Teaching Children’s Rights & Participation: The Big Drum & Other Things

Horgan, Deirdre (2008) Teaching Children’s Rights & Participation: The Big Drum & Other Things. [Conference Proceedings]


This module is taught to the final year students on the BA (Early Childhood Studies), examining issues of children as citizens with equal rights, how practitioners can be inclusive and respectful of children and how this philosophy can permeate all interactions with children. Taking the Certificate in Teaching & Learning allowed me to reflect on my style and methods of teaching this module which I chose because:1. It is a generative topic for the whole module 2. It is something I enjoy teaching 3. It involves group work 4. It is experientialStudents explore how their experiences influence their attitudes to individuals, requiring that they acknowledge their value base. The experiential learner is active in many senses including reflection, role play, structured exercises, and field placements. My research was influenced by the constructivist approach to education:• Students work in groups • Interactive • Teachers seek students points of view to understand present conception • Assessment interwoven with teaching I used an exercise on practical strategies such as small group discussion; survey sheets; photograph boards and concrete figures to enhance participation. Students were given prompts: 1. Read the strategy2. Has anything similar been used in any setting you have worked in? 503. How did it work in the example given, and in your experience 4. Evaluate it as a technique. 5. Can you envisage using this technique with children? One person was appointed by the group to summarise their exercise to the rest of the class while another commented on the group’s reflections. There was some initial reticence to take on the role of group feedback. The level of analysis was superficial as this was a new area of research for them. Those students with more life and work experience embrace the opportunity and by doing so, encourage other students to be more open to reflection.I have changed the weighting of continuous assessment on the module so that the end of year examinations and the essay are now given equal value. Peter Jordan//Abdul Bulbulia

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