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Title: The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in postmodernity : a grounded systemic analysis of children's rights educational policies in Scotland and Canada
Author(s): Mitchell, Richard Charles
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: As a contribution towards the UN Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004), this qualitative, comparative policy study investigated the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) within the Scottish and Canadian educational systems. The researcher adopted an inductive, grounded methodology which is argued to be most congruent when building theory is the chief aim (Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Glaser, 2005). During 20 months of fieldwork, 50 key informant interviews were obtained in Geneva, New York, Scotland and Canada. The author contends that postmodern thinking has contributed much towards contemporary childhood research, yet an underlying deconstruction of the CRC constrains theoretical development. To address this breakdown of overarching leitmotifs within the social sciences (Esping-Andersen, 2000), the sociology of human rights is utilised as a conceptual framework (Luhmann, 1965, 1982, 1997; Q'Byrne, 2003; Verschraegen, 2002). Furthermore, through the integration of grounded and autopoietic coding (Glaser, 2005), the interview texts revealed six thematic categories that contradict dominant theoretical approaches in the child rights literature. While descriptive and comparative analyses revealed the study's core category of participation, an interpretive analysis further yielded its core distinction of power. The author argues that Scottish efforts to implement the CRC within educational policies are more widespread than any of those currently underway within Canadian jurisdictions (Mitchell, 2002, 2003a, b). Finally, a grounded systemic child rights model developed from the study's methodological and epistemological integration illustrates how CRC knowledge and power are balanced within and across educational systems (Mitchell, 2005).
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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