Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Stokes, T
Irish Educational Studies
Using participatory methods with young children; reflections on emergent 'ethically important moments' in school-based research
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Optional Fields
To engage young children meaningfully in educational research requires careful scrutiny of ethics and of methodological choices [Vandenbroeck, M. and B. de-Bouverne. 2006. "Children's Agency and Educational Norms: A Tensed Negotiation." Childhood (13): 127-143; Dockett, S., J. Einarsdottir, and B. Perry. 2009. "Researching with Children: Ethical Tensions." Journal of Early Childhood Research (7): 283-298; Clark, A., and P. Moss. 2011. Listening to Young Children: The Mosaic Approach. 2nd ed. London: National Children's Bureau]. The increased involvement required of children in participatory research heightens ethical and methodological concerns [Lundy, L., L. McEvoy, and B. Byrne. 2011. "Working with Young Children as Co-researchers: An Approach Informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child." Early Education and Development 22 (5): 714-736]. Rather than focusing on ethical considerations identified prior to the research through standard institutional vetting practices, the gaze of this article lies on ethics-in-action, or ethical considerations emerging throughout research processes. Thus, a focus on ethical encounters throughout the course of school-based fieldwork is framed by the examination of three emerging 'ethically important moments' [Guillemin, M. and L. Gillam. 2004. "Ethics, Reflexivity and Ethically Important Moments in Research." Qualitative Inquiry 10: 261-280]. Themes of representation and researcher relationships are explored as part of this discussion. Mindful of its primary stakeholders, the participant children, the merits for viewing research conducted within the institution of school as an unfolding process of this research, are outlined. The paper concludes that in the interests of both rigour and effect, methodological reflexivity be brought to bear on the varying and complex ethical encounters educational research constitutes.
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