‘Do we hear what children want to say?’ Ethical praxis when choosing research tools with children under five.
Palaiologou I. (2014) ‘Do we hear what children want to say?’ Ethical praxis when choosing research tools with children under five. Early Child Development and Care, 184(5). pp. 689-705
Abstract: Over the recent years there has been a shift in the field of early childhood research to involving young children in the research process. A vast body of literature [Evans, P., & Fuller, M. (1996). Hello. Who am I speaking to? Communicating with pre-school children in educational research settings. Early Years, 17(1), 17–20; Clark, A. (2004). Listening as a way of life. London: National Children’s Bureau; Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2001). Listening to young children: The mosaic approach. London: National Children’s Bureau; Clark, A., & Moss, P. (2005). Spaces to play: More listening to young children using the Mosaic approach. London: National Children’s Bureau; Thomson, P. (Ed.). (2008). Doing visual research with children and young people. Abingdon: Routledge; Farrell, A. (Ed.). (2005). Ethical research with children. Maidenhead: Open University Press] discusses methods to be used with young children in research by means of participatory methods and listening to children’s voices. A number of researchers mentioned throughout the paper have offered creative and innovative research tools that enable young children to participate in research. While recognising the responsibility to keep the discourse around children’s participation alive, there is a need to problematise it as well as the issue of participation of young children is a complex one which requires continuous critical refection. Thus the enquiry I conduct here employed grounded theory and aims to examine the paradigm of children’s participation in research. It is suggested in this paper that although participation is a vitally important element in researching young children, the discourse of children’s participation should be focused additionally on ethical praxis of the research which should revolve around six key layers: intersubjectivity, indivisibility, phronesis, parsimony, equilibrium and finally the power of relationships and interaction between children and adults. As a consequence of this enquiry I conclude that all methods become relevant to research with children when ethical praxis characterises the nature of the project.(Abstract © Taylor & Francis, reprinted by special permission from Taylor & Francis Group, a division of Informa UK, http://www.tandf.co.uk).