This self-assessment tool is designed to support you in enhancing participatory practices, based on your organization’s resources. This is a tool for professional development. Hence, your reflection is more important than your scores. You can choose to fill out the online version of the tool and receive individual feedback. If you want to reflect as a team, we recommend using the printable version to facilitate discussion.
We define participation as children’s right to be heard, to express their perspectives in matters and situations affecting them, and to have them considered and given due weight (i.e., as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989). Young children’s participation is key to developing a culture of human rights, democracy, and rule of law. Therefore, young people’s active participation and decision-making in society must be protected and encouraged from an early age.
Multiple benefits are related to the promotion of children’s right to participate. If your organization is more responsive to children’s needs, it tends to be more accessible and efficient. Likewise, ECEC professionals may acquire new skills and knowledge as well as greater satisfaction when they use a pedagogy of participation and adopt a child-centred approach. Furthermore, children may increase their confidence and self-esteem, develop communication skills and collaboration with peers, as well as decision-making and conflict resolution skills. Promoting children’s right to participate also means promoting their autonomy and competence, through the establishment of relationships with others, which are fundamental for children’s motivation and well-being. Children accept decisions more easily if they are heard and included in the decision making process. Participation makes them feel that they are treated in a fair way.
This self assessment tool was inspired by the testimonies of ECEC teachers, assistants and coordinators/managers from Greece, Poland, Belgium and Portugal about the way they shaped child participation in their settings. Children’s participation was conceptualized following the Lundy model (Lundy, 2007).
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The European Commission’s support for the production of this work does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.