CFS Seminar with: Ben Mardell, Kate Beal, and Lynne May Lim

Monday, February 10, 2014: Children Are Citizens - Promoting the Right of Participation for Our Youngest Students
Panelists Lesley University early childhood professor and Project Zero researcher Ben Mardell with Cambridge Friends School first-grade teachers Kate Beal and Lynne May Lim challenge assumptions about the capabilities of young children and provoke a conversation about the role of young children in our community. Young children—4, 5, 6 and 7-year-olds—are often seen as simply future or hypothetical citizens. Yet the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that children have the rights express their “views freely in all matters affecting the child” and “participate fully in cultural and artistic life.”
In a Friends school, educational goals include empowering citizens to make responsible decisions about the future of the earth and providing the intellectual means for people to live harmoniously together. In this seminar, panelists will present a framework about how schools can promote children’s right to participate in their communities. They also will describe several projects that, in embracing children’s right to express their views and participate in community life, supported children’s learning and enriched society. Registration is recommended. Seating is limited.


Ben Mardell is a professor in early childhood education at Lesley University and was a researcher on the Making Learning Visible Project at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. For the past 30 years, Ben has taught and conducted research with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergartners. Ben is a co-author of Visible Learners: Promoting Reggio-Inspired Approaches in All Schools, Making Learning Visible: Children as Individual and Group Learners and Making Teaching Visible: Documentation of Individual and Group Learning as Professional Development. He is the author of From Basketball to the Beatles: In Search of Compelling Early Childhood Curriculum and Growing Up in Child Care: A Case For Quality Early Education. Ben enjoys competing in sprint triathlons.



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