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Theorising the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child within Canadian Post-Secondary Education: A Grounded Theory Approach

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The following exploratory study was conducted in 2005 within Canadian post-secondary institutions for those intending to gain employment within public education for children and related professions. Data are comprised from thirteen interviews and draw upon students and educators from education, child health, and child and youth studies programmes. The researchers adopted a qualitative, grounded theory methodology to analyze documentary themes and those that emerged during theoretical sampling. Although there is variance of opinion, the majority confirm there is a limited theoretical appreciation of the Convention, and of concepts related to 'childhood' with a resultant lack of knowledge within post-secondary education. Interview findings were corroborated by policy analyses and data from non-governmental surveys, the Concluding Observations from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and a contemporaneous parliamentary review undertaken by Canada's Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights. A number of implications stemming from the ongoing violation of international human rights law in Canada are discussed as well as directions for future research.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Brock University, Department of Child and Youth Studies;, Email:; 2: Research Assistant, Brock University, Child and Youth Studies Department


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