UCD School of Education Professor, Dympna Devine, Co-Authors Journal Article About Children's Rights and Pedagogy

Dympna Devine picture

Professor Dympna Devine and Dr Deirdre McGillicuddy have published a paper in the journal 'Oxford Review of Education' . The paper foregrounds the centrality of pedagogy to the realisation of children's rights as articulated in the UNCRC.  Drawing on a mixed methodological study of teachers in 12 schools, it explores teacher habitus in terms of how they ‘think’ pedagogy, ‘do’ pedagogy and ‘talk’ pedagogy. Findings confirm the contradictions between teachers’ ideals and their practice that is significantly mediated by the socio-cultural context of their schools, gender and the presence of migrant children. Especially striking is that neither social justice concerns nor children’s rights explicitly emerge in their narratives, in turn influencing how they ‘do’ pedagogy with different groups of children. This contradiction is understood as a dialectical process of re/action influenced by structures, policies and the exercise of power in local contexts. The UNCRC provides a generative mechanism within which to hold government to account for the impact of policies, especially in challenging contexts. To be realized in practice, it also needs to be embedded in teacher habitus, shaping their dispositions toward children’s rights to non-discrimination and serving their best interests in education.