“It’s Our Duty to Give Them a Voice” Participation of Children and Adolescents in College Courses

Avital Kaye-Tzadok*, Carmit Katz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores how participation was experienced by children, adolescents and social work (SW) students who studied together in two unique college courses. Participants met weekly for 2–4 h, during one semester, at two different academic institutions in Israel. Both courses employed a developmentally appropriate model for child participation, inspired by (Lundy, British Educational Research Journal 33:927–942, 2007). Using a phenomenological approach, the study applies several qualitative methods to glean experiences of participation: focus groups (n = 40), personal interviews (n = 16) and reflective papers by SW students (n = 28). The results highlight participation experiences as a realignment of power relations, enabled through close, non-hierarchal relationships. In addition, they reveal that SW students realize the potential of participation and the unique knowledge which can be acquired through it, and they report a newfound commitment to children’s participation. The study illustrates how a developmentally appropriate model for child participation can be carried out in academia, contributing not only to the realization of children’s right to participate, but also to the provision of experiential learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)897-915
Number of pages19
JournalChild Indicators Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Child participation
  • Children’s rights
  • Experience of participation
  • Experiential learning
  • Social work training


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