Author(s): Nancy Higgins & Claire Freeman
• An important and interesting book of use to practitioners and public • Draws on studies by leading New Zealand researchers • Explores childhood through the lenses of different disciplines Children are citizens with autonomy and rights identified by international agencies and United Nations conventions, but these rights are not readily enforceable. Some of the worst levels of child poverty and poor health in the OECD, as well as exceptionally high child suicide rates, exist in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More than a quarter of children are experiencing a childhood of hardship and deprivation in a context of high levels of inequality. Māori children face particular challenges. In a country that characterises itself as ‘a good place to bring up children’, this is of major concern. The essays in this book are by leading researchers from several disciplines and focus on all of our children and young people, exploring such topics as the environment (economic, social and natural), social justice, children’s voices and rights, the identity issues they experience and the impact of rapid societal change. What children themselves have to say is insightful and often deeply moving.
NANCY HIGGINS is an independent researcher working in the areas of social justice, inclusive education and disabled children and youth. She has recently completed a research project with Ngāti Kāpo o Aotearoa about access to health and education services for blind youth and children. In the past she has worked as a senior lecturer in teacher education. CLAIRE FREEMAN is an associate professor and director of the Master of Planning Programme, Department of Geography, University of Otago. Her interests are in environmental planning, which includes sustainable communities, planning for children and young people, and planning with nature. Her book with Paul Tranter, Children and their Urban Environment: Changing Worlds, was published by Earthscan in 2011.
Foreword (Keith Ballard) 1. Introduction: Children in Aotearoa New Zealand: An overview (Freeman, Higgins) 2. A theoretical framework for childhood (Anne Smith) 3. Children and vulnerability (Nicola Atwool) 4. The changing environmental worlds of NZ children (Freeman) 5. Ethics in research with children (Jude MacArthur, Margaret McKenzie) 6. Recollecting childhood at school in the early twentieth century (Helen May) 7. Managed childhoods: A social history of urban children’s play (Christina R. Ergler, Robin Kearns, Karen Witten) 8. Growing up Maori and disabled (Hazel Phillips, Higgins) 9. Multicultural childhoods in a globalised world (Karen Guo) 10. Children and young people’s participation in Family Law decision-making (Nicola Taylor, Megan Gollop) 11. The needs of adopted and fostered children (Anita Gibbs) 12. Being young and working (Ruth Gasson, James Calder) 13. Technology occupies us: Children, media and society (Martha Bell, Victoria Farmer) 14. Children’s participation and voice in Early Childhood Education (Lyn Foote, Fiona Ellis, Ruth Gasson) 15. Children of prisoners (Julie Lawrence) 16. Children’s understandings of success (Judith Sligo, Karen Nairn) 17. Genders, sexualities, differences: A peer alliance in a secondary school (Kathleen Quinlivan) 18. Rangatahi Māori experiences of transition to work (Moana Mitchell, Hazel Phillips) 19. Conclusion: Where are we going?