Do Children still need to Escape Childhood? A Reassessment of John Holt and his Vision for Children's Rights

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Abstract

The work of children’s liberationists have been long been critiqued for pushing the parameters of rights discourse too far; specifically, by suggesting that there are no significant differences between children and adults, including their ability for self-determination. John Holt’s 1974 text Escape from Childhood is one such work which was deemed highly controversial for its time. This article uses Holt’s Escape from Childhood as an overarching framework against which to examine the current state of play on children’s rights as explicated through the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It suggests that whilst Holt has often been critiqued for being too radical, in the context of current children’s rights discourse Holt’s visioning is not as radical as it might first appear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-134
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Children's Rights
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • children's rights
  • childhood
  • libertarianism
  • John Holt
  • implementation
  • autonomy rights
  • self-determination

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