1st Edition

Children as Researchers in Primary Schools Choice, Voice and Participation

By Sue Bucknall Copyright 2012
    232 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How often do your primary school pupils have the opportunity to engage in open-ended, sustained pieces of work that offer them choice and control?

    Do you find that the curriculum restricts openings to provide your pupils with real challenge?

    Is your school grappling with finding effective ways in which to elicit authentic pupil voice?

    Children as Researchers in Primary Schools is an innovative and unique resource for practitioners supporting children to become ‘real world’ researchers in the primary classroom. It will supply you with the skills and ideas you need to implement a ‘children as researchers’ framework in your school that can be adapted for different ages and abilities. Children in primary schools are accustomed to being set short-term goals and are often unaware of long-term aims or of the connections between the concepts and skills they are learning. In contrast, this book demonstrates that children engaging in the research process have authentic opportunities to apply invaluable personal, learning and thinking skills while managing their own projects, making their ‘voices’ heard and experiencing increased levels of engagement and self-esteem.

    Based on the author’s 4-year research study exploring the experiences of young researchers and teachers in primary schools, and on her considerable experience of training young researchers, this book also contains:

    • the history and theory behind ‘children as researchers’ initiatives;
    • a model for good practice based on successful real life case studies;
    • questions for reflective practice;
    • practical examples of research in the classroom;
    • photocopiable resources;
    • opportunities for self-evaluation.

    This comprehensive resource will be appeal to primary teachers, educational practitioners and students on CPD and ITT courses. It will also be of interest to teacher trainers, to academics involved in teaching and research and to all those interested in promoting children’s voices.

    Acknowledgements; Part One: Background; Chapter One Explaining children as researchers; Chapter Two Developing a model for good practice; Part Two: Implementing a ‘children as researchers’ initiative; Chapter Three Getting ready to start; Chapter Four Introducing children to social research; Chapter Five Considering ethics; Chapter Six Asking questions; Chapter Seven Generating data; Chapter Eight Making sense of data; Chapter Nine Sharing research findings; Chapter Ten Sharing the work of young researchers; Chapter Eleven Looking back and looking forward; Part Three: Photocopiable Resources; Key words for young researchers; Useful reading and other sources; Bibliography; Index


    Sue Bucknall is a former Research Associate attached to the Children’s Research Centre at the Open University, UK, and is now working as an independent researcher.