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Children are included in these arrangements to the extent that they are capable, that is rational and capable of accepting the principle of fairness.

149). The final criterion (paramount importance) echoes Dworkin’s notion of rights as factors which ‘trump’ other considerations (Dworkin 1978, cited in Worsfold 1974). Worsfold argues that the modified social contract theory proposed by Rawls (1972) provides the necessary foundation and satisfies Cranston’s Rights of Childhood 41 test. Rawls uses a hypothesis of impartiality – the ‘original position’ – whereby members of society choose rules of justice and fairness without knowing their own eventual position in society, to derive two fundamental principles: ‘that each person should have a personal liberty compatible with a like liberty for all others’ and ‘that societal inequalities are to be arranged such that all individuals must share whatever advantages and disadvantages the inequalities bring (Worsfold 1974, pp.

A second strand has been to develop Vygotsky’s insight that intellectual growth is a social process in which the contribution of a teacher is important. This has produced powerful concepts such as ‘scaffolding’ and ‘contingency’ in an attempt to understand what it is that happens when children learn from others to extend their thinking into new areas (Bruner 1983; Wood 1986; Vygotsky 1962, 1966, 1978; Van der Veer and Valsiner 1994). The third strand builds on another observation of Vygotsky, that what a child learns is not a set of universal abstract concepts but a culture.

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