Early Childhood Education, Democracy and Citizenship

John Bennett
page. 63~79 / 2007 Vol.1 No.1


In addition to imparting scientific knowledge, an abiding purpose ofpublic education is to enhance understanding of society and encourage demo -cratic attitudes in children. Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on theRights of the Child offers a guideline to education authorities in relation todemocratic practice and values in schools. Further, a practical rationale isoutlined to explain why respecting the rights of young children leads to bettereducation and nurtures the child's motivation and desire to participate. In thelight of the Convention, the chapter examines early childhood curricula inthree countries-France, Korea and Sweden-with regard to democracy and cit -izenship. In particular, ECEC centres in Sweden strive to ensure that democ -ratic principles are not only taught but that they are also reflected in theorganisation, relationships and daily life of the institution.

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