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Understanding research with children and young people
Understanding research with children and young people

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Understanding research with children and young people

Session 1: Why do it?


The first Session will look at this essential element, why it is important to include children and young people in research about their lives. This underpins this course and the OU Our Voices project overall.

Greta Thunberg, a young environmental activist, talking to a crowd of people.

By the end of this session, you should be able to:

  • give some reasons why it is important for children and young people to be involved in research that affects their own lives
  • summarise key Articles of the UNCRC which relate specifically to children and young people’s rights with regard to research that affects their lives
  • identify some challenges that may be encountered when researching with children and young people.

First of all, have a look at this short introductory video.

Activity _unit1.1.1 Activity 1

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes.

As you watch Video 1, consider what key points are presented in the video. What is the value of engaging with children and young people in research about their lives? Make notes as you watch, then click on the ‘key points’ below to compare your answers.

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Video _unit1.1.1 Video 1
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Key points:

  • Research questions are frequently aimed at, and answered by, adults.
  • Children and young people have the right to express themselves.
  • Children and young people are often more articulate than adults think they are going to be.
  • They see things adults do not, they are experts in their own lives.
  • Adults should be partners with the children and young people; this will lead to better research.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.