By Alan Reid; et al
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Extra resources for Participation and learning : perspectives on education and the environment, health and sustainability
These include addressing issues such as adult perceptions of young people: (a) exercising democracy, (b) engaging in deliberate action, (c) generating scientific knowledge, and (d) undertaking critical reflection on processes and outcomes. The six principles are discussed within a comparative analysis of three environmental action programmes in the USA: the Earth Force programme, the Seneca Falls Landfill Project programme, and the Garden Mosaic Programme. The chapter concludes with suggestions for further work on science, civics, and participatory education; the 14 A.
At the top of the ladder Reddy and Ratna suggest two categories: Children initiated and directed and jointly initiated and directed by children and adults. It may be useful for some programmes to consider more rungs like this but, as I have tried to explain above, the important distinction in my mind is how the children think of themselves and the adults. I was trying to express in the ladder that the top of the ladder should not be ‘children in charge’ but children as citizens who think of themselves as members of a larger community that includes adults and other children who they may sometimes invite to join them.
Paul Hart picks up on some of these themes in Chapter 14 in this collection, again through exploring why educators come to participate in environmental education. While Hart continues to trace the ideas, structures, or events that work as precursors or barriers to participatory activity, Chapter 14 is more a methodological deliberation than a report of findings, in that Hart arranges his material around the question of what it means to inquire into the precursors to participation. Concepts such as agency, identity, and self-consciousness are again important here, particularly in terms of how we come to understand participatory education relationally, in the sense that participation is formed in and through relationship.