Social Justice, Children’s Needs and Rights: An Approach to Planning

Margaret Sims


Commonly, planning for children involves comparing what they know against a curriculum or learning frameworkwhich identifies what they should know. Early childhood educators are then expected to create learning opportunitiesto help fill the gap between these two extremes. In this paper I argue that such an approach does not honour therequirements outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly in relation torespecting children’s agency. Rather, in this approach adults possess and enact power over children: adults make thedecisions about what children should know and what and how they will be taught. I propose an alternative framing ofplanning. The focus of the planning becomes what early childhood educators need to do to ensure children’s rightsare met rather than on what children need to learn to meet the requirements of the relevant curriculum or learningframework.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Margaret Sims

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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