Human Rights and Child Development Center Essay

Submitted By michelle201
Words: 854
Pages: 4

I have rights!

Children’s rights are human rights that are only applicable to those under eighteen years of age, which include access to state-funded education, basic needs, and the right to associate with both biological parents (CRC). These rights encourage the treatment of a child as a person and not as a possession of its parents, whom are responsible for caring for the child. The Child Development Center encourages the children to use their rights in order to participate in the classroom, though these rights are limited. The Child Development Center was established in response to issues concerning “the need for safe, affordable care for all children” following the death of three young children from the community (DCDC official site, Our history, 2012). The center dedicates itself to the safety and education of its enrolled children. Teachers are encouraged to commit their full attention to the development of the child. The act of participating is defined as “strengthening the status of children, challenging issues associated with their social exclusion, emboldening the accountability and responsiveness of institutions, as well as far-reaching benefits for children’s well-being, their families and wider communities (Graham and Fitzgerald, 2010, pp. 344-45).
The Child Development Center promotes the children’s right to freedom of expression and right to education (CRC Article 13.1, 28.1). They use creative methods, which they call “learn through play” to teach the children different subjects such as math, reading, and science. Most notably the center supports the children when they are expressing their views, specifically in times of conflict between two children. Whenever a conflict arose the teacher would take both children and make them discuss it. The child who was harmed, or wronged, would be required to tell the other “ I don't like that” and “you can’t play with me if you do that” clearly verbalizing how they felt and what they thought should be done about it. During incidents like this children were given the most participation power, but that power was limited to trivial decisions being made within the classroom. Before volunteering at the Child Development Center I was told to refer to the children as “friends” which gave me the impression that they were to be treated the same as adults, or as close as possible. I realized that the “friends” approach only applied to situations regarding two children, when resolving conflicts we were required to be on the same level as the child but otherwise the teachers and myself were authority figures. The children were never given the opportunity to share power and responsibility of making decisions with adults about the running of the classroom. I believe that the main reason for this was because if their ages, the oldest child being five years of age. Earlier I referred to the trivial decisions children were able to make, examples would include what station they would play in, and who they would play with in those stations. The children had a schedule, which controlled how long they played at these stations, and teachers monitored what happened at each station. Most frequently I heard “don't do that” or “ you couldn’t play with others so I chose an activity for you” from teachers who believed they knew what was best for the…