Children's rights in student voice projects: where does the power lie?
Robinson, C. (2011) Children's rights in student voice projects: where does the power lie? Education Inquiry, 2 (3). pp. 437-451. ISSN 2000-4508
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This paper aims to develop understandings around the factors which both facilitate and constrain implementation of Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989; UN General Assembly Resolution 44/25) in student voice projects. Article 12 is concerned with children being given the right to express their views freely, and for their views to be given due weight in matters affecting them. The paper considers empirical evidence from student voice projects in two schools in the south of England. Through examining the complex, micro-processes of school practices which came into play during the projects, it is argued that the power imbalance in student-teacher relationships plays a significant role in terms of inhibiting and enabling the implementation of Article 12. The paper draws on the work of Freire, Giroux and Foucault to help develop an understanding of the power differentials within student-teacher relationships.
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