, sharing and growing. Each child's experience of child rights throughout the day can include: • key adults interacting respectfully and mindfully with them; • child needs guiding the pace and time of routines and interactions; • adults respecting and safeguarding a child's right to personal dignity; • communication that portrays children as competent, strong, intelligent, caring, enterprising and joyful. While child rights apply to all children equally, children will experience child rights in various ways. Considering the needs of infants and toddlers, Toni Christie founder of Childspace New Zealand, reminds us that "respectful practice involves stepping out of personal rhythm and pace and adjusting to that of the infant" (2014). Thus a baby's experience of child rights could be the attentive educator who, through purposeful conversation with the child's parents, demonstrates respect for the child by replicating home care routines as much as possible in the early childhood setting. Critically reflecting on curriculum decisions and pedagogical practice is one key to recognising where child rights can be advanced in your service. Observation and documentation of children's learning is an everyday process for educators. As the different styles of documentation practice take place, it is worthwhile to question whether child rights are visible in these processes. To "protect and enhance children's rights through consultation with them, adults should ensure that children have: • safe spaces: in which to share their ideas without challenge or critique; • privacy: ask children for permission to document/record what they say; • ownership of their ideas: ask children to display and/or share their ideas and understandings with others; • appropriate equipment [methods]: with which adults can care for children's work in ways that shows that their voice is important and respected" (Smith cited in Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, 2003, p.17). Advocacy is an integral component of the professional identity of educators. Advocacy for child rights can be recognised in quality daily practices in early years settings. Meaningfully advocating for child rights requires commitment, communication and a highly developed culture of critical reflection. Placing child rights at the centre of service philosophy, planning and pedagogy supports a fertile environment where awareness, attunement and action become the bedrock of everyday practice.
Reflections Issue 59 Winter 2015
Reflections Issue 61, 2015