Children and young people’s participation
Children and young people’s participation

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Children and young people’s participation

1 Children and young people’s participation

This course centres on the core reading ‘Children and young people’s participation’ by Mary Kellett and is further supported by activities and readings designed to explore and debate this theme in detail.


Begin your studies by reading ‘Children and young people’s participation’ by Mary Kellett and consider the following questions:

  • How does Kellett define participation?
  • What are the implications of ‘participation’ for integrated practice?
  • What are the potential barriers to children and young people’s participation?
  • What are the key features of Hart and Shier’s model of participation?

Children and young people’s participation [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Mary Kellett indicates that listening to children’s views – a first step in the participation agenda – is reasonably well established in the policy and practice arena. By contrast, enabling children to share in decision making processes, which is another crucial element of participation, lags some way behind. Mary emphasises that the adoption of an integrated approach to children and young people’s participation by different sectors of the large children’s workforce is of crucial importance. The reading includes a critique of Hart’s and Shier’s models of participation, and discusses the difficulties of trying to measure participation. Much of the criticism of Hart’s model concerns the fact that it represents children’s participation as a linear process when the reality is much more complicated and non-linear. The participation agenda emerged from the importance placed on children’s rights, but such rights and entitlements have not been adequately translated into shared decision making processes. This course will ask you to think about the issues raised in this reading as they relate to your own experiences or views on participation.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus