Look who’s talking: Factors for considering the facilitation of very young children’s voices

Elaine Hall, Kate Wall, Claire Cassidy, Carol Robinson, Mhairi Beaton, Mallika Kanyal, Dana Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Grounded in children’s rights, this paper advances understanding of the affordances and constraints in implementing Article 12 of the UNCRC in educational settings with young children – those under seven. It starts from the premise that if we are to foster children and young people’s democratic skills and understanding, we need to develop practices that support this from the earliest age. The paper presents the outcomes of a seminar series facilitating dialogue amongst international academics working in the field and a range of early years practitioners. This opportunity for extended dialogue led to the development of a rich and sophisticated conceptual clarity about the factors that need to be considered if Article 12 is to be realised with very young children. Eight factors were identified as pivotal for consideration when facilitating voices with this age group: Definition; Power; Inclusivity; Listening; Time and Space; Approaches; Processes; and Purposes. This paper explores each in turn and proposes a series of provocations and questions designed to support practitioners in their endeavour to elicit young children’s voices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-278
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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