Seminar: The participation of children and young people in research and inquiry

Date / Time: 7 May 2013 10am
Venue: TC4.15, University of Waikato

Theorising the participation of children and young people in research and inquiry as it relates to a case study

Susan Groundwater-Smith, WMIER Visiting Professor

The seminar will focus upon the challenges and problematics of engaging with children and young people in research and inquiry in schools if we are to move beyond legitimation and guardianship. It will acknowledge the ideal of listening to students and acting upon their insights and understandings within the context of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, but will argue that there are many obstacles that need to be addressed. Among a range of theorists, the workshop will draw upon Biesta (2010) who argues that the way in which we position children and young people in our schools as ‘learner’, ‘student’ and ‘speaker’ gives us a range of starting points to consider how they might contribute meaningfully to its policies and practices.

The seminar will align these considerations with a current initiative that draws upon a ‘student voice’ project in NSW (Australia). It will argue that the ways in which the practices of engaging children and young people in inquiry and research require us to be alert to a desire for truly emancipatory possibilities as opposed to forms of appropriation that seek to tame and pacify.

Susan Groundwater-Smith is an honorary Professor in the Division of Professional Learning at the University of Sydney. She is convenor of the Coalition of Knowledge Building Schools, established to engage in ongoing systematic practitioner enquiry.  She works with a range of universities in Australia, the UK and the Netherlands and has published widely in practitioner research including an edited book with Anne Campbell, An ethical approach to practitioner research: Issues and dilemmas in action research (2007).

Please direct any queries about the seminar to Margaret Drummond.

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