Education Research Programme


Embedding children's participation rights in pedagogical practice

Embedding children's participation rights in pedagogical practice in lower primary classrooms in Wales.

Project description

Project Lead: 

Dr Sarah Chicken 


1/12/2022 – 30/11/2025 (36 months)


 University of West of England 

Research theme:  

  • teaching and learning, with a focus on teachers and their recruitment, retention and professional development  

The four nation focus: 

  • Wales

Project overview


In the context of lower primary classrooms in Wales and focussing on young children aged 5-7 years, this study aims to establish how pedagogic practices can embed participatory rights and attend routinely to young children's voice and agency. 


The project adopts an innovative participatory research design across four interrelated work packages (WPs). WP1 charts the current picture within the Welsh policy context regarding participation in early educators via a critical policy review and an audit of the opportunities for professional learning (PL). WP2 explores children's experiences and knowledge of participative rights using Reggio-inspired pedagogy as a stimulus. WP3 works with one ITE partnership to provide insight into the professional learning journey of ITE students and teacher educators with regard to developing pedagogic practices that embed young children’s participation rights. The final work package (WP4) focuses upon dissemination and impact and is integrated across the project.  

Project partners
Partnership plans

The research is designed to be co-constructed throughout, foregrounding the development of partnerships across the project with key stakeholders to draw in and disseminate out the knowledge created, via webpage content, social media, dissemination events, public engagement, conferences, advisory groups (made up of children, experts in the field and practitioners) and the generation of resources (WP4). 

  • Dr Sarah Chicken, UWE, Bristol (Principal Investigator) 
  • Dr Jacky Tyrie, Swansea University  
  • Dr Jane Waters-Davies, University of Wales Trinity Saint David 
  • Dr Alison Murphy, University of Wales Trinity Saint David 
  • Dr Jennifer Clement, Cardiff Metropolitan University  
  • Professor Jane Williams, Swansea University  
  • Debi Keyte-Hartland, Pedagogical Consultant and Artist-Educator