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Title: Children's rights education in the early years : an exploration of the perspectives of undergraduate students
Author: Long, Sheila Eileen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 0279
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of this study was to investigate whether, to what extent and in what ways a group of undergraduate students are informed about and understand children’s rights through their education in Early Childhood Education and Care. A mixed-method design, consisting of a questionnaire survey and focus group discussions, was employed to both describe and explain students’ knowledge and understandings of children’s rights, the spaces where they may have gained the knowledge, skills, practices and attitudes that support children’s rights, the value they place on this knowledge and skill base, and how they frame their role in relation to the education of others about children’s rights. The study found that an undergraduate education in early childhood education and care was a firm foundation upon which to build students’ understanding of a rights-based approach to the education and care of the young child, particularly as Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework for the Republic of Ireland, provides a curricular entitlement to children’s rights education, and brings cohesion between Institutes of Higher Education and early years settings. However, the findings also show that relations of power, traditional practices, indifference and paternalistic attitudes can obscure practices and pedagogies that are consistent with the enactment of children’s rights. This study contributes to the existing knowledge base on children’s rights education for professionals, by focusing in this case on the initial practitioner education of early years practitioners, The first study of its kind, it provides possible insights into the lack of impact of the UNCRC in early years practice, suggesting the need for a transformative model of CRE for early years, and proposing a systematic organisation of the education climate, processes and relationships in line with transformative learning theory and a rights based approach. This proposed model aims to provide a stronger pedagogical foundation for CRE for the early years, Which could enable the substance of children’s rights education to emerge through the interplay of CRE teaching and learning strategies with the established initial practitioner education of the early years professional.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available