Phillips, L.G., Adair, J., & Ritchie, J. (2018). Young children’s civic agency: Comparing discourses in New Zealand, Australia and the United States early childhood curricula. Compare. DOI. 10.1080/03057925.2018.1543578

Recognition of young children as citizens is relatively new in sociology, with translation emerging into education. Discourses of children and childhood shape ideas of young children as citizens and national discourses of citizenship frame what civic participation can be. The authors analysed national early childhood education curricula frameworks of Australia, New Zealand and the United States to understand how discourses authorise constructions of children as citizens and opportunities for young children’s civic participation. They sought to locate how children are positioned as citizens and what opportunities there are for young children’s citizenship participation in national early childhood curricula documents of Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Illustrative examples of children’s citizenship membership and participation from the three nations’ early childhood curricula were critically read to locate how prevalent discourses of children, childhood and citizenship in each nation define children as citizens and shape possibilities for citizenship participation for young children.

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