University of Oulu

Alanko, A. (2019). Towards a pedagogy of participation? – Exploring children’s experiences in regional youth councils. Barn, 37(3-4), 149-161.

Towards a pedagogy of participation? : exploring children’s experiences in regional youth councils

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Author: Alanko, Anu1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education P.O. Box 8000 FI-90014 University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Norwegian University of Science and Technology Library, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-05-18


This article approaches children’s participation in the context of regional youth councils in Finland. Based on the survey data and thematic interviews of children aged 9 to 16, the aim is to deepen the understanding on what children consider they are gaining from their membership in the councils. For children, participation refers to their ability to express their own opinions and take part in the decision-making, while being able to interact with their peers is regarded as equally important. Regional youth councils are considered spaces for learning about the democratic culture, and the actual skills and knowledge essential to act in it. Children note this as also being important for their future lives. Based on children’s experiences, this article argues that to make participation arenas more meaningful and effective for all participants, pedagogical perspectives should be strengthened. In the final part of the article, some premises for the pedagogy of participation will be outlined.

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Series: Barn. Forskning om barn og barndom i Norden
ISSN: 0800-1669
ISSN-E: 2535-5449
ISSN-L: 0800-1669
Volume: 37
Issue: 3-4
Pages: 149 - 161
DOI: 10.5324/barn.v37i3-4.3386
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2020 Anu Alanko. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.