Citation I'Anson J (2016) UNCRC at 25: a critical assessment of achievements and trajectories with reference to educational research. In: Gillett-Swan J, Coppock V (ed.). Children’s Rights, Educational Research and the UNCRC: past, present and future, Oxford: Symposium, pp. 17-37.
Abstract This chapter offers a historical contextualisation of some of the ways in which the UNCRC has become imbricated with educational research during the past 25 years. It identifies some of the key themes, tropes, orientations and theoretical traditions that have informed children’s rights research to date, with particular reference to education. While the text of the UNCRC is the product of a legal mode, it is mobilised in largely extra-legal contexts that cut across the multiple cultures, spaces and discourses that bear upon children’s lives. To this extent, the UNCRC offers a distinctive counterpoint that resists simplification and colonisation whilst insistently raising difficult questions that are at once ethical, political and existential in scope. Some of the ways in which such issues have been taken up in the context of educational research are considered along with a consideration of some of the tensions to which this gives rise. The trope of counterpoint is then taken up as a means of exploring possible future trajectories that work beyond some of the limitations associated with practices of critique.