Examining early childhood education through the lens of education for sustainability : revisioning rights
Davis, Julie M. (2014) Examining early childhood education through the lens of education for sustainability : revisioning rights. In Davis, Julie & Elliot, Sue (Eds.) Research in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability : International Perspectives and Provocations. Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), London & New York, pp. 21-37.
This chapter calls for rethinking about the rights base of early childhood education. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (UNICEF1989) has been seen as an important foundation internationally for early childhood education practise. In this paper, I argue that whilst the UNCRC (1989) still serves its aspirational purpose, it is an inadequate vehicle for enacting early childhood education in the twenty-first century given the pressing challenges of sustainability. The UNCRC emerged from an individual rights perspective, and despite attempts to broaden the rights agenda towards greater child participation and engagement, these approaches offer an inadequate response to global sustainability concerns. In this chapter, I propose a five dimensional approach to rights that acknowledges the fundamental rights of children as espoused in the UNCRC and the call for agentic rights as advocated more recently by early childhood academics and practitioners. Additionally, however, discussion of collective rights, intergenerational rights and bio/ecocentic rights are forwarded, offering a expanded way to think about rights with implications for how early childhood education is practised and researched.
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