Chapter 7: Listening to young children

Activity 1

UNICEF is an international organization which states its mission as:

‘to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided in doing this by the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.’ (from the UNICEF website)

Look at UNICEF’s home page (accessed 08-03-2022)

And – UNICEF’s role in promoting and supporting the Convention on the Rights of the Child | UNICEF – This is the page which can direct you to lots of resources about children’s rights (accessed 08-03-2022)

Activity 2

Reflect on issues raised in this case study:

Miriam is interested in researching children’s gendered identities. She plans to ask parents and educators what their perceptions are on the topic because she thinks the children are too young to understand the idea of gender and would be unable to talk about it. How would you respond to this student?

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Children do show an awareness of gender at an early age.
  • Children do experience sexism and gendered ideas about what is ‘appropriate’ for them from an early age.
  • This position assumes there are some topics that children are ‘innocent’ of.
  • Is talking the only way you might research this topic? What about observation for instance?
  • This position assumes adults can speak assuredly on behalf of children (although they do – of course – have an important view).

Activity 3

Sage research methods content

Brooker, L. (2011) ‘Taking children seriously: an alternative agenda for research?’, Journal of Early Childhood Research, 9: 137–49.

Rosen, R. (2010) ‘“We got our heads together and came up with a plan”: young children’s perceptions of curriculum development in one Canadian preschool’, Journal of Early Childhood Research, 8(1): 89–108.

Punch, S. (2002) ‘Research with children: the same or different from research with adults?’, Childhood, 9(3): 321–41.

This article encourages the reader to think about the ways in which research may or may not be different when researching with children as opposed to adults.