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Ethical Research Involving Children

Generalizing together with children: The significance of children’s concepts for mutual knowledge creation.

Chimirri, N. A. (2019). Generalizing together with children: The significance of children’s concepts for mutual knowledge creation. In C. Højholt & E. Schraube (Eds.), Subjectivity and Knowledge: Generalization in the Psychological Study of Everyday Life (pp. 115-139). Cham: Springer International Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-030-29977-4.

Abstract: Children’s generalization praxis and knowledges are granted too little societal, pedagogical, and scientific significance: they remain surrounded by an aura of defectiveness when contrasted with adult knowledges. As a result, the question of what there is to learn of children about the world and its doings, including of what there is to learn of each and every unique child about their respective perspectives on everyday life, in order to purposefully and sustainably develop society together across generations, is too easily rendered oblique or even superfluous. In response to this shortcoming, the chapter highlights how researchers and other adults can learn from children for the purpose of developing more democratic knowledge creation processes in pedagogical institutions, as well as in other arenas of societal everyday life. For enabling the systematic inclusion of children’s knowledges into these generalization processes, it builds on dialectical praxis psychologies to propose necessary conceptual reconfigurations on the ontological, the epistemological, the methodological, and the ethical level. Finally, the praxis-philosophical concept of teleogenetic collaboration is suggested as a means to offer both researchers and other adults working together with children an alternative self-understanding of their role in the mutual child–adult learning processes. It posits academic research and generalizing as part of everyday life, rather than as aiming for the study of other people’s everyday life, and argues that its generalizations should become more immediately accessible and negotiable for everyone irrespective of age. (Abstract reproduced with permission © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2019).

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