Can teachers disrupt their professional identity and enable Children's participation? Comparing teachers’ and municipal officials’ work with students in democratic spaces

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Abstract

This paper explores how teachers conceive and facilitate children's participation in student councils, by comparing their conceptions and practices to those of municipal officials operating a municipal children's parliament. Findings from an exploratory case-study suggest that the latter, guided by citizen consultation discourse, view children as municipal citizens and treat them as adults. In contrast, teachers, guided by pedagogical ethics and protectionist developmental discourses and approaches, treat children as adults-in-the making unprepared for full participation. This divergence, we argue, offers insight into the difficulty teachers have disrupting their professional identity to enable children an equal voice in democratic spaces. This difficulty is compounded, we show, by the complexity of facilitating children's participation in the hierarchical setting of the school.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103178
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Volume96
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Active citizenship
  • Children's parliaments
  • Children's participation
  • Citizenship education
  • Student councils
  • Teacher professional identity

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