Early childhood development: A question of rights

Early childhood development: A question of rights A right to development is one of the basic principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Several articles are specifically about protecting and promoting children’s development, and other articles refer to developmental concepts of maturity and evolving capacity. Realizing young children’s right to development is informed by numerous sources: cultural understandings, beliefs and values as well as scientific knowledge and theories. I offer two contrasting ways of thinking about children’s rights to development. The first is summarised as three ‘Ns’, emphasising ‘normal’ development, children’s ‘nature’ and their ‘needs’. The second is summarised as three ‘Cs’: recognising that development is ‘contextual’, ‘cultural’ and respecting children’s ‘competencies’. I explore the potential as well as the limitations of each approach, drawing attention to the tension between universalistic theories and the plurality of pathways through childhood, the respects in which development is a natural versus socio-cultural process, and the implications of recognizing children as active participants, with their own perspective on child development issues, while at the same time ensuring they are adequately guided and protected. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Early Childhood Springer Journals

Early childhood development: A question of rights

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer
Subject
Education; Childhood Education; Education (general); International and Comparative Education
ISSN
0020-7187
eISSN
1878-4658
DOI
10.1007/BF03168347
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A right to development is one of the basic principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Several articles are specifically about protecting and promoting children’s development, and other articles refer to developmental concepts of maturity and evolving capacity. Realizing young children’s right to development is informed by numerous sources: cultural understandings, beliefs and values as well as scientific knowledge and theories. I offer two contrasting ways of thinking about children’s rights to development. The first is summarised as three ‘Ns’, emphasising ‘normal’ development, children’s ‘nature’ and their ‘needs’. The second is summarised as three ‘Cs’: recognising that development is ‘contextual’, ‘cultural’ and respecting children’s ‘competencies’. I explore the potential as well as the limitations of each approach, drawing attention to the tension between universalistic theories and the plurality of pathways through childhood, the respects in which development is a natural versus socio-cultural process, and the implications of recognizing children as active participants, with their own perspective on child development issues, while at the same time ensuring they are adequately guided and protected.

Journal

International Journal of Early ChildhoodSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 19, 2009

References

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