NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ921315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0258-2236
Modes of Participation and Conceptions of Children in South African Education
Carrim, Nazir
Perspectives in Education, v29 n1 p74-82 Mar 2011
For school-aged children, schools comprise a major space of participation. Formally, it is a participatory space constituted and regulated by the laws and policies that govern schooling; informally, it is a participatory space whose affordances and patterns of inclusion/exclusion are shaped by children's diverse lives and experiences. This article examines modes of participation in relation to conceptions of children in the South African Schools Act of 1996 and South African curriculum policy, with particular attention to the images of children, their participatory opportunities and their implied participatory agency in the domains of school governance and pedagogy. Policy and related discourse in both domains, it is argued, implicitly homogenise children by portraying them as "learners". At the same time, there is an inconsistency between the images of children and their participatory agency at the level of school governance and at the levels of curriculum and pedagogy. Drawing on empirical data that indicates the significant impact of social conditions on children's participation in pedagogical spaces and their schooling more generally, the article makes a case for recognising difference. Furthermore, the article contributes to a growing critical literature on children's participation by examining connections and disconnections between official constructions of participatory space and the diverse life-worlds of children in South Africa.
Perspectives in Education. Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa. Fax: +27-51-401-7044; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa