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Working with Children and Young People

Ethical Debates and Practices Across Disciplines and Continents


Edited By Anne Campbell and Pat Broadhead

This book provides an interdisciplinary perspective on working with young people, focusing on education, health and social work, and draws on projects and perspectives from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. The volume highlights the ethical challenges and dilemmas as these and other services are integrated and addresses how ethical practices are confronted and shared across disciplines.
The first section looks at professional practice; the second foregrounds children’s and young people’s voices and is especially concerned with children and young people as co-researchers. Subjects addressed within the text include sex education, health education, custodial care, confidentiality and gaining consent, ethical issues around ICT and researching with vulnerable populations.
The book is intended for both scholars and practitioners. It places examples in clearly articulated theoretical frameworks as well as considering professional principles and practice.


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Kaye Johnson 12 Promoting ethical understandings in child co-researchers 215


Kaye Johnson 12 Promoting ethical understandings in child co-researchers For the past fifteen years ethical questions dominated my work as a primary school head teacher who wanted children to participate in school-based research. Conducting the research in my own schools posed a number of ethical dilemmas including my role: As ‘an insider’ with privileged knowledge that would not be avail-• able to external researchers As principal, which placed me in a position of power over the • children with whom I wished to conduct the research, As principal with the likelihood of remaining in these settings after • the conclusion of the research These ethical considerations were further compounded because I wanted to include the children as investigators in school based research so I needed to teach them about, as well as enact the ethical principles of, informed consent, confidentiality and respectful treatment of all people associated with the research. This chapter explores these considerations as I acknowledged chil- dren as competent contributors to improving their schools. It identifies some of the ways in which I addressed the ethical issues of consent and confidentiality when conducting research in my own school with thirty 8–10 year olds. In it I tell of the guidelines children devised for adults who wished to conduct research in their school and demonstrate how I used these to make explicit to the children the purposes and ethical conduct of our school based research. 216 Kaye Johnson Listening to children I begin by outlining my motivation for listening...

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