ethical research with children

 Dr Kaye Johnson, from South Australia, worked with children at her school to develop ethical standards for research. They called this The Child Speaks to the Researcher.

1. Please treat me and my life with respect.

2. Tell me about this research

  • why are you doing it?
  • who will it help?
  • what is my role?
  • what will you do with what I say?

3. Ask me if I want to participate

  • tell me how I was chosen
  • tell me what I will need to do
  • give me a real choice to decide
  • don’t threaten me if I change my mind.

4. Invite me to talk about things which are directly related to the research, don’t trick me with smart questions or pry into the rest of my life.  Show me that you are really listening.

5. Share my story in ways that don’t

  • put me down
  • make it worse than it is
  • make me unsafe

6. Please show me what you have done with my words.

These are very helpful and we could all do with following them.

Kaye Johnson (2000) Research Ethics and Children Curriculum Perspectives November pp 6-7

About pat thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK
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