Children’s rights, participatory research and the co-construction of national belonging

  • Marta Bivand Erdal Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • Mette Strømsø Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Abstract

This article contributes to the debate on human rights education in diverse societies. It is concerned with the relationship between participation and the co-construction of national belonging. Our data consists of 289 pupil texts and 33 focus group discussions in 6 upper secondary schools in Norway. The role of the school in nation-building is well-known, often emphasizing policy documents or curricula. However, it is in the interaction between pupils and their teachers that the production and re-production of the nation occurs. Participatory exercises in our focus groups functioned as pedagogical interventions, helping pupils to reflect on how they understand, discuss and co-construct national belonging. We find that the potential for co-construction of national belonging, through pedagogical interventions, depends on who is acknowledged as a legitimate participant. Notwithstanding power hierarchies, it can be argued that group discussions are concrete ways to help young people in diverse classrooms co-construct national belonging.

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Published
2018-06-23
How to Cite
Erdal, M., & Strømsø, M. (2018). Children’s rights, participatory research and the co-construction of national belonging. Human Rights Education Review, 1(1), 25-45. https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.2610
Section
Research articles