Children’s Dialogues for Justice

Children's Dialogues for Justice


Children’s lives are repeatedly framed within education policy and public discourse in preparatory terms – as a passage towards a specific future, usually in relation to becoming workers or citizens. However, children are far from being ‘citizens in the waiting’. They are always already active in processes of making futures.

Our research involves participatory research with primary school children to explore the question: How do children make sense of past and present injustices in schooling and how do they conceptualise educational justice for future children?

Children’s voices and perspectives are critical to reimagining reparative futures.  Children are not passive recipients of educational and social contexts; they are active agents in the making of these contexts. Our project is inspired by the ideas of Soja (2010) and Lefebvre (1996) about people’s ‘right to the city’. We suggest children in particular have a ‘right to the city’ and it is important to listen and act upon their hopes and concerns.

Therefore, the Repair-Ed project is exploring different ways of creating forums of dialogue with children to learn from their experiences and ideas. This could involve, for example, participatory action research methods that enable children from different areas of Bristol to come together, to talk and exchange in processes of deliberative dialogue. We hope to co-produce such reparative spaces with children, in order for children in Bristol to nurture solidarities with one another and ‘write the futures they want for themselves’ and their city.