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Title: Agency in childhood
Authors: Robin, Michelle Andrews
Keywords: Agency in childhood
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Arrupe Jesuit University
Abstract: The modern concept of childhood and our beliefs of what a child agent is capable to achieve has become a paradox. First, we have created a world only for children, which requires their own learning space, their own rights, and even their own material goods. Then we compare their capacity for agency to an adult’s and view the child’s ability as limited, thus prompting us to act on behalf of the child. In fact, much of what we are doing for children may inadvertently lead to a reduction of goal setting and action by children, thus restricting their development. Through examining the history of childhood, child development and rights, as well as our own beliefs about what children are capable of achieving, I will show that children are competent agents even at very young ages. What is required is our acceptance of their ability at any given time, and our encouragement to have a voice. This is particularly true in situations of vulnerability or where adults may be asked to decide in the best interests of the child – and where the thoughts and opinions of children are often not considered. Most importantly, if a child is guided while learning the critical skills necessary for agency, their capacity as agents can grow and develop into a beneficial skill which can assist in positively affecting our world.
Description: 118p.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations

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