Questions for individual and team reflection

1. What methods for consulting with children do you currently employ in your setting or individual practice, e.g. about their learning, world-views, bodily needs etc.? Do these methods ever fall into any of the traps outlined by Tisdall (tokenism, instrumentalism, exclusion)? Can you easily change them – or do you need to change other things first?

2. How responsive are you able to be to what children bring, even if it challenges your own ideas, routines, plans and priorities – both as an individual practitioner and as a team?

3. Do you invite participation in ways that are always accessible or meaningful to each child’s unique abilities, ways of being, culture and prior experience?

4. What different methods (verbal and non-verbal) do young children in your setting use to express dissent to the environment or routines they are presented with? Can you share recent examples of when this has occurred? How did staff or other children respond? Why? Did anything change?

5. What are some of the more powerful ways in which children’s own direction-setting has positively influenced your practice or environment as a whole? Share some of your stories.

6. How open are we on any given day to new ways of doing and being? How committed are we to setting aside our preconceived goals, plans and benchmarks to learn from and with children instead?

7. What needs to be stable for children, families and colleagues to enable freedom and rich participation? How is that reviewed and negotiated?

8. Are we confident in documenting the learning that is occurring both in free-flow play and when children do not conform to our rules and expectations?

From Froebelian Values to a Froebelian Setting

This reflexive tool is designed to support conversations and planning among childhood practitioners and managers who want to change not just their individual approaches to working with young children but the wider (and deeper) uptake and embedding of Froebelian principles throughout their settings.

Practitioner Inquiry - a quick guide

A quick guide to introducing and supporting practitioner-led research for responsive, pedagogical improvement in your setting.

Roger Hart's Ladder of Children's Participation

Roger Hart's classic 1992 model of the degrees of children's ability to participate in services adults have created for them. Designed to encourage those working with children to think more closely about the nature and purpose of children's participation and to evaluate their own practices.

Introduction to the UNCRC - for young children

Watch Professor Peter Moss on our image of the child

Children’s Participation, A Toolkit – Table of Contents

1. What is participation     2. Limits of participation    3. Children’s resistances    4. Children’s right to shape the world    5. New worlds     6. A co-learning community     7. A new kind of citizenship     8. Resources