The Rights of Children through the Eyes of Children - Enacting Citizenship
Carrie Rose, Rosie\'s Early Learning - Australia (Australia)
The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) in 2012 & 2016 recognised that one third of children in the Logan community were identified vunerable in one, two or more of the developmental domains. In 2015 the Australian Government invested 10M in the ‘Logan Together Project’ a 10- year initiative to improve the quality of education, health and community support for children and families.
This strong focus in community ignited a Pedagogical research focus for the educators at Rosie's EL: Understanding how children enact their OWN Rights and the Rights of others. Leveraging from the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, Professor Carla Rinaldi’s work in SA on ‘Re-Imaging Childhood’ and National Children's Commissioner’s Children’s Rights Report for Australian Children, our pedagogical research documented children’s perceptions of how ‘Rights’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Citizenship’ interconnects identifying powerful undertones and demonstrating the children’s knowledge in the importance of respect, diversity and inclusively.
As the project built, the children’s understanding of the impact they were having deepened their critical thinking. The 3yo children’s exploration of the ‘Rights of Other Citizens’ was documented through storytelling and the development of books. This work inspired the children to create their own collaborative story about the rights of other children to have a family. The children’s learnings and knowledge of the Aboriginal children of the “Stolen Generation” inspired them to develop a story, thinking critically about how these Aboriginal children would have felt. This story was shared with Aboriginal Elder and friend of Rosie's Uncle Barrie Watson.
The 4yo children were invited to be engaged in the Logan Together Child Engagement Project (2015) with Dr Barbara Piscitelli providing insightful feedback from the children’s perceptions on living in Logan and their hopes and dreams for their community. (See attached to email)
In 2015 & 2016 the children’s insights were shared at the Rosie's Exhibition of Work ‘Making our Youngest Citizens Visible Citizens’. The work presented gave just over 700 community and family members, local politicians and members of Logan Together Project a clear perception of how competent our youngest citizens are in understanding, enacting and influencing their rights in a local community.
Key words: early childhood, children rights, curriculum, pedagogy