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Jean Piaget’S Theories Of Development
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Developmental theories

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Developmental theories

  1. 1. 1. How are children’s rights influenced by theories of development. 2. What are the features of the capability approach and how does this relate to children’s development. 3. How can the capability approach help us to understand the relationship between rights and children’s development. 4. How might we measure capability between children and across nations?
  2. 2. Archard 2003 Brendan & Noggle (1997) defend the view that children should not have the same rights as adults, as adult rights are associated with particular roles and the adult’s ability (capacity) to play that role.
  3. 3. Feinberg 1980 (cited in Archard 2003:29) A Rights (adults) C Rights (Children) A – C Rights
  4. 4. What might be included as C rights? • The right to receive goods that they are unable to secure for themselves because of their childish dependence on adults. • The right to be protected from the harms that befall children because of their childlike vulnerability.
  5. 5. Does the child have the right to be loved?
  6. 6. Fienberg goes on… • There are some ‘C’ rights that may be characterized as ‘rights in trust’: The ‘right to an open future’. Q: How open should a child’s future be?
  7. 7. • Do we experience ‘education’ as empowering us to have an open future? • Or do we experience it under duress, as ‘good for us’ like nasty tasting medicine? • How do we know ‘what is good for us’ (preparing us for greater things) when we are children? • Do we ever know ‘what is good for us’ even as adults? • Can we ever be sure that we are acting out of ‘free will’ and not coercion?
  8. 8. How are children’s rights influenced by theories of development? On a less abstract note, Bell (2011) sets out how knowledge of influential theories of human development is crucial in enabling practitioners to understand children; to help them make sense of their lives and work in age-appropriate ways.
  9. 9. Social Workers, Child Development and Agency • Traditionally, social work has been informed by psychological theories based on biological phases and parent-child attachment relationships. • More recently sociological theories have stressed the need to see children as individuals with rights, agency, and competent to make choices.
  10. 10. Frued’s (1923) theory of psychodynamic and psychosexual development.
  11. 11. Erikson’s Life Stage Theory (1968)
  12. 12. Piaget’s Cognitive Theory (1959)
  13. 13. Bowlby, attachment theory (1969;1988)
  14. 14. Ainsworth on attachment theory (1978) • Distress at separation • Calmed when Carer returns • Can be calmed By stranger, but prefers carer. • Inconsistent parenting • Child is anxious • Not sure of parent • Not emotionally Connected to parent • Equally calmed by strangers and parent • Attention seeking • Bizarre behaviour • Unpredictable • Damaged
  15. 15. Sociological Theories (1960’s – Present) • Aries (1962) Childhood is constructed and is a product of culture and politics. • Bronfenbrenner (1979) Ecological Theories – Child development is shaped by environment. • Giddens (1991) Individualisation: Children are active agents.
  16. 16. Bell 2011: Critiques established theories • Psychological theories are criticised for providing a deficit model of childhood, whereby children are seen as passive and dependent (Lee 2001). • Psychological Theories establish normative standards of development which fail to take account of children’s uniqueness.
  17. 17. What are the features of the capability approach and how does this relate to children’s development. Amartya Sen Martha Nussbaum
  18. 18. UNCRC 1989 Article 5 “States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention”.
  19. 19. The notion of the child’s evolving capacities (Art. 5 UNCRC) is also reflected in Article 12.1 “States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child”. (UNCRC 1989: A.12.1)
  20. 20. Liebel (2014:68) The different understandings of children’s rights correspond to different perspectives: • On the one hand there is a protectionist or paternalistic tendency, • on the other hand an emancipatory or liberationist tendency (see Hanson 2012; Liebel 2012: 29– 42). • Both tendencies are represented in the UNCRC, nevertheless with a protectionist bias and emphasis on the responsibility of States/adults (see Liebel and Saadi 2012a).
  21. 21. Liebel (2014) “Capabilities are what a person really is able to do or be”. (Sen 1992, 1993, 1999)
  22. 22. (Liebel 2014:76-7). • Sen does not see any sense in the distinction of the ‘opportunity aspect’ (which relates to the future self) and the ‘process aspect’ (which relates to the current self). • Sen does not consider children as social subjects with personal needs for autonomy, but only as future citizens.
  23. 23. Babic’s critique of Sen (Liebel 2014:77)
  24. 24. Will v. Interest (again)? Babic criticizes Sen for “not allowing children to make decisions. There doesn’t seem to be any recognition of the fact that children won’t just turn into an adult all of a sudden but need to go through processes of development and growth till they reach adulthood (which is hard to define), to also become more experienced and capable to make decisions”
  25. 25. Nussbaum proposes a list of ten capabilities which should promote an individual’s right to development 1. Being able to live to the end of a human life of normal length. 2. Being able to have good health, adequate nutrition, adequate shelter, opportunities for sexual satisfaction and choice in reproduction, and mobility. 3. Being able to avoid unnecessary and non-beneficial pain and to have pleasurable experiences. 4. Being able to use the senses, imagine, think, and reason; and to have the educational opportunities necessary to realize these capacities. 5. Being able to have attachments to things and persons outside ourselves. 6. Being able to form a conception of the good and to engage in critical reflection about the planning of one's own life. 7. Being able to live for and to others, to recognize and show concern for other human beings. 8. Being able to live with concern for and in relation to animals and the world of nature. 9. Being able to laugh, to play, to enjoy recreational activities. 10. Being able to live one's own life and no one else's; enjoying freedom of association and freedom from unwarranted search and seizure.
  26. 26. • Developmental theories still rely on conceptions of ‘will’ and ‘interests’ in their formulation of rights. • Existing theories of children’s development can provide an empirical background: A rationalized benchmark of what children can or cannot do at various stages of their development. • Nussbaum’s capability approach argues that a list of rights can be drawn up and are universal across cultures. • By ascribing a list of rights (Nussbaum) we can promote children’s capabilities to become ‘good’ adults. • Nussbaum claims that all the capabilities must be present. A deficit in one area cannot be compensated for by other capabilities • Nussbaum: By undertaking research with children and making comparisons across nations based capability rather than GDP as an indicator.
  27. 27. Children’s Rights: Jam tomorrow?
  28. 28. Basics Just the Why not search for this presentation’s title on Why not search for this presentation’s title on
  • KennethJeanJulaton

    Sep. 21, 2020
  • bhartidingwall

    Mar. 21, 2017

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