For today’s exploration of children’s rights, we are looking at Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This article states that every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken serio...
For today’s exploration of children’s rights, we are looking at Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This article states that every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.
In early childhood education, this Article is reflected in the second Outcome of the Early Years Learning Framework: “children are connected and contribute to their world”.
As educators and teachers we know that children can only fully contribute and feel connected to their community when they know that adults listen to them and take their views seriously. Communication skills develop quickly throughout the early years, but we still need to make sure we are working hard to interpret the variety of ways children communicate with us.
For infants, we acknowledge that even though the youngest children may not be communicating verbally, but they can still express their views and contribute to their world. This can be through their physical explorations of the environment, and through involvement in shared experiences such as stories and music. We show respect for young children’s views by listening to their responses to our questions about their experiences.
For toddlers, we can begin to work with children’s developing social and independence skills to support their ownership of the space they play in – setting up tables for meal times, ensuring equipment is looked after and sharing their successes with their peers in the room. This can be a challenging time for children as they learn to share spaces and resources with others – respecting children’s views may not always mean saying “yes”, but empathising with and understanding children when they encounter a challenge.
As children reach Preschool age, we work to ensure that children are exposed to a wide range of diverse perspectives and knowledge about the world and how they fit into it – whether through discussing examples of cultural practices from home, or supporting children to care for their world through sustainable practices.
The youngest of children have the ability to make a contribution to the world – how have you seen your children connect with their world?