chapter  39
20 Pages

Children as research consultants

The ethics and rights of no research about them without consultingwith them
WithSonya Gaches, Megan Gallagher

As researchers, we must consult with other researchers regarding ethics, appropriateness and scholarly significance of our proposed research. We consult with members of special populations (e.g., indigenous groups, refugee organisations, etc.) and early childhood adult leaders before conducting related research. In fact, much of what we know about early childhood education has been driven by adults determining the questions, methodologies and findings, assuming that children are knowable through adult observations and measures (Smith, 2011). Yet over the past few years, there has been increased support for researchers, educators and policymakers to seek and give due weight to the perspectives of children under the age of 8. The project in this chapter addresses the ethics and rights of researching children by consulting with a children’s research consultation group before pursuing further child-based research in education. This chapter explores this ethical and rights-based issue, shares the process undertaken in this research consultation, and examines how this consultation is affecting further research and work with children.