Pookey, poory, power: an agentic powerformance

Prasanna Srinivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Early childhood curricular documents in countries such as Australia position children’s voice and agency as central to all early childhood practices. Children’s choices expressed by their voices are regarded as children’s exhibition of their agency. Hence, early childhood educators are urged to listen and respond to children’s voices, and such ‘listened’ responses are applauded as educators’ acknowledgement of children’s agency. Moreover, recognition of children’s agency is also seen as accepting children as individuals capable of making preferences and choices, like adults. In this article, the author argues that children’s agency and voice cannot be conceptualised in their absolute, individualistic terms, and such simplistic consideration only results in diminishing children’s capacity as political enactors. In doing so, the author does not obliterate the presence of agency and voice. However, it is suggested that children’s agency and voice should be viewed as performances attached to power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Agency
  • children’s rights
  • performance
  • power
  • voice

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