The Ethics of Care
Stephen Harvey and Jeanne Adèle Kentel Researching with the Child at Heart 141
Stephen Harvey and Jeanne Adèle Kentel Researching with the Child at Heart Researching with the child at heart is a concept we introduce in order to initiate a conversation concerning research with, about, and by children. It is an orientation we are proposing in order to tackle some key issues faced in the evolving research community. We foreground this discussion cog- nizant of the complex nature of research itself, and in particular, research involving children. We consider children to be not only our future, but also our present; therefore, we approach this conversation with child honour- ing at heart. That is, we wish to discuss the ways in which children can be honoured in research as well as respected. The aim is to organize research around the needs of children, not our own. Children are not vulnerable concerning their intellectual capacities, creativity, or contribution to a better world; rather, they are susceptible to the law (cf. Valentine 1999), because the law does not allow children to vote, participate in a range of activities, or give consent. Under the law, a very young child is not likely to be believed, whether or not s/he is telling the truth. Under the law children’s needs, rights, and perspectives are determined and mediated by adults. Due to this we, as researchers, educators, parents, and citizens, act in the place of a child’s autonomy, and sadly we do not always do this with the child at heart. The decisions we make often serve our...
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