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Childrenʼs Rights and Education

International Perspectives

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Edited By Beth Blue Swadener, Laura Lundy, Janette Habashi and Natasha Blanchet-Cohen

This book compares ways in which children’s rights in, to, and through education, formal and informal, are viewed and implemented in a variety of social and political contexts, aiming to shed light on how policies and practices can improve equal access to high quality education in an environment which is respectful of children’s rights. Chapters focus on understanding the opportunities for and challenges of addressing children’s rights to participation and to inclusion. Authors draw from a variety of disciplines, including critical and cultural studies of childhood, and bring internationally comparative policy perspectives to share nuanced and contrasting examples of ways in which a rights-based approach to education might empower children and youth. The book deepens and complicates research on children’s education rights, and will contribute to courses in comparative education, childhood studies, education policy, and children’s rights.
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6 “You’re Not Listening to Us”: Explicating Chil-dren’s School Experiences to Build Opportunity for Increased Participation Within School Communities in the United States

Introduction

Extract

CHAPTER SIX

“You’re Not Listening to Us”

Explicating Children’s School Experiences to Build Opportunity for Increased Participation Within School Communities in the United States

Lacey Peters & Lisa Lacy

“First, we play, and when the bell rings, we go inside and learn. After you are done doing it, you go to different places like Spanish and music and art.” This comment was made by a young student at the beginning phases of her first formal school experience in kindergarten. In the United States, numerous policies and provisions are in place to ensure that children, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, abilities, or social status, are afforded equitable opportunities to engage in relevant, quality, and fulfilling educational experiences. In early childhood, for instance, policymakers, educators, and other members of the early childhood community have emphasized the importance of early learning, and initiatives to increase the number of children who enter kindergarten “ready to learn” are becoming more widespread. Policy initiatives such as the National Educational Goals Panel; Good Start, Grow Smart; and Pre-K Now are influential in the effort to promote publicly funded programs for children and families, therefore increasing the accessibility of early educational experiences for young people.

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