The Children’s Research Centre draws upon a range of theoretical perspectives and multi-disciplinary approaches to evaluate how children and young people can benefit from designing, implementing and sharing findings from their own independent research. Our underpinning rationale is multi-faceted: CRC members embrace a range of perspectives on the benefits of research led by young people, including the facilitation of children’s voices, inclusion, learning, and enculturation into the world of research and different ways of thinking. CRC members take a critical stance on issues related to participatory research practice and continue to explore the different ways in which enquiry approaches can be developed for independent use by children and young people. See our video featuring young researchers:
We have several projects underway currently:
- Signing Young Researchers: Kieron Sheehy and Chae-Young Kim are working with Signalong and a school for children with learning difficulties to develop an inclusive pedagogy and new signs to enable the young people to engage in their own research.
- Geographic Inquiry: Victoria Cooper and Trevor Collins are working with the Field Studies Council to develop a range of resources to support young people with carrying out social science research as part of their Geography GCSE, A Level and International Baccalaureate fieldwork.
- Our Research Story: Cindy Kerawalla and David Messer are exploring how the Our Story app can be used by young researchers to tell their personal research stories (the ones that remain untold in more formal research reports, presentations and posters) with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of CRC support materials.
- Researchers have feelings: Cindy Kerawalla and David Messer are investigating young researchers’ perspectives on what it feels like to do their own social research (from the highs to the lows on the research roller coaster) with a view to understanding whether this first-hand experience can help young people to better understand the rich experience of being a researcher.
- What does it take to be a researcher?: Cindy kerawalla and David Messer are working with young researchers in order to ascertain their understandings of the personal characteristics required to be a researcher. We ask whether this first-hand experience might put young people in a good position to decide whether future research careers are for them.
- MyShout!: Cindy Kerawalla has developed a website to support young researchers’ self-directed learning about research process and research methods. MyShout! has been used successfully by around 40 young researchers and is currently being updated with new materials.
- Brighton Rocks: Liz Chamberlain is working with a primary school in Brighton to engage young researchers from disadvantaged social backgrounds to explore their home and out of school lives with the aim of listening to children's construction of their experiences and their preferred ways of representing the intersection of both domains
- Developing Children as Researchers: A practical guide to help children conduct social research. Chae-Young Kim with Kieron Sheehy and Cindy Kerawalla has developed a practical guidebook that gives teachers - and other adults who work with children - a set of structured session plans to facilitate children to conduct social science research. The book will be published with Routledge in 2016.
- Streets Ahead: Cindy Kerawalla worked with a group of Girl Guides to develop a new national badge that requires Guides to carry out a small community research project. To date, the badge has been awarded to more than 10,000 Girl Guides across the UK.
- Participation and translation: Victoria Cooper is currently exploring and evaluating both the benefits and limitations to participatory visual research carried out by young children and how issues of power and representation, endemic to social research, potentially renders children’s views and experiences lost during translation. You can see examples of young researchers' work on this website. If you would like to know more about what we do or would like to talk to us about how you might use our resources to support the children and young people who you work with, please do contact us.