Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Beyond conventions: a psycho-educational perspective on children's rights to participation

By Leonor Castanho Lombo Da Cunha Rêgo


This thesis addresses the concept of `children's right to participation'. In an effort of conceptualisation, it starts by providing a definition of four views through which this right might be considered: inalienable; statutory; granted; exercised.\ud Several levels at which these views may operate are also examined. These include macro-, meso- and micro-levels. Not withstanding the importance of macro- and meso-levels, a case is made for the appropriateness of microlevels as loci for both the research and the exercise of participation rights. This is a view stemming from the psycho-educational perspective in which this thesis is inscribed. \ud The importance of going beyond Conventions and concentrating research efforts in that the exercise of participation becomes a reality for children in their everyday lives is highlighted. It was deemed that undertaking a case study in a primary school would be helpful in that effort. Two research questions were examined through such design:\ud Question 1: How can the `exercised right to participation' in the primary school be defined?\ud Question 2: What are the factors that influence such participation?\ud In order to explore the first question, a set of indicators regarding granted and exercised participation was conceived, and it was applied in Santa Maria primary school (Portugal). This encompassed the school as a whole, the different classrooms and individual children. The results led to the conclusion that Santa Maria school, as a whole, did not appear to constitute a participation-oriented ethos. However, some elements indicated the existence of important discrepancies among the different classrooms, namely in what concerned the participation experiences of the children that attended them. \ud With regards to the second research question, several hypotheses were defined as to the factors that might influence the exercise of participation. These included: the children's age, the children's personal characteristics as well as the teachers' attitudes. The latter seemed to prevail as a determining factor, which entails considerable implications for future research undertakings as well as potential pragmatic interventions

Topics: LB
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2002). A critical appraisal of participatory methods in development research', doi
  2. (1986). A Guide to Student-Centred Learning,
  3. (2002). A young perspective -Changes in the pupil-teacher relationship: A Belfast view',
  4. (1999). Actively Seeking Inclusion: Pupils with Special Needs in Mainstream Schools, doi
  5. (2002). Are younger children being sidelined in the child rights movement?
  6. (1998). Assessing children's perception of themselves as learners and problem-solvers: The construction of the Myself-As-Learner scale (MALS)', doi
  7. (2002). Available at: http: //www. doi
  8. (2002). Can we transplant educational reform, and does it last? ',
  9. (1999). Case Study Research in Educational Settings,
  10. (1996). Children First: The Story of UNICEF, Past and Present, doi
  11. (2003). Children's autonomy and perceived control in learning: A model of motivation and achievement in Taiwan', doi
  12. (1997). Children's rights and children's quality of life: Conceptual and practical issues',
  13. (1992). Children's rights in the social studies curriculum: A critical imperative',
  14. (1998). Children's voices from different times and places', in
  15. (1995). Committee of Experts on Family Law
  16. (1996). Committee on the Rights of the Child doi
  17. (1996). Conseil dc l'Europc
  18. (1992). Conventionally theirs: An overview of the origins, content, and significance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child',
  19. (2000). Council and Parliament doi
  20. (1998). Departamento dc Educacäo Bäsica
  21. (1995). Developing a literacy program for children with severe disabilities',
  22. (2000). Disabled children's rights in every day life: Problematising notions of competency and promoting self-empowerment', doi
  23. (1998). Economics, environment and the loss of innocence', in
  24. (2001). Education and Skills doi
  25. (2002). Elementary school students' learner self-concept, academic self-concepts and approaches to learning', doi
  26. (1996). Empowerment and autonomy from babyhood: The perspective of the `Early Years' research', in
  27. (1995). Escala de auto-conceito para criancas c pre-adolesccntes dc Susan Harter (self perception profile for children)',
  28. (1985). Ethnography and status: Focusing on gender in educational research',
  29. (2000). EU Charter of Fundamental Rights - Rights of the Child" (Online article). doi
  30. (1996). European Convention on the Exercise of Children's Rights, doi
  31. (2000). Explanations by the Convention: The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000/C 364/01). Available at: http: //www.
  32. (2000). Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods', in doi
  33. (1999). Human rights and democracy in schools: Do they mean more than "picking up litter and not killing whales"? ', doi
  34. (1992). Human rights as a holistic concept', doi
  35. (2000). Human rights for children: New tools and strategies',
  36. (1992). Human rights in the classroom: Teaching the Convention on the Rights of the Child', doi
  37. (1996). Indicators for children's rights: Progress report on a project', doi
  38. (1994). Introduction: Entering the field of qualitative research',
  39. (1985). Introduction', in doi
  40. (1996). L'Apprcntissage coopcratif Theories, Mcthodes, Activitcs, Montreal, Les Editions dc la Chenclicrc.
  41. (1993). Learning from pupils' perspectives', doi
  42. (1998). Middle Childhood: The Perspectives of Children and Parents, doi
  43. (1996). Monitoring the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: The challenge of information management', doi
  44. (1997). Montessori Education' (Online article). Available at: http: //www.
  45. (2001). Participation protagonique des enfants et des adolescents: De la necessite au droit', in BICE (Ed) L'Enfant dans l'Europc - Participation Prota onique: Promotion d'un Concept Promotion dc Pratiqucs,
  46. (2003). Partnership with pupils: Problems and possibilities',
  47. (1994). Planning for communication', in
  48. (2001). Pratiqucs dc participation des enfants et des jeunes: Esquisses pour la rcflexion',
  49. (2002). Problems of participation: the limits of action research', doi
  50. (1985). Reflections on the language of teaching',
  51. (2002). Reliability: Arguments for multiple perspectives and potential problems with generalisation across studies', doi
  52. (1996). Remaining a nonparticipant in a cooperative group setting',
  53. (2000). Researching children's perspectives: A psychological dimension', in
  54. (2000). Rethinking observation: From method to context', in
  55. (1993). Revisiting classroom research: A continuing cautionary tale',
  56. (1996). Running our school', in
  57. (2001). Should the Senate ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
  58. (2002). Shyness as a factor when assessing children', doi
  59. (2002). Smart people or smart contexts? Cognition, ability, and talent development in an age of situated approaches to knowing and learning', doi
  60. (1987). The analysis of documentary evidence', in
  61. (2003). The best interests of the South African Child', doi
  62. (1997). The congruence of international children's rights and feminist principles as a foundation for therapy with young people', doi
  63. (1996). The construction of autonomy: Some paradoxes of socialisation', in
  64. (1992). The Convention on the Rights of the Child: A point of departure',
  65. (1990). The Convention on the Rights of the Child: Prospects for international enforcement', doi
  66. (1979). The Ecology of Human Development: Experiments by Nature and Design, Cambridge MS,
  67. (1999). The impact of children's rights education: A Canadian study', doi
  68. (1994). The interests of the child and the child's wishes: The role of dynamic selfdeterminism',
  69. (1992). The meaning of human rights for children',
  70. (1997). The participation of children and adolescents: A challenge for the 2151 century',
  71. (1992). The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Developing an information model to computerize the monitoring of treaty compliance', doi
  72. (1985). The whole truth? Some ethical problems of research in a comprehensive school',
  73. (1991). United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Individual rights concepts and their significance for social scientists', doi
  74. (1996). Using computer mediated communications to enhance teaching and learning',
  75. (1996). Voice of the Children: Speaking truth to power', in
  76. (1985). Who are you? Some problems of ethnographer culture shock', in

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.