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Participatory Research with Children and Young People


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Arguing The Case For Participatory Research With Children And Young People Developing New Methodological Understandings Of Social Research With Children And Young People Ethical Questions In Relation To Participatory Research With Children And Young People Designing A Project With Children And Young People: Investigating The `Researchable Question' A Political Ecology Of Access And Cooperation Innovative Methods Issues Of Impact And Sustainability In The Context Of Participatory Design And Construction Publication And Dissemination Action And Participation

About the Author

Susan Groundwater-Smith is Honorary Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Sydney and Visiting Professor, Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, University of Waikato. She has had an extensive career in teacher education, especially in relation to teachers-as-researchers, see Groundwater-Smith, S., Mitchell, J., Mockler, N., Ponte, P. & Ronnerman, K. (2013) Facilitating Practitioner Research. London: Routledge. She is the convener of the Coalition of Knowledge Building Schools, a Special Interest Group in the Faculty of Education and Social work. This group has functioned for over ten years and includes schools and cultural institutions. It has a continuing commitment to consulting children and young people and, where possible, including them as active researchers. This work has drawn the attention of researchers in Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Sue Dockett is Professor, Early Childhood Education, Charles Sturt University, Australia. Sue's background is in early childhood and tertiary education. Over many years, Sue has engaged in research with children and young people, particularly in the years before school and the early years of school. Much of this research has focused on children's experiences and expectations, as well as those of families, educators and communities at times of transition. She is co-author of Transition to school: Perceptions, expectations and experiences (with Bob Perry), co-editor of Transitions to school - International research, policy and practice (with Bob Perry and Anne Petriwskyj) and Varied perspectives on play and learning: Theory and research on early years education (with Bob Perry and Ole Fredrik Lillemyr). Dorothy Bottrell is a Senior Lecturer in Social Pedagogy, in the College of Education, Victoria University Melbourne and Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney. Her background is in secondary teaching, juvenile justice, youth and community work and TAFE teaching in community services. She has extensive experience working with marginalised young people and has led or contributed to participatory projects with young people and community organisations, including murals, girls' film-making, establishing a young parents' group, community-based education for early school-leavers and community development forums with children, young people, Aboriginal families and an older women's group. Her research has focused on the resilience of marginalised young people, including theoretical and qualitative empirical work that centres young people's accounts of school, community and service systems. She is currently researching the interrelationship of resilience and responsibility, using political ecology and social justice frameworks; and is associate researcher with Kitty te Riele and Vicky Plows (Victoria Institute) on alternative education programs. Dorothy is co-author of A political ecology of youth and crime; and or co-editor of Schools, communities and social inclusion; and Communities and change.


The process of conducting research from start to finish is dealt with, serving the novice or experienced researcher equally with rich interpretations and possibilities encountered at each stage.

The book examines a wide range of interpretations of participatory research through a multi-disciplinary lens and in doing so serves to enrich the methodological literature as well as further promote the possibilities of bringing about social change through engaging the young.

-- Cathy Burke
This important book moves beyond the value of young people's participation to consider how to do it. It is one of the first books to carefully anchor participation research onto principles of inquiry-based practice and the ethics of good research at a level of detail in which practitioners and theorists alike will find it useful.
-- Dana Mitra
A timely, rich and thought provoking exploration of the issues and dilemmas at the heart of actively and authentically involving all children and young people in each phase of research inquiries that involve them. Each author brings a wealth of experience in this area.
-- Robyn Ewing
A well considered companion for those seeking to engage in the critical work of researching with young children. I highly recommend this book for both beginning researchers and those seeking to explore the dilemmas and challenges associated with this type of research.
-- Deborah Harcourt

This thorough, clearly written, accessible book provides theoretical underpinnings, case studies, extensive discussions of methods, and practical advice as well as compelling arguments regarding the whys and hows of participatory research with children and young people. It does not shy away from the complexities of this work. A thoughtful and inspiring guide to anyone interested in participatory research with children and young people.

-- Alison Cook-Sather
[The book] provides a really useful overview of the key issues and how researchers might address these... It is concise and clear; explores complex issues together with practical examples and case studies; and brings together theory and practice from different fields in an accessible and engaging way. -- Louca-Mai Brady, Independent Research Consultant
With a robust review of up-to-date literature, incorporation of practical models of participation, extensive discussion of methods, and a solid explanation of youth as capable, significant participants, this book offers a substantial contribution to the interdisciplinary field of participatory research with children and youth. -- Rebecca Kaplan

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