Power, pedagogy and participation: ethics and pragmatics in research with young people

Starkey, Hugh, Akar, Bassel, Jerome, Lee ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0278-6986 and Osler, Audrey (2014) Power, pedagogy and participation: ethics and pragmatics in research with young people. Research in Comparative and International Education, 9 (4) . pp. 426-440. ISSN 1745-4999 [Article] (doi:10.2304/rcie.2014.9.4.426)


This paper addresses issues of methodology when attempting to investigate the opinions of young people. It uses the concept of ‘ethical reflexivity’ (Gewirz & Cribb, 2006) to theorise some very practical considerations of research in classrooms. Drawing specifically on three studies of young people’s understandings of citizenship and their views on topical issues, two from England and one from Lebanon, we present ways in which the ethical challenges of such research can be met. Whilst acknowledging the power relationship between researchers and informants, we suggest that what we call ‘pedagogical research approaches’ built on a participative methodology can open up a space where both parties benefit. We argue that, when working in schools, we can take advantage of our status as teacher educators to present ourselves simultaneously as insiders and outsiders. We have devised what are intended to be non-exploitative research instruments that permit the gathering of useful qualitative data during a short encounter. We illustrate our approach with examples of classroom activities we have developed to provide simultaneously a valid learning experience and usable data.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 18075
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Lee Jerome
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2016 09:25
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2020 16:17
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18075

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