In advancing children’s rights, and human rights more broadly, this article supports the view that participation through deliberation by children is desirable. Practising Philosophy with Children, through an approach such as Community of Philosophical Inquiry, is proposed as a powerful way forward as a rights-based means of supporting children to deliberate about matters affecting them in society. In considering that children are educated about, through and for rights, an example of children’s philosophical dialogue is provided to illustrate children deliberating on rights issues, and how teachers might use such dialogue to influence their teaching in this area. The suggestion is that participating in practical philosophy enables children to practise human rights behaviour as a means of participating beyond consultation exercises and as an approach to facilitating their engagement with ideas and issues that are important to the promotion of rights for all.
Several models of child exist, each maintaining child as something other to adult. Stables asserts: “…how we think about [children] does affect how we deal with them” (2008: 1). Seeing children as becomings is a problem. Here, I would like to consider the recommendations from the most recent United Nations’ report card on the implementation of the UNCRC in the UK and place these against the question of how society ‘deals with’ children and whether a report that is more positive than ‘must do better’ is likely to take us beyond seeing the child as different, as other, as becoming.
Whilst much has been written about children’s rights and children’s human rights, little appears to have been said about the place children have in the promotion of human rights. This article considers the concept of child in conjunction with citizenship education to take forward children’s promotion of human rights. It is proposed that one approach, where individuals explore views and come to this through reason, dialogue and community engagement, would be through Philosophy with Children (PwC). PwC provides space for children to engage in the political, that they might explore questions relevant to their lives as beings in society. Such activity would not only prepare children for the political world, since this sees the child as deficit, but would facilitate their engagement politically as children. The article proposes that philosophically deliberative children are required in order to support any society interested in the promotion of human rights.
Jonathan Appel, Dohee Kim-Appel, Erin Snapp, Claire Whiteman, Mary Cassidy and Rebecca Stanic
Claire Cassidy, Sarah-Jane Conrad, Marie-France Daniel, Maria Figueroia-Rego, Walter Kohan, Karin Murris, Xiaoling Wu and Tsena Zhelyazkova
Situated in the context of children’s rights, this article reports on a study involving children from 11 countries and 5 continents in philosophical discussions about concepts of child and childhood. Here we focus on seven of those countries. In a previous study, two of the authors explored in what kind of society children would like to live. The present study directly addresses one of the issues arising from that study: to investigate what children think childhood is and their place in society. The study raises issues around children’s participation related to their conceptions of child and childhood.