Children’s perspectives regarding their meaningful participation – De Kort et al.

Lead author Emmie Henderson-DeKort introduces a new paper just published with Action Research journal…

“In our article we showcase passion for children’s rights and participation. It’s inspired by my amazing niece, who from a very young age allowed me to understand the unique capacities of children.

Too often children’s age alone is considered to indicate whether a child should be taken seriously or considered ‘capable’? It’s an approach that contradicts the rights of children. I have wondered how can children make sense of their own capacities? How might researchers uphold and maintain a children’s-rights approach? The aims of our ARJ journal therefore highlights the participation of children.

We wanted to know how children from the ages of 6-12 demonstrate and understand their participatory capacities. Further, what does capacity, rights, and participation mean to them? By inviting children to showcase their unique capacities  – empowered by child-friendly methods of assessment such as drawing, telling stories, and dramatic play endeavors – we co-explored their insights. The art and dialogue they created during the process was astonishing! Especially young children could comprehend and communicate their perspectives through methods of their choosing.

Our research is an integral first step towards considering children as capable individuals when given the appropriate methods. Children must also become aware of their rights to participate and have their voices heard so that they can meaningfully influence matters that impact their lives.”

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