What makes me feel embarrassed and how it can have productive outcomes was the topic of an earlier post already, so let’s dive in for part 2 of useful embarrassment in 2017:
PhD students in Australia ‘confirm’ their research proposal with a presentation at the end of their first year. Kati Marinkovic held her confirmation at the University of Melbourne this October, and I had the pleasure (while the embarrassment hadn’t hit) to read her fine report and attend her fantastic presentation.
Her project is titled “Is there a space for Participatory Action Research with Children in Disaster Risk Reduction Programs?”
Kati finds out whether and how children can be co-designers and co-researchers of disaster risk reduction programs. She collects data in both Chile and Australia, and has an impressive plan to set up a panel of co-researchers: children who live in disaster-prone environments.*
She aligns her work with a human rights perspective: children have the right to participate in decisions about their life. She cites Green (2015), saying that
“although many researchers advocate for children’s rights, many fail to involve them during the whole research process.”
And that’s where my stomach signaled a problem…embarrassment.
It had to do with the words ‘the whole research process.’
In the lab, we incorporate qualitative aspects of research where we can, soliciting children’s, families’ and professionals’ views. We always ask our participants what we’ve missed, and what else they find important for us to know.
However, this applies to specific studies. I have never asked our participants to comment on our whole research program. It would be super valuable…
So next year (ahem, starting in 8 days…), I plan to reach out to several youth groups and invite them for a session on our team’s research program. I’m keen to hear what they think of our agenda and where we should be heading.
For now, for those of you who celebrate Christmas and New Year, I wish you a very happy festive season and a great start to 2018!
* Something that our own Revathi Krishna is doing in India at the moment!
Reference: Green, C. J. (2015). Toward Young Children as Active Researchers: A Critical Review of the Methodologies and Methods in Early Childhood Environmental Education. The Journal of Environmental Education, 46, 207–229