Child Perspectives and Children's Perspectives in Theory and Practice
Recent decades have seen a growing emphasis, in a number of professional contexts, on acknowledging and acting on the views of children. This trend was given added weight by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified in 1990. Today, seeking the perspective of the child has become an essential process in all sorts of tasks, from framing new legislation to regulating professions.
This book answers the fundamental question of what it is that constitutes a `child perspective', and how this might differ from the perspectives of children themselves. The answers to such questions have important implications for building progressive and developmental adult-child relationships. However, theoretical and empirical treatments of child perspectives and children's perspectives are very diverse and idiosyncratic, and the standard reference work has yet to be written.
Thus, this work is an attempt to fill the gap in the literature by searching for and defining key formulations of potential child perspectives within parts of the so-called `new child paradigm'. This has been derived from childhood sociology, contextual-relational developmental psychology, interpretative humanistic psychology and developmental pedagogy. The highly experienced authors develop a comprehensive professional child perspective paradigm that integrates recent theory and empirical child research. With its clear presentation of underlying theories and suggested applications, this book illustrates a child-oriented understanding of specific relevance to both child-care and preschool educational practice.