Curriculum and Pedagogy: The Child as Agent

  • Carmel ConnEmail author


This chapter explores agency as an important concept for teaching and learning, looking specifically at the agency of children. The chapter explores findings from research that demonstrate the interactional competencies of young autistic children and provide evidence of autistic children functioning as psychological agents. This fact is explored in relation to the concept of situated learning and the complex interplay of relational, discursive and material practices that make up a learning environment. It is argued that learning concerns increasing sophistication in the creation of meanings in relation to learning activities and pedagogical relationships. An illustration of a young autistic child’s experience of an educational intervention is presented finally as a way of problematising approaches to teaching and learning that overlook the inherent complexity of learning and the agency of children.


Agency Situated learning Learning interactions 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Early Years and Social WorkUniversity of South WalesNewportUK

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