Researching Children's Perspectives

Researching Children's Perspectives

Researching Children's Perspectives

Researching Children's Perspectives

Synopsis

The 1990s have been marked by a growing emphasis, in various professional contexts, on obtaining the views of clients, including children. This position is an international one, shared across the developed world, and encapsulated in the UN Convention on the rights of the child. This book addresses the issues and practicalities surrounding the obtaining of children's views, particularly in the research context. The book takes a deliberately and explicitly pluralist stance. Its distinctiveness rests on the scrutiny of methodological issues pertaining to the collection of children's views and practical applications. The book is structured around two main sections. Section 1 examines five aspects of theoretical and conceptual issues (ethical issues and codes of conduct, children's rights, the legal perspective, developmental dimensions and sociological issues). Section 2 illustrates these aspects by focusing on methods and applications in obtaining children's views in specific projects.

Excerpt

For many years research has been conducted on and with children in the field of education and related disciplines in the social sciences. Most of this work has demonstrated that studies of children and childhood cannot be achieved using a single discipline. The problems that confront children and young people call for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. It is therefore pleasing to find that the editors of this volume have commissioned a range of researchers and practitioners to write about children and children’s perspectives.

The focus of this volume calls for a different style of research. No longer can researchers assume that those social science methods that are used to study adults can be used in the same way to study children. Instead, researchers need to give some thought to ways in which innovatory methods of social investigation can be developed and used with children so as to gain access to children’s perspectives of the worlds in which they live and work.

A range of issues and questions emerge about the problems to be tackled, the processes involved and ‘solutions’ that researchers develop within their projects. In this volume we gain some insights into all these aspects of research with children. The legal status of the child raises questions about the negotiation of research access, procedures of data collection and issues concerning copyright and confidentiality. In all these areas there are no easy answers but these chapters have the potential to point us towards strategies that can be used in the field when conducting research with children.

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