Turning the Tables: Children as Researchers

Thomas, Nigel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5310-9144 (2017) Turning the Tables: Children as Researchers. In: Research with Children: Perspectives and Practices. Routledge, Oxon, England, pp. 160-179. ISBN 978-1138100893

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL: https://www.routledge.com/Research-with-Children-P...


As other contributions to this book show, there has been a paradigm shift from research on children to research with children. The focus of this chapter, however, is on what appears to be the growing potential for a further shift to research by children. To use an ambiguous category just for a moment, there has been a real growth in research led by ‘children and young people’, as an area of activity and as a field of academic interest, in this century. As I have noted elsewhere (Thomas 2015), this may be seen as mainly a product of three factors: a greater emphasis in the social sciences on children and young people’s agency, in particular through the growth of work in the ‘new paradigm’ of the sociology of childhood identified by Prout and James (1990, 1997); an increasingly powerful global discourse of children’s rights following the adoption by the United Nations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 (see Alderson 2001); and a wider concern to bring service user perspectives into research and evaluation, which is mainly focused on adults but has clear implications for children and young people (see Beresford 2013).
We should start by clarifying what we mean by ‘children as researchers’. There is a need to try to be clear about three questions: (1) how we are defining children, (2) how we are defining research and (3) how we are characterising or conceptualising the relationship between them.

Repository Staff Only: item control page