Look who's talking : eliciting the voice of children from birth to seven

Wall, Kate and Robinson, Carol (2022) Look who's talking : eliciting the voice of children from birth to seven. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 30 (1). ISSN 1350-293X (https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293x.2022.2026276)

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Grounded in children's rights, this special issue aims to advance understanding of the affordances and constraints of implementing Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in educational settings with young children – those aged seven and under. Part 1 of Article 12 of the UNCRC states State Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the voice of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. Debates in the literature around the implementation of this article have centred around two key areas: whether children are considered capable of forming and expressing their own views; and whether practices support children to air their views. While there is some reference to young children within these debates, they focus primarily on practices and contexts associated with older children. The proposed papers in this special issue have been purposefully selected to extend and challenge current understandings about how educational practices and research methodologies position young children as competent/non-competent social actors who are/are not capable of forming their own views. While the stance taken by the authors acknowledges that children are competent individuals with views about their experiences and the right to have their views listened to, the conceptual understandings and insights reported break new and important ground by drawing attention to the deep-rooted complexities associated with this viewpoint.