1st Edition

The Narrative Approach to Informed Consent
Empowering Young Children’s Rights and Meaningful Participation

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after September 29, 2021
ISBN 9780367352219
September 29, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
160 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

USD $39.95

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Book Description

The Narrative Approach to Informed Consent:Empowering Young Children’s Rights and Meaningful Participation is a practical guide for researchers who want to engage young children in rights-based, participatory research. This book presents the Narrative Approach, an original and innovative method to help children to understand their participation in research. This approach moves away from traditional paper-based consent to tailor the informed consent process to the specific needs of young children. Through the Informing Story, which employs a combination of interaction, information and narrative, this method enables children to comprehend concepts through storytelling. Researchers are stepped through the development of an Informing Story so that they can deliver accurate information to young children about what their participation in research is likely to involve. To further inform practice, the book documents the implementation of the Narrative approach in four case studies demonstrating the variety of settings in which the method can be applied.

The Narrative Approach to Informed Consent addresses the rights of young children to be properly researched, expands opportunities for their active and engaged research participation, and creates a unique conceptual ethical space within which meaningful informed consent can occur. This book will be an invaluable tool for novice and experienced researchers and is applicable to a wide range of education and non-education contexts.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Theory that informs the Interactive Narrative Approach.

Chapter 1. Positioning the child as competent in the research process.

Chapter 2. Conceptual model of the Interactive Narrative Approach.

Part 2: Developing and implementing an Interactive Nonfiction Narrative.

Chapter 3. Developing the Interactive Nonfiction Narrative.

Chapter 4. Case Study 1: Using an INN to create a shared understanding of rights and participation with 4- and 5-year old children involved in research on spatial thinking through play.

Chapter 5. Case Study 2 – Empowering families to support young children’s participation in research through an INN.

Chapter 6. Case Study 3 – Using an INN with primary school children for democratic decision making. Birgit Hὒpping and Petra

Chapter 7. Case Study 4 – Using an INN to gain meaningful informed consent from 6-12 year old children on their experiences in youth care. Part 3: The future of the Interactive Nonfiction Narrative.

Chapter 8. Possibilities and challenges with the INN.

Chapter 9. Templates.

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Fiona Mayne is a lecturer and researcher in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia. Fiona’s PhD in early childhood research ethics and participation has won the international European Early Childhood Education Research Association Student Research Award in 2017. Her current research is in children’s voice and agency, enhancing the quality of young children’s research participation, digital influences on children’s learning environments and associated pedagogies, and use of digital technologies and mixed reality in pre-service teacher education.

Christine Howitt is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia. Her research interests focus on young children's science learning, science identity, learning in informal contexts, participatory research and rights of the child. She has worked extensively with Fiona Mayne to produce a range of papers on young children’s active involvement in the research process, exploring appropriate ethical and methodological approaches.



"This valuable new text positions the child as competent in the research process and introduces the Narrative Approach, and its associated Informing Story, as an appropriate method for engaging young children in the informed consent process. Through various case studies, readers can deepen their understanding of how this innovative approach can be used in different contexts. Use of the ideas presented in The Narrative Approach to Informed Consent: Empowering Young Children’s Rights and Meaningful Participation will ensure that children are respected in research processes; are empowered to speak, be and feel in their participation roles; and that researchers can be supported to make this happen."

Dr Natália Fernandes, Associate Professor, Institute of Education, University of Minho, Portugal

The Narrative Approach to Informed Consent: Empowering Young Children’s Rights and Meaningful Participation offers fresh theoretical and methodological perspectives on young children’s informed consent in research. The research-based Narrative Approach presented here provides an innovative conceptual and procedural framework for designing, doing and disseminating ethical research with children.  

Emeritus Professor Ann Farrell, Adjunct Professor School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education, Faculty of Education, QUT, Honorary Doctorate (Goteborg University), PhD (University of Queensland), MEdSt (University of Queensland), BEdSt (University of Queensland), DipT(EC) (Brisbane Kind T.C.), Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)