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Abstract

Global trends in education are accompanied by both paradoxes and provocations. The paradoxes constitute inherent educational dilemmas, such as the paradox of institutional education, wherein social rules and mandatory tasks are played out as a means of imparting lessons about freedom and independence. Our argument in this chapter is that we should reconsider the ‘future’ of planned and controlled education and instead become open to the perceptions of two groups that are at the forefront of educational futures – namely, children and young people and various experts on children and childhood. They meet face to face or indirectly on a daily basis in various educational contexts, and their experiences are interdependent and often paradoxical. This chapter explores possible sustainable futures in education as articulated by children, youth and child experts and highlights several qualities that sustainable futures will require, in relation to UNCRC article 28; children’s right to education and article 29; that education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full.

In: Childhood Cultures in Transformation

Abstract

In this introductory chapter we present how the book open the transformative landscape on childhood, both within educational institutions, such as kindergartens and primary schools and outside of them like family and cultural arenas like media, health and cultural arenas.

In: Childhood Cultures in Transformation
30 Years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Action towards Sustainability
This book investigates and uncover paradoxes and ambivalences that are actualised when seeking to make the right choices in the best interests of the child. The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child established a milestone for the 20th century. Many of these ideas still stand, but time calls for new reflections, empirical descriptions and knowledge as provided in this book.

Special attention is directed to the conceptualisation of children and childhood cultures, the missing voices of infants and fragile children, as well as transformations during times of globalisation and change. All chapters contribute to understand and discuss aspects of societal demands and cultural conditions for modern-day children age 0–18, accompanied by pointers to their future.

Contributors are: Eli Kristin Aadland, Wenche Bjorbækmo, Jorunn Spord Borgen, Gunn Helene Engelsrud, Kristin Vindhol Evensen, Eldbjørg Fossgard, Liv Torunn Grindheim, Asle Holthe, Liisa Karlsson, Stinne Gunder Strøm Krogager, Jonatan Leer, Ida Marie Lyså, Elin Eriksen Ødegaard, Czarecah Tuppil Oropilla, Susanne Højlund Pedersen, Anja Maria Pesch, Karen Klitgaard Povlsen, Gro Rugseth, Pauline von Bonsdorff, Hege Wergedahl and Susanne C. Ylönen.

Abstract

This chapter investigates how the concept of ‘children at risk’ is produced as a problem within public health policy. Globally and nationally, political authorities are concerned with what they consider risk factors, connected to the population’s health and well-being. One of the most common long-term health concerns is non-communicable diseases, related to sedentary behaviour and a reduced level of physical activity. Such diseases are considered by international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to be the most challenging public health concerns of our time. This chapter examines how children’s future health risk is produced and transformed in the Nordic context and investigate how the concept of ‘children at risk’ is produced as a problem in two health policy documents. The results indicate that the focus of children at risk changed in four years from kindergarten children to youth. These findings suggest various interpretations of the term ‘in the best interest of the child’, article 3, and challenge the understanding of children as active agents, article 12, in the UNs convention on the Right of the Child (). We discuss how ‘risk reduction’ tends to become ‘risk production’ through the creation of new problems, such as standardisation, variation and exclusion.

In: Childhood Cultures in Transformation

Abstract

The 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) established a milestone for the 20th century, which is often referred to as the ‘century of the child’. Despite the UNCRC being accepted in most countries, suppression and injustices are still present in many children’s lives. To gain more insight into how to come closer to achieving equitable conditions for generations living interconnected lives in their situated local, but globally entangled, nature and cultures, this study investigated how children’s rights to protection, to be heard and to play and recreation are promoted, actualised and expended in the wake of the century of the child. We start by presenting significant voices and changes that occurred during the 20th and 21st centuries and point to paradoxes and ambivalences that researchers encounter when aiming to discover what is in the best interests of the child. Research that has enhanced our knowledge on children’s protection, participation, play and recreation revealed that children’s lives, historical voices and legal rights and changes in global and local societies, nature and research are entangled and offer both new and contradictive knowledge about children and childhood. The uncovered paradoxes and ambivalences call for transformative research designs that are problem-oriented and transdisciplinary, as we as experts, together with citizens and policymakers, seek to make the right choices in the best interests of the child.

In: Childhood Cultures in Transformation