Researching Children's Experiences by Melissa FreemanResearching Children's Experiences by Melissa Freeman

Researching Children's Experiences

byMelissa Freeman, Sandra MathisonEditorMelissa Freeman

Paperback | November 3, 2008

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This accessible book presents approaches to planning, carrying out, and analyzing research projects with children and youth from a social constructivist perspective. Rich, contextualized examples illustrate how to elicit and understand the lived experiences of diverse young people. Data-collection methods discussed in depth include drawing, photography, the Internet, games, interviewing, focus groups, journaling, and observation. Also covered are strategies for fostering the active contributions of children in the research process; navigating consent and ethical issues; enlisting the support of parents, school personnel, and other gatekeepers; and interpreting data. Throughout, the authors emphasize the need to attend to the social setting in which research with children is done. End-of-chapter questions and exercises encourage readers to reflect on taken-for-granted conceptions of children and childhood and to try out the book's ideas in their own research projects.

About The Author

Melissa Freemanis Assistant Professor of Qualitative Research Methodologies in the College of Education at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on critical, constructivist, and relational approaches to educational research and evaluation; the role of dialogue in the construction of meaning and understanding; and the use of a...
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Details & Specs

Title:Researching Children's ExperiencesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:196 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:November 3, 2008Publisher:Guilford PublicationsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1593859953

ISBN - 13:9781593859954

Appropriate for ages: 3 - 14

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Conceptions of Children and Childhood

Historical Perspectives of Childhood

Theories of Socialization

New Studies of Childhood

2. Negotiating Access for Research with Children

The Regulation of Research in the Social Sciences

Navigating Institutional Review Boards

3. Recruiting Child Participants

Strategies for Obtaining Parental Permission

Getting Kids to Participate after You Are “In”


4. Defining Researcher Roles in Research with Children

The Effect of Institutions on Researcher Roles

Presentation of Self as Researcher

5. Ethical Challenges in Social Constructionist Research with Children

Voluntary Participation

Communicating Responsibly


6. Interviewing

Interviewing as a Relationship

Developing Interview Questions and Protocols

Strategies for Eliciting Verbal Responses

Individual Interviews

Group Interviews and Focus Groups

7. Art and Photography

Visual Forms of Expression and Representation

Communicating through Participant Drawings

Communicating through Photographs

Communicating through Maps

Planning for Visual Activities

Planning for Analysis of Visual Data

8. Journaling and Other Written Responses

Communicating through Writing

Written Accounts as Data


Technology and Writing

9. Analyzing Data

Internal and External Narratives of Meaning

Analysis of Context, Contexts of Analysis

Analyzing Visual Data

Analysis Goes On and On

10. Children as Researchers

The Power of Children’s Voices

Why Partner with Young People?

The Possibility ofTruePartnerships

Editorial Reviews

"I didn't expect that this well-written, exciting book would be so immediately relevant to my own research with children. Freeman and Mathison offer a very rich and pragmatic examination of children's roles as research participants. They carefully describe research practices that acknowledge children's competence and permit them to make informed, uncoerced choices about research participation. The anecdotes drawn from the authors' research are illuminating and will make it easy for readers to recognize their own experiences in the discussions. This book will be particularly useful for the graduate students in my research seminar. It will prompt them to thoughtfully reflect on their interactions with children and to design empirical studies that are sensitive to children's perspectives and that capture children's understanding. Highly recommended."--Beth Doll, PhD, Professor and Director, School Psychology Program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln "Working with children in a research project is different from working with adults. This book peels back the layers to help the reader understand what the differences are and how to respond to children in highly ethical ways. The authors make the research process very transparent by contextualizing the steps needed to plan, carry out, and analyze a research project. They do an excellent job of connecting theory with the practice of qualitative research. Readers are put right into the action through the use of reflection and description. The authors examine their own experience from many different angles, weaving together the emotional and practical aspects of doing research."--Sara McCormick Davis, EdD, Early Childhood Education Program, University of Arkansas, Fort Smith "What I like about this book is the use of lots of specific examples of fieldwork, both from the authors and from other researchers. The end-of-chapter discussion questions are fabulous."--Beth Graue, PhD, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison"This book offers a refreshingly critical approach to research with children and youth that is certainly warranted. Some of the content is very thought provoking and challenges the traditional research paradigm."--Abigail M. Jewkes, PhD, Department of Teacher Education, Saginaw Valley State University