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Ethical Research Involving Children

Embracing uncertainty in research with young children.

Chesworth, L. (2018). Embracing uncertainty in research with young children. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 31(9), pp. 851-862.

Abstract: This article contests the emphasis that is frequently placed upon child-friendly methods in research with young children. Focusing upon a series of research encounters from a doctoral study of play in an early years classroom, I examine my interactions with the children and their social and material worlds and draw upon these encounters to highlight some emergent and unpredictable elements of research with young children. I argue that these elements call for a decreased emphasis upon the implementation of method towards an openness to uncertainty and an ethical responsiveness to the researcher’s relations with children and their everyday lives. An ethical responsiveness to uncertainty has implications throughout the research process, including through the ways in which we choose to read, interpret and present the data. This article offers original contributions to contemporary debates regarding what might become possible when uncertainty is acknowledged and embraced in research with young children. (Abstract © Taylor & Francis, reprinted by special permission from Taylor & Francis Group, a division of Informa UK,

This is an open access article. The pdf is freely available via the Publisher’s Link below.

Publisher’s Link