Beyond Listening: Children’s Perspectives on Early Childhood Services
Edited by Alison Clark, Anne Trine Kjorholt and Peter Moss, The Policy Press,
STAR RATING: 4/5
Much of the available literature on children’s views and participation relates to older children. But this collection of essays is about pre-school children and how to involve them in decisions about their lives, writes Alan Jones.
It focuses on listening to young children, both from an international perspective (there are contributions and examples from researchers and practitioners in six countries) and through combining theory, practice and reflection. As such it goes a reasonable way towards filling gaps in our knowledge about children’s views.
It starts from the premise that what children say should be both valued and respected while examining the notion of “listening” in a broader context. The questions “how” and “why” we listen to children as well as the ethical implications are central to this book.
The influence of the sociology of childhood is readily apparent and the right of children to participate in decisions about their lives is taken as read.
Beyond Listening provides a combination of theory and practice which would help even the most experienced practitioner broaden their knowledge about how to work with children. Recommended.
Alan Jones is a family court adviser, Cafcass