In this important and challenging book the authors make a strong case for the 'capability approach' as a framework for promoting real freedom, and for applying that concept to a social category which is treated as far less than human, children. This book is a powerful argument to look at childhood, education and youth through the capability lens and treat children with the dignity and respect to which they are entitled. It is a demanding new agenda for the interaction between children and adults. We must cease seeing children as adults in waiting, and see adulthood as dependent upon the development of real freedoms in children.
In linking the concepts of capability and agency together this book provides a fresh and innovative approach to understanding children's lives in and outside schools. Drawing on insights gleaned from international contexts, the contributors to this volume offer new ways in which to promote greater social justice and participation for children that is a welcome addition to the childhood studies literature.
This is a welcome and timely addition to the growing literature on capabilities and children and young people. The international perspective is welcome but the greatest appeal of the pieces gathered together here is in their universal insight into how the capability approach can be increasingly applied to redefine the challenges some children face, and to reframe the parameters of the debate about what is possible to overcome them.
Anyone with an interest in how children flourish and thrive through and in education will find the clarity with which the potential of the capability approach is described here to be both fascinating and challenging. Educationalists, researchers and policy makers will recognise in this collection both a new way of thinking about education, its value and purpose and a vital re-statement of the centrality of children and young people's participation in making education a genuinely fulfilling and transformative experience.