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Current Research

What can children contribute to our understandings of why they go to school? A critical, participatory exploration of the role of education in the lives of children growing up in urban Ethiopia.

My PhD thesis explores Ethiopian schoolchildren’s understandings of why they go to school.

Based upon findings from a sustained programme of participatory, qualitative research in one Ethiopian city, I compare and contrast children's accounts of their educational participation with the explanations relied upon in mainstream development and education policy planning.

Using critical social theory and ideas of "capabilities", I confront the limitations both of orthodox, overly- individual and economic models of education and of the new “paradigm” in childhood research that I argue is in danger of overstating and essentialising children’s agency.


Phil Mizen


Mick Carpenter