Children as researchers: issues, impact and contribution to knowledge

Kellett, Mary (2009). Children as researchers: issues, impact and contribution to knowledge. In: Counting Children In! 2nd International Conference of Child Indicators, 3-5 Nov 2009, Sydney, Australia.


This paper explores the concept of children as researchers, positioning this from a rights perspective. It begins by tracing the historical context of children's research before establishing a rationale for this new paradigm. Consideration is given to methodological and theoretical issues pertaining to research by children and set within a context of participation and empowerment. The author acknowledges the importance of child voice, the uniqueness of insider perspective and the valuing of original contribution to knowledge that research by children can bring to our understanding of childhood and children's lives. The paper draws on the pioneering work of the Children's Research Centre at the Open University, UK – a centre solely dedicated to supporting research by children and young people – and features an example of original research by young people. Impact factors are examined along with how we value and position research by children in policy and practice contexts.

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