Vicky Johnson
Roger Hart
Jennifer Colwell
Publication Date
Publication Date: 
June 2, 2011

"The Researcher Toolkit and Researcher Resource have been developed to support researchers to include young children in research; particularly children aged 5-8 years of age."

This guide provides a six-step process for designing research. It was developed through systematically identifying and describing a range of methods that have been used with young children in diverse contexts around the world. A researcher is considered "anyone involved in designing and conducting research including: practitioners, academics, community workers, staff in hospitals, street workers, school teachers and many others."

The method was constructed by involving academics and practitioners with experience carrying out research with this age group, bringing together these experts in June 201, and gathering methods that they and others in the field had used. "Templates were designed to gather further examples of methods of value in working with young children." These were piloted in India and South Africa and then shared with researchers who helped to identify "cultural, religious and resource issues that one needs to consider when working with children in very different kinds of settings."

The steps in the guide suggest an initial process of "reviewing capabilities, developing ethical protocols and building trust and relationships." The case studies "illustrate that the methods described in this set of resources should not be simply copied; research design should involve the creative selection, combining and modifying of methods if it is to be safe, engaging, productive and relevant to children’s lives." Also provided is "academic background about why young children should be involved in research and provides more guidance on each of the six steps to engaging young children in research."

The guide contains:

  • "Acronyms
  • Introduction to The Researcher Toolkit and Resource
  • The Steps for Engaging Young Children in Research
  • The Six Steps for engaging children in research
  • Academic Background and Guidance on steps to engaging young children in research
  • Background to Involving Young Children in Research
  • Step 1: Capability including values, knowledge and skills
  • Step 2: Developing ethical processes
  • Step 3: Building supportive, trustful relationships
  • Step 4: Choosing methods and communication using different media
    • - Cluster 1: Interviews and discussions
    • - Cluster 2: Child led-tours/ In-situ methods
    • - Cluster 3: Visuals for free expression
    • - Cluster 4: Visual structures and templates
    • - Cluster 5: Narrative and performance
    • - Cluster 6: Play and games
  • Step 6: Flexibility in different contexts
  • Introduction to case studies in learning from practice in research
  • Linking to the researcher Tool Kit"
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