Research with children and young people: Exploring the tensions between ethics, competence and participation.
Skelton, T. (2008). Research with children and young people: Exploring the tensions between ethics, competence and participation. Children’s Geographies, 6(1). pp. 21-36.
Abstract: This article offers a discussion of the ways in which institutional ethical frameworks can obstruct and obfuscate research with children and young people at the very same time as they attempt to protect these subjects of research. The article shows that key aspects of institutional ethical guidelines and regulations fly in the face of contemporary social studies of childhood, of which geography constitutes a significant part. The increasing recognition of the competence of children and young people combined with their right to participate, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, has not yet been adequately integrated within institutional ethics frameworks. This places those conducting research with children and young people in an invidious position of trying to follow their political respect for the rights of their research participants at the same time as meeting the strictures of research practice defined by their institutional ethics committees. Examples of the author’s own experience, plans for future research and actual research practice with young people will be used throughout to explore the tensions between ethics, competence and participation. (Abstract © Taylor & Francis, reprinted by special permission from Taylor & Francis Group, a division of Informa UK, http://www.tandf.co.uk).