25 SES 09, Making Connections: Theory and Practice of Using Visual Methods to Aid Children’s Participation in Educational Research
Seeking the views and perspectives of children and young people (CYP) in research about educational experiences is crucial if we are to improve practice and change lives. Researchers and practitioners often cite the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) - and it is Article 12, in particular which states that CYP are entitled to have their voice heard regarding situations and contexts that affect them - as a starting point for justifying the involvement of children. However, there is less evidence of reflection on their own rationale and commitment to participatory approaches and even less so on the practicalities of just how we can do this well (Clark & Laing 1012).
This research methodology workshop will address the context of participatory research with CYP and will cover the development of participatory research and associated policies over the decades. The workshop will consider the context of visual methods and tools and how these can be used in an innovative and creative way to conduct research with CYP. Participants will learn about the theoretical underpinnings of the methods and then experience the practicalities of completing and designing these methods themselves. The concluding section of the workshop will explore the analysis of data produced through these methods, considering the quantitative as well as the qualitative possibilities.
Participants will have the opportunity to circulate amongst a ‘carousel’ of three different activities which will provide examples of visual methods:
1. Diamond ranking has been used in classrooms to explore and clarify the feelings and thoughts on a topic and is usually carried out with pre-written statements. At the workshop, however, participants will have the opportunity to learn about and try using this activity with visual images instead (Clark, 2012).
2. Photo-elicitation and beyond: talking about, choosing and ranking pictures. Methods will be demonstrated of using the immediacy of photographs which are alternative or complementary to the semi-structured qualitative interview through photo-elicitation.
3. We will facilitate discussion and practical experimentation with different visual techniques to engage children and young people in research, such as: fortune lines; spider diagrams; PMIs, and drawings. These methods can be used flexibly in different contexts and provide a toolbox of ideas that researchers can draw on when conducting research in an inclusive way.
Clark, A (2005) Talking and listening to children. In M. Dudek (Ed.) Children’s Spaces. Oxford: Elsevier/Architectural Press Clark, A. (2010) Transforming Children’s Spaces Oxon: Routledge Clark, J. (2004) Participatory research with children and young people: philosophy, possibilities and perils, Action Research Expeditions, 4(Nov), 1-18. Clark, J. (2012) Using diamond ranking as visual cues to engage young people in the research process, Qualitative Research Journal, 12 (2), pp. 222-237. Clark, J. and Laing, K. (2012) The involvement of children and young people in research within the criminal justice area. Discussion Paper from the AHRC Connected Communities Programme Scoping Review. Clark, J., Dyson, A., Meagher, N., Robson, E. and Wootten, M. (2001) Young People as Researchers: possibilities, problems and politics. Leicester: Youth Work Press. Croghan, R., Griffin, C., Hunter, J. & Phoenix, A. (2008) Young People’s Constructions of Self: Notes on the Use and Analysis of the Photo-Elicitation Methods. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 11(4): 345-356 Harper, D. (2002). "Talking about pictures: a case for photo elicitation." Visual Studies 17(1): 13-26. Lodge, C. (2007). Regarding learning: Children’s drawings of learning in the classroom Learning Environments Research 10: 145-156. Piper, H. & Frankham, J. (2007) Seeing Voices and Hearing Pictures: Image as discourse and the framing of image-based research. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education 28(3): 373-387 Prosser, J. (2007). Visual methods and the visual culture of schools. Visual Studies 22(1): 13-30. Woolner, P., Clark, J., Hall, E., Tiplady, L., Thomas, U. & Wall, K. (2010) Pictures are necessary but not sufficient: using a range of visual methods to engage users about school design Learning Environments Research 13(1): 1-22.
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