University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Conducting ethical professional inquiry alongside children: Children as fellow researchers

Solvason, Carla ORCID: (2019) Conducting ethical professional inquiry alongside children: Children as fellow researchers. In: Challenging the Intersection of Policy with Pedagogy. Thinking About Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education . Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon. ISBN 9781138319264

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This chapter makes reference to child-based research that has taken place in many cultural contexts, from Iceland to Australia. Although this piece has a UK perspective, it is internationally recognised that children are entitled to use their own voice to explain their own understanding of their lived experience. This perspective is sanctioned through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) which states that children’s views should be respected in matters affecting them and that they should be supported in finding ways to express those views. It is now acknowledged that adults are “not necessarily in the best position to represent children’s viewpoints and experiences fully because children themselves have a unique perspective” (Mukherji & Albon, 2010). ‘Listening’ to children should not be an act of tokenism, and should not involve presumptions about factors, viewed through the lens of an adult (Dona, 2006). Roberts (2017, p. 142) stresses the importance of authenticity when listening to children, and questions whether, despite having “more mechanisms, more research funding, and better guidance to listen to children and young people… are we any better at hearing them, in the sense of taking account in a meaningful way what they have to tell us?” How can we, as early childhood professionals, find ways to truly listen and respond to the viewpoints of those in our care? This chapter explores how we can successfully research alongside children in a way that is not only gentle and nurturing, but also stimulates children to question and to challenge. It considers how we can provide children the opportunity to ask ‘is this the best way?’ just as we do in our own research.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the e-book version via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Early childhood education, Child development
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
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Depositing User: Carla Solvason
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2023 09:54
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2023 09:54

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