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ERIC Number: EJ997343
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
"Was This an Interview?" Breaking the Power Barrier in Adult-Child Interviews in an African Context
Kuchah, Kuchah; Pinter, Annamaria
Issues in Educational Research, v22 n3 p283-297 2012
There is growing emphasis, especially within the 'New Sociology of Childhood' movement on the importance of exploring children's perspectives about different aspects of their life. However, in the area of second language education this shift from research on and about children to research with children has not yet been fully embraced. In this paper we document how far it is possible to involve children as active participants despite the various limitations and difficulties inherent in the local context. In particular we focus on how group interviews facilitated the development of a mutually negotiated, safe space between the adult researcher and some 10-11 year old children. We describe the conditions that allowed these children's views to emerge, and reflect on the process of eliciting and interpreting the data from and with them. Drawing examples from an ongoing study by one of the authors, we show how a researcher manages to break the power gap in an adult-child interaction by negotiating a mutually respectful relationship with learners which eventually provides insights that challenge adult perspectives and influence the main study in a significant way.
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Cameroon