ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the ways in which children’s perspectives can be represented, valued, and acted upon within early education. It considers education as experienced by the child rather than as intended by adults and suggests that children’s perspectives are significantly underrepresented in education. In this chapter child voice is considered within the context of children’s participatory rights and it is argued that children’s perspectives offer practitioners a way to genuinely listen to children and to better understand their highly individual experiences. It develops the theme of attending to all children’s perspectives and provides a range of approaches which can be used to help practitioners and setting leaders better understand children’s perspectives and use this crucially important knowledge to evaluate and reflect upon practice and provision. The chapter concludes by indicating the importance of creating a culture within settings of active attention to children’s perspectives, suggesting that this supports educational improvement and is beneficial to all involved – not least the children.