Prof. Dr. Raingard Knauer
E-Mail: raingard.knauer (at) fh-kiel (dot) de
E-Mail: r.hansen (at) partizipation-und-bildung (dot) de
Participation is the key to education and democracy
Child participation is a central factor in the overall pedagogical quality of a child daycare facility. All children have equal rights to participation; therefore, adults have the obligation to ensure these rights. Participation is key to a successful educational process and is as an act of “learning democracy” in its original sense an important educational issue within child daycare facilities:
Participation has been an issue in many German child daycare facilities for some time now. But not only everyday practice at the centers differs greatly, there are still diverging views concerning the approach to participatory pedagogical practice in child care settings as well. Child care professionals as do mothers and fathers need to have the courage and the sensitization for the necessity of but also the vast opportunities offered by child participation in order to fully commit themselves to giving up some of their power in planning and decision-making structures to children. Although child care professionals are cognizant of the importance of children’s participation and are willing to encourage actual involvement of children in decision-making processes, they still quite often lack specific methodical knowledge needed to provide children with genuine opportunities to make their own choices and decisions on matters affecting them.
The Institute for Participation and Education can provide support in the following areas: