Child Participation in Family-School Cooperation

  • Dubravka Maleš
  • Barbara Kušević
  • Ana Širanović
Keywords: Child participation, Family, School, Cooperation


This paper discusses the cooperation between families and schools from the perspective of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Given that the principal purpose of the cooperation between families and schools is children’s well-being, it is reasonable to expect the child’s participation in situations of direct parent-teacher cooperation. The theoretical part of this paper is grounded on contemporary scientific findings in family-school cooperation and the role of the child in the process, while the empirical part seeks to determine whether the requirement for child participation is being fulfilled in family-school cooperation in Croatia. As a theoretical basis for the research, Hart’s (1995) ‘Ladder of Participation’ model has been used; the results can serve as guidelines for improving the existing school practices and introduce changes in school legislation relating to cooperation with parents.


Download data is not yet available.


Amatea, E. S. (2008). Building culturally responsive family-school relationships. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.

Comer, J. P., & Hayness, N. M. (1991). Parent Involvement in Schools: An Ecological Approach. The Elementary School Journal, 91(3), 271–277.

Epstein, J. L. (2001). School, Family and Community Partnership. Colorado: Westview Press.

Flekkøy, M. G., & Kaufman, N. H. (1997). The Participation Rights of the Child. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd.

Hart, R. A. (1992). Children’s Participation: from Tokenism to Citizenship. Florence: UNICEF International Child Development Centre.

Hart, R. (2008). Stepping Back from ‘The Ladder’: Reflections on a Model of Participatory Work with Children. In Reid, A. (Ed.), Participation and Learning. Perspectives on Education and the
Environment, Health and Sustainability (pp. 19–31). Dordrecht: Springer.

Lansdown, G. (2001). Promoting Children’s Participation in Democratic Decision-Making. Florence: United Nations Children’s Fund.

Maleš, D. (1996). Od nijeme potpore do partnerstva između obitelji i škole. Društvena istraživanja, 1(21), 75–88.

Olsen, G., & Fuller, M. L. (2008). Home-School Relations. Working Successfully with Parents and Families. Boston: Pearson.

Reddy, N., & Ratna, K. (2002). A Journey in Children’s Participation. Vimanapura, Bangalore: The Concerned for Working Children.

Shier, H. (2001). Pathways to Participation: Openings, Opportunities and Obligations. Children & Society, 15(2), 107–117.

Smith, A. B. (2007). Children and Young People’s Participation Rights in Education. International Journal of Children’s Rights, 15(1), 147–164.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved June 15 2010 from

Verhellen, E. (2001). Facilitating Children’s Rights in Education: Expectations and demands on teachers and parents. In Hart, S. et al. (Eds.), Children’s Rights in Education (pp. 223–231). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Wood, D., Larson, R. W., & Brown, J. R. (2009). How Adolescents Come to See Themselves as More Responsible Through Participation in Youth Programs. Child Development, 80(1), 295–309.