Ethical issues in school-based research.

Felzmann, H. (2009).Ethical issues in school-based research. Research Ethics, 5(3), pp.104-109.

Abstract: This paper provides an introduction to ethical issues arising in children’s research that takes place in school-settings. It addresses three main areas of ethical concern: the informed consent process, confidentiality, and harm and benefit. Informed consent in school settings is characterized by the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including not just researchers, parents and individual children but also school principals, teachers and the children’s peer group. The added complexity of the setting has implications for the management of the informed consent process, including the decision at what point and in which manner each stakeholder group needs to be involved in the process. The presence and divergent roles of these multiple stakeholders in the school setting also have implications for addressing issues of confidentiality, especially due to the group setting in which participants take part in the research and role expectations within school settings. Harm and benefit in school-based research are of a non-physical nature; relevant areas of concern relate primarily to the potential for psychological and social harm, realistic presentation of likely benefits from research and the issue of rewards for research participation.
Abstract reproduced with permission. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in <Research Ethics>, 5/3, 09/2009 by SAGE Publications, Ltd., All rights reserved. © [SAGE Publications, Ltd.].

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