An Exploration of the Conceptualisation and Enactment of Children’s Rights in the Curriculum for Wales

Stewart, Sarah (2024) An Exploration of the Conceptualisation and Enactment of Children’s Rights in the Curriculum for Wales. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Stewart, Sarah (2023) EDD An Exploration of the Conceptualisation and Enactment of Children's Rights thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
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This research explored teachers’ conceptualisation and enactment of children’s rights in the Curriculum for Wales which commenced in schools from September 2022. Literature from a multidisciplinary field exploring children’s rights has mostly focused on constructs of the child and childhood or critically analysing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as the main vehicle for children’s rights enactment. Whilst teachers are identified by the United Nations as key duty-bearers of the convention, there is little empirical research about how teachers’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours may inform teachers’ conceptualisation of rights-enactment in practice and the role of curriculum as a means of systematic implementation of rights. Four purposes, claimed to be underpinned by rights, drive a vision for the Welsh learner. To date, guidance for teachers in Wales has focused on the purpose led nature and legal duties relating to rights with little in-depth consideration of contemporary debate about the need for a new pedagogical vision of teacher enactment of rights. This qualitative case study of the Curriculum for Wales considers the topic of children’s rights within the case by different duty-bearers. To address the gap in existing empirical research, primary data generated through analysis of statutory curriculum materials, sixty teacher questionnaires and three online interviews, offers reflexive analysis of government policy, the curriculum framework and teachers’ conceptualisation of practice. Findings challenge existing notions about teacher conceptualisations of children’s agency and the adult-child power dynamic which shapes pedagogic practices and underpins realisation of a purpose-led curriculum. Drawing on a Foucauldian theoretical framework led to significant insights for practitioners about rights-enactment, highlighting enablers and emergent risks to children’s opportunities to understand, claim and experience their rights in the school context. It provides implications for policy makers about current teacher enactment of rights in the context of the early implementation phase of new rights-based curricula and makes an important contribution to the international debate on the purpose, value and enactment of human rights education in schools.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Sarah Stewart
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2024 14:16
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2024 14:16

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