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Reflections Magazine : Reflections Issue 60 Spring 2015
17 REFLECTIONS • GOWRIE AUSTRALIA • SPRING 2015 - ISSUE 60 Every service will have individual responses to child rights advocacy and how this is showcased. For the preschool child, it may be that your service is becoming more attuned to promoting each child's agency. By acknowledging that children "have capacities and rights to initiate and lead learning and be active participants and decision makers in matters affecting them" educators are supported to reflect on the curriculum and provide ongoing opportunities for children to actively influence the program (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2010, p14). Miriam Giugni takes another step in critically reflecting on everyday documentation practices and their possible intrusion on child rights. For example, while recognising the benefits that photos of children can bring to our understanding of their learning, Giugni (n.d., p. 22) poses these questions: • Do you seek children’s permission to photograph them? If so how? • If you interrupt children to ask for permission to photograph is the moment still an authentic learning moment? • How do you ask children under 2 years for permission to be photographed? • What if children change their minds about being in a photograph? • Which experiences/ideas/issues are represented in photographs and which are invisible? • What would your daily experience feel like if people took your photograph while you were working? Resources Here are some further resources to provoke thinking, inquiry and conversation about child rights and advocacy in your setting: Involving Children in Decision Making – A Quick, Practical Guide can be downloaded from the publications page of the Commissioner for Children (Tasmania) website www.childcomm.tas.gov.au UNICEF produce a range of resources dedicated to child rights, including Child Rights Education Toolkit: Rooting Child Rights in Early Childhood Education, Primary and Secondary Schools (First Edition). Download a copy from the UNICEF website www.unicef.org Early Years Learning Framework: Perspectives on Pedagogy discusses the implications of child rights and advocacy on pedagogy and curriculum decision-making. Download a copy from the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development website www.decd.sa.gov.au Child Rights Y-Chart One method to illuminate how child rights are supported in your setting could be using a 'Y-chart' (see diagram) as a simple demonstration of how children experience child rights every day. Gaining the views of children, colleagues and families will provide an authentic overview of child rights in action and provide a springboard for ongoing critical reflection about child rights advocacy. This chart could, for example, be offered as a provocation in a staff meeting or in a meeting with the educational leader and key educators. Consider: If we truly believe Rousseau's (1979) view that "childhood has its own way of seeing, thinking and feeling" we might be challenged to recalibrate many of our ingrained ideas and practices and to authentically champion child rights every day. References: Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood (CEIEC) 2003, ACT Children’s Strategy – Consulting with Children Birth to Eight Years of Age: Hearing young children’s voices, prepared by G MacNaughton, K Smith, & H Lawrence, ACT Department of Education, Youth and Family Services, Canberra. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) 2010, Educators Guide to the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia, Commonwealth of Australia, Barton, ACT. Giugni, M. n.d., Rethinking Images of Inclusion: A Picture Book for Children’s Services, Communities@work, Greenway, ACT.
Reflections Issue 59 Winter 2015
Reflections Issue 61, 2015