Children as active researchers: a new research paradigm for the 21st century?
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This paper examines the concept of research undertaken by children and the methodological and theoretical issues this raises. It begins with a rationale of research by children and sets this within a context or participation and empowerment, acknowledging the importance of child perspective and voice and valuing the original contribution that child researchers can make to our understanding of childhood and children's lives. It traces the historical and philosophical precedents that have led to this point and explores the question of whether research by children can be accommodated within existing research parameters or whether it requires a new approach even a new research paradigm? The paper also addresses issues of ethics, policy and power relations along with a discussion of the extent to which child research can be free of adult filters and adult influences. It draws on data from a 3-year ation research study empowering children as active researchers and features examples of children's original projects.
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