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ERIC Number: EJ1025535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-1743-727X
Asking Difficult Questions: Exploring Research Methods with Children on Painful Issues
Leeson, Caroline
International Journal of Research & Method in Education, v37 n2 p206-222 2014
Assumptions about a child's competence to voice an opinion often inhibit efforts to find effective methods for participation. Answers to questions are sought from the significant adults who surround a child [Morris, J. 2003. "Including All Children: Finding Out about the Experiences of Children with Communication and/or Cognitive Impairments." "Children and Society" 17: 337-348.]. Indeed, methods that ask adults rather than children about children's lives have often been justified as the only way in which a "truth" [Westcott, H. L., and K. S. Littleton. 2005. "Exploring Meaning in Interviews with Children." In "Researching Children's Experience: Approaches and Methods." London: Sage] may be established as to how it feels to be that child, whatever their age. This stance has been increasingly challenged [Clark, A., and P. Moss 2001. "Listening to Young Children the Mosaic Approach." Norwich: National Children's Bureau] with the argument that only by "giving them a direct and unfettered voice" [Winter, K. 2006. "Widening Our Knowledge Concerning Young Looked After Children: The Case for Research Using Sociological Models of Childhood." "Child and Family Social Work" 11: 55-64; Winter, K. 2010. "Ascertaining the Perspectives of Young Children in Care: Case Studies using Reality Boxes." "Children and Society: The International Journal of Childhood and Children's Services" 61] can children's views be properly sought and represented. Research looking at the experiences of children when they were taken into the care of the local authority meant that some difficult, complex, sometimes painful questions may be asked. In this paper, I explore the development and use of creative, interactive methods with children aged 4-13 that facilitated their participation and avoided causing undue distress. I also debate the importance of engaging with children where their circumstances and past experiences are distressful arguing that a relationship where listening carefully is paramount enables the child's voice to be heard.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A