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The basic rights of children in education and the priority

Author: WangBenYu
Tutor: JinShengZuo
School: Nanjing Normal University
Course: Principles of Education
Keywords: Basic rights of children Child's autonomy and self - discipline character Of self-discipline character education The priority of the basic rights of children Education primary good Education and justice Civil society
CLC: G40
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 621
Quote: 5
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Rights are liberty, interest or qualifications regulated in morals or laws. Positively speaking, to be endowed with a specific right implies others’ duties of providing some certain benefit, service or care, which often is a popular conception by social groups. While negatively speaking, one particular right normally signifies that others must "keep silent", which is often held by liberals. Children’s rights, accordingly, are liberty, interests or qualifications regulated in morals or laws to be enjoyed by children. An examination of the evolution and development of children’s right in history will show its homogeneity with the concept of rights. Children’s rights now are concerns of educational philosophy. This is due to the fact that children’s rights not only touch upon individual development of children but also relate to the formation of education justice and civil society.It is definitely morally and legally rightful for children to enjoy rights. However, several arguments deny children of being right subject on the ground that children are not fully rational; special care and love has been given to children; children’s rights might threaten the education authority; children do not bear duties. These arguments do not hold up sufficiently if we consider the following fact that children deserve rights only by being human beings; children are developmental in reason; mercy and kindness does not endow children with rights; children’s rights do not go against other social values; children bear natural duties. Children’s rights fundamentally guarantee their liberty. Although education is compulsory, it does not deny children’s rights. Therefore, education compulsion does not imply autocratic education, which thoroughly abolishes and negates children’s rights. Oppositely, it acknowledges children’s rights as a prerequisite. Consequently, children’s liberty is recognized, respected and taken as a basis by education compulsion. Unless children’s rights are taken seriously with respect and vested to children, we can hardly nurture individuals of autonomy and discipline.Children’s rights have their own internal logic. This determines that some rights have priority over others logically. These rights are bases and prerequisites of other rights. Their importance makes them become foundations of other rights. Other rights are derived from these rights. The Priority Order helps to illustrate whether one particular right belongs to basic rights. As far as education is concerned, in addition to their logical priority, some of children’s rights are so essential that if they are denied, the education goals can hardly be achieved. Therefore, children’s basic rights, which include right of dignity and non-interference, right of life, right of freedom in the sense of freedom of speech or comment, right of equality, right of individual development and right of freedom in exploring etc., enjoy logical priority and can meet children’s basic needs so that the realization of education goals is essentially guaranteed.In addition to the priority over other rights, children’s basic rights also take an advantageous place over other education good. By understanding children’s rights of being educated positively, we intend that children’s basic rights not only deserve respect but they should come true in education. Consequently, children’s basic rights will be converted to education good. As one part of education good, children’s basic rights constitute the basis of other good and are applicable to them. It is in this sense that children’s basic rights are the first education good. The first step to guarantee education justice is to vest the first education good equally. What’s more, education should take measures to realize the first good, which will satisfy the requirement that we should "treat each pupil equally as an equal individual" other than just "treat them equally". By doing so, we can say that we respect and care for children equally. In my dissertation, the priority of children’s basic rights is specifically signified. Its connotation will be expounded and proved from three perspectives: children’s basic rights’ relation with education goals, moral requirements and educational means respectively.

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