This article draws from experiences in an ongoing study of children’s narrative competence in the early years across early childhood education and school settings. Focusing on the research as it is being conducted in the early childhood context (a kindergarten), the paper inquires into what it means to do research in education settings where curriculum is constituted as everything that happens there, and principles of curriculum demand empowering, responsive and reciprocal, inclusive and holistic practices. Questions of research ethics, children’s rights to assent or dissent to participate, to learn about the findings and consequences of the research, and to have the research recognised as curriculum experience are raised. Sitting at the intersection of research work and pedagogical/curriculum work the paper explores lessons from New Zealand of striving towards a fuller curriculum policy implementation and of addressing demands for ethical research practices with children who are very young.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Alderson P. & Morrow V. (2011). The ethics of research with children and young people. A practical handbook. London: Sage Publications.
Atwool N. (2013). Different approaches to child-focused research. Ethics Notes October 2013 Wellington: NZ Government & Health Research Council of NZ
Bateman A. Carr M. Gunn A. C. & Reese E. (2014). Literacy and narrative in the early years: Zooming in and zooming out. Retrieved from: http://www.tlri.org.nz/tlri-research/research-progress/cross-sector/literacy-and-narrative-early-years-zooming-and-zooming.
Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Wellington: NZCER Bourke R. & Loveridge J. (2014). Exploring informed consent and dissent through children’s participation in educational research. International Journal of Research and Method in Education 37(2) 151-165.
Brown A. L. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. Journal of the Learning Sciences 2(2) 141-178
Dalli C. & Te One S. (2012). Involving children in educational research: Research reflections on challenges. International Journal of Early Years Education 20(3) 224-233.
Dockett S. Einarsdóttir J. & Perry B. (2012). Young children’s decisions about research participation: Opting out. International Journal of Early Years Education 20(3) 244-256.
Dockett S. Perry B. & Kearney E. (2013). Promoting children’s informed assent in research participation. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 26(7) 802-828.
Early M. & Norton B. (2012). Language learner stories and imagined identities. Narrative Inquiry 22(1) 194-201.
Fargas-Malet M. McSherry D. Larkin E. & Robinson C. (2010). Research with children: Methodological issues and innovative techniques. Journal of Early Childhood Research 8(2) 175-192.
Farrell A. (2005) (Ed.) Ethical Research with Children Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Goodwin C. (2015). Narrative as talk-in-interaction. In A. de Fina & A. Georgakopoulou (Eds.) The Handbook of Narrative Analysis (pp. 195-218). Wiley & Sons Inc.
Griffin T. M. Hemphill L. Camp L. & Wolf D. P. (2004). Oral discourse in the preschool years and later literacy skills. First Language 24 123-147.
Groundwater-Smith S. Dockett S. & Bottrell D. (2015). Participatory research with children and young people. London: Sage Publications.
Harwood D. (2010). Finding a voice for child participants within doctoral research: Experiences from the field. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood 35(4) 4-13.
Jones E. (2012). The emergence of emergent curriculum. Young Children 67(2) 66-68
Jones E. & Nimmo J. (1994). Emergent curriculum Washington DC: NAEYC.
Kellett M. Robinson C. & Burr R. (2004). Images of childhood. In S. Fraser V. Lewis S. Ding M. Kellett & C Robinson (Eds.) Doing Research with Children and Young People (pp.27-42). London: Sage Publications.
Ministry of Education. (1996). Te Whāriki He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa Early Childhood Curriculum. Wellington: Learning Media.
Ministry of Education. (2004/2009). Kei Tua o Te Pae Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars. Wellington: Learning Media.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (1989). United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Retrieved from http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx
Phelan S. K. & Kinsella E. A. (2013). Picture this… Safety Dignity and Voice - Ethical Research with Children: Practical considerations for the reflexive researcher. Qualitative Inquiry 19(2) 81-90.
Powell M. A. Graham A. Taylor N. J. Newell S. & Fitzgerald R. (2011 March). Building capacity for ethical research with children and young people: An international project to examine the ethical issues and challenges in undertaking research with and for children in different majority and minority world contexts (Research report for the Childwatch International Research Network). Dunedin: University of Otago Centre for Research on Children and Families/Lismore: Centre for Children and Young People.
Reese E. Suggate S. Long L. & Schaughency E. (2010). Children’s oral narrative and reading skills in the first 3 years of reading instruction. Reading and Writing 23 627-644.
Smith A. B. (2011). Respecting children’s rights and agency: theoretical insights into ethical research procedures. In. D. Harcourt B. Perry and T. Waller (Eds.) Researching Young Chidlren’s Perspectives: Debating the Ethics and Dilemmas of Educational Research with Children (pp.11-25). Oxon: Routledge.
Te One S. (2011). Defining rights: Children’s rights in theory and in practice. He Kupu The Word 1 41- 57.
UNICEF & Graham M. Powell M. Taylor N. Anderson D. Fitzgerald R. (2013). Ethical research involving children. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti.