Researching Young Children's Perspectives: Debating the ethics and dilemmas of educational research with children, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Researching Young Children's Perspectives

Debating the ethics and dilemmas of educational research with children, 1st Edition

Edited by Deborah Harcourt, Bob Perry, Tim Waller


204 pages

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pub: 2011-03-04
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What ethical dilemmas face researchers who work with young children?

Researching Young Children’s Perspectives critically examines the challenges and complexities of rights based, participatory research with children. Rather than approaching these dilemmas as problematic issues, this book positions them as important topics for discussion and reflection.

Drawing from their own rich experiences as research collaborators with young children in internationally diverse settings, the authors consider the ethical, methodological and theoretical frameworks that guide best-practice in research with young children. Each chapter poses points for consideration that will inform and challenge both the novice and experienced researcher, such as:

  • How ‘participatory’ can research be with infants under eighteen months?
  • When should listening through observation stand alone?
  • What is the distinction between methodologies and methods?
  • How can all young children be assured of a voice in research?

The authors also present seven separate case studies which demonstrate exemplary research with young children. Each study is accompanied by insightful commentary from the authors, who highlight the issues or difficulties faced and propose potential solutions.

If you are a student at undergraduate level and above, this book will give you all the confidence you need to conduct your own high quality research with children.


‘Deals with topic of central importance to all of our students and highlights the issues which they need to consider in a clear and informative way. Up to date and a good read.’ – Jane Read, University of Roehampton, UK

‘This is a clearly written book that provides students with useful information on issues surrounding research and children. Many of our students indicate that they find interaction with children and their carers / teachers problematic and this text goes some way to providing them with the practical guidance to approach their research.’ – Robert Watts, University of Roehampton, UK

‘The book offers an engaging and practical approach to ethical issues. The range of contributions from researchers with substantial experience in the field makes this a very valuable book.’ – Ros Garrick, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

‘This is a very comprehensive text book for undergraduate education studies students. My students all work in schools and this book provides the answers to all their questions when researching their own classrooms and schools.’ – Carmen Mohamed, University of Leicester, UK

Table of Contents

Foreword Alison Clark Commencing the conversation Deborah Harcourt, Bob Perry and Tim Waller Part 1: Ethics, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks 1.Respecting children’s rights and agency: theoretical insights into ethical research procedures Anne B Smith 2.TheEthics of participatory research involving children with special needs Colette Gray and Eileen Winter 3. Informed assent: Processes and procedures seeking research partnerships with young children Deborah Harcourt and Heather Conroy 4.Researching the rights of children under three years old to participate in the curriculum in early years education and care Angeliki Bitou and Tim Waller 5. Balancing methodologies and methods in researching with young children Sue Dockett, Jóhanna Einarsdóttir and Bob Perry Part 2: Case studies of high quality research with young children 6. Supporting children’s participation rights: curriculum and research approaches Sarah Te One 7. Children’s voices in early childhood settings’ every day concerts Hartmut Kupfer 8.Researching infants' experience of early childhood education and care Jennifer Sumsion, Linda Harrison, Fran Press, Sharynne McLeod, Joy Goodfellow and Ben Bradley 9. Eliciting young children’s perspectives on indoor play provision in their classroom: reflections and challenges Liz Dunphy and Therese Farrell 10. Seeing spaces, inhabiting places: hearing school beginners Alma Fleet and Clare Britt11.In tune with the learner’s perspective in music: theoretical and analytical considerations when interviewing children Cecilia Wallerstedt, Niklas Pramling and Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson 12.Producing and using video data with young children: A case study of ethical questions and practical consequences Sue Robson

About the Editors

Deborah Harcourt is Professor of Early Childhood at the Australian Catholic University, based in Brisbane, Australia.

Bob Perry is Professor of Education in the Murray School of Education at Charles Sturt University, Albury-Wodonga, Australia.

Tim Waller is Reader in Early Years Education and Coordinator of the Childhood Research Cluster at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Research