4 The value of children’s and young people’s participation
Remembering the TRREEE principles you learned in the opening video, so far you have been looking at how you need to Trust the children and young people and Respect their ability to share in your research. You know that they have the Right to be fully included in issues that affect their lives, but you also need to be aware of the need to address any Ethical issues as you plan and carry out your research.
Now you are going to concentrate on those last two Es, namely children’s and young people’s Expertise and Experience. Their research can produce findings that surprise adults, and the results can mean that adults have better understandings of children and young people’s experiences and their environments.
Here are two more video clips of the interview with Meera, who is researching with Year 7 (Y7) students. Take notes as you watch and answer the following questions: What methods does she use to record the students’ views? How did these methods demonstrate the students’ expertise? Were they effective? Why/why not? Note your thoughts in the box below.
What methods does Meera use to record the students’ views?
How did they demonstrate the students’ expertise?
Were they effective? Why/why not?
By handing the ‘safe space’ to the students to express their own views, Meera is putting herself in a position to have her own views or preconceptions challenged. If you are an adult planning to carry out some research with children or young people, how do you feel about that? Are you ready to have an open mind? Meera found that her own students were empowered to express their views about communication in the classroom, and this led her to feel that she had gained a great deal, professionally, from her research.
Watch Meera now as she talks about what she gained from the research she was carrying out with the Y7s. Think about the last two Es in the TRREEE principles: how are the students demonstrating their expertise? What are they sharing of their own experience?
Meera was able to see the students’ own perspectives on their learning. They were empowered to express a range of ways they would like to learn. They demonstrated their own expertise; they showed how they were experts in their own lives.
They began to feel valued in the teaching and learning process. They shared their own experiences and gained experience in researching, too.