Research with Children: Ethical Issues and Dilemmas of Power

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Rachel BERMAN, Ryerson University, Canada
Tiffany BARNIKIS, York University, Canada
Maggie MACNEVIN, Ryerson University, Canada
In this paper, the three authors discuss ethical issues and dilemmas of power connected to experiences of conducting research with children in three qualitative studies. All of the children participating in these research studies were enrolled, or had been enrolled, in a laboratory school childcare setting, and ranged in age from two and half to six years. Two projects, one building upon the other, explored children’s perceptions of their experiences in two different learning environments. Another project sought to explore children’s perceptions of ‘race’ and racial identity. The authors reflect upon their experiences with the goal of provoking further thought and discussion on how we might move towards a more equitable and fuller participation for children in research. Uncertainty and new and unanswered questions emerge through the discussions of the various stages of the research process. More specifically, we consider issues of: adult-initiated research; researcher’s positionality and social location; gatekeepers; consent and assent; and conversation and drawing as data collection methods. Looking towards future research, recommendations based on lessons learned are offered.