Ethical research with children: practices and possibilities
Australian Research in Early Childhood Education Assoc
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education
Many educational researchers are working with children in ways that are opening up new possibilities for research and learning. It seems that the factors limiting children’s participation in research, as co-constructors of the process, are more related to adult attitudes, than to children’s abilities. This paper advocates for more respectful and realistic appreciation of children’s competence. The paper explores the possibility of reconsidering our ideas about young children, with the aim of engaging them more effectively and equitably, as co-researchers, investigating important aspects of their worlds. The benefits gained by involving children in research design, data gathering and analysis, would far outweigh the risks. Using an example from the field, I will argue that authentic learning occurs when children genuinely contribute to research design and analysis of findings.