25 SES 07 A, Learning from What is Not Always Shared: Encountering Problems and Learning from Mistakes
At the Network 25 meeting in Hamburg, 2019, a group of researchers discussed the value to be achieved in sharing our experiences of the missteps in research and how these are often omitted from conference presentations and academic articles. Reflective practice and learning from mistakes is a key skill for effective research and the development of ethical considerations and successful methodologies. Though sharing specific examples from our experiences at a methodological and ethical level we aim to extend the debate about how researchers can respect the Rights of the Child (UNICEF, 1989) while still encouraging children’s participation in research. Each presenter focuses on a different element of children’s participation. Carmel discusses the need for precise language and thinking of the literal interpretation of words by children. Katarzyna identifies that adults may consider children willing to participate in research, but have to rethink ethical aspects when children do not wish to participate. Sara highlights that the tensions between groups in the school community and how the requirements of ethics’ committees which may not support effective communications between all those involved.
Educational research needs to involve and respect participants’ needs. This can often be difficult within the context of institutional requirements of doctoral students who need to meet certain milestones if they are to successfully complete their studies. Equally for more experienced researchers, institutional and funding constraints apply: The need to comply with Research Ethics’ Committees’ restrictions and requirements as well as meeting the parameters of funding bodies. Additionally, there is the need to contribute to the academy through publications in peer reviewed journals. In many instances, this may lead to omitting the difficulties that researchers have faced in undertaking their research and the pragmatic decisions that may have been taken. In this session, the researchers from Poland, Switzerland and the UK share their experiences and encourage those attending the session to provide their own examples as a way of developing a network of researchers who share a sense of community in which things do not go according to plan.
One of the intended outcomes is to develop a community which can identify the challenges of undertaking research where participants can be reluctant to take part or even start from a mistrust of intellectualism. The situations facing educational researchers are not usually distinct to one country and the opportunities to learn from one another is a key element of the community of practice that has developed through networking opportunities in the SIG networks. Putting this in the context of Network 25 and the Rights of children and how these can be best met through openly sharing when things ‘go wrong’, it is hoped to encourage participants to share and learn from the experience of others and reflect on their own issues. This session is aimed at including the ‘outtakes’ of research, similar to the way in which the ‘bloopers’ in films are sometimes included in the credits of films. The three presenters will discuss how they adapted to the differing needs of their participants, especially when respecting their active participation in research and the flexibility that was required while operating within their research constraints. After the short presentations by the researchers, the audience will be encouraged to address the questions raised by the presenters and to share their solutions to such dilemmas.
Bartlett, R,, Wright, T., Olarinde, T., Holmes, T., Beamon, E.R, Wallace, D. (2017). Schools as Sites for Recruiting Participants and Implementing Research. J Community Healt Nurs., 34(2), 80-88. doi:10.1080/07370016.2017.1304146 Bird, D., Culley, L.and Lakhanpaul, M. (2013) Why collaborate with children in health research: an analysis of the risks and benefits of collaboration with young children. Archives of Disease in Childhood Education and Practice, 98(2), 42-48. Capewell, C. and Ralph, S. (2015) Living with Glue Ear: Researching Educational Needs and Listening to the Voices of a Mother and Child. The International Journal of Diverse Identities, 15(1), 11-23. Clarke, A. and Moss, P. (2011) Listening to young children: The Mosaic Approach (2nd ed.) London: NBC. Dockett, S., Einarsdottir, J. And Perry, B. (2009). Researching with children: ethical tensions. Journal of Early childhood research, 7i(3), 283-298. Lowe, R. (2012) Children deconstructing childhood. Children & Society, 26, 269-279. Rice, M., Bunker, K.D., Kang, D.-H., Howell, C.C, Weaver, M. (2009). Accessing and Recruiting Children for Research in School. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 29(4), 501-514. UNICEF (1989) The United Nations Rights of the Child. London: UNICEF.
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