Proceedings of The 7th International Conference on Advanced Research in Education, Teaching and Learning
The Challenges of Equity And The Perspective of The Child and The Participatory Educational Practice in Kindergartens
Prof.dr.sc. Edita Slunjski, Anita Glolubić
In achieving a participatory educational practice in a kindergarten, the focus on detecting and acknowledging the child’s perspective has a crucial role. In order to make this possible, it is important to systematically build democratic structures in the educational institution and strengthen the development of the teacher’s professional competencies. The teacher’s understanding of the “child’s perspective”, that is, the child’s experiences, existing knowledge, preferences, and sensations, enables the formation of an educational process in which children exercise their participatory rights. And this entails that the opportunities for the children to plan, realise, and evaluate certain aspects as well as the process as a whole, are secured.
In order to realise such practice, it is sometimes necessary to radically change the power structures between teachers and children, which starts with the rejection of any form of manipulation of children in favour of their autonomy and emancipation. Besides that, it is often important to change the teacher’s methodical approach. This change is evident in the rejection of the teacher’s dominance and control in the preparation and execution of the activities with the children, and in the formation of an approach aimed at reciprocity and mutual acknowledgement of all subjects. The quality of the relationship between the child and the adult significantly determines the perspective for the process of teaching children, if it is understood as a mutual creation of understanding and knowledge, that is, the creation of shared meanings.
It is important to consider the field of intersubjectivity in this context which represents the psychological distance between the child and the teacher, determined by the level of power shared between them. The success of the creation of new teaching styles based on activity, participation, contribution, and the child’s engagement in the process of education depends on it. The practice based on the belief that children’s opinions can be based on equally justifiable reasons and form the basis of equally valuable points of view results in the approach called the pedagogy of reciprocity. The development of such practice begins with the creation of a culture in which the teachers themselves have the opportunity to gain and put into practice such experiences.
This paper presents the courses of the development of the participatory educational practice in kindergartens, which focuses on the systematic development of the tools for detecting and acknowledging the child’s perspective.
keywords: Child’s Perspective, Kindergarten, Participatory Rights, Pedagogy Of Reciprocity