Chapter 7: Parents as researchers

Widen your reading by taking a look at this list of useful journal articles.

Article 1: Pomerantz, E. M., Moorman, E. A., & Litwack, S. D. (2007). The how, whom, and why of parents’ involvement in children’s academic lives: More is not always better. Review of Educational Research, 77(3), 373-410.

Abstract: A key goal of much educational policy is to help parents become involved in children’s academic lives. The focus of such efforts, as well as much of the extant research, has generally been on increasing the extent of parents’ involvement. However, factors beyond the extent of parents’ involvement may be of import. In this article, the case is made that consideration of the how, whom, and why of parents’ involvement in children’s academic lives is critical to maximizing its benefits. Evidence is reviewed indicating that how parents become involved determines in large part the success of their involvement. It is argued as well that parents’ involvement may matter more for some children than for others. The issue of why parents should become involved is also considered. Implications for future research and interventions are discussed.


Article 2: Mazzoni, V., & Harcourt, D. S. (2013). An international experience of research with children: Moving forward on the idea of children’s participation. Qualitative Research, 14(2), 252-268.

Abstract: This article examines a research collaboration in which an Australian and an Italian researcher came together in order to develop a project with young children to document their standpoints on the quality of their experiences of the early childhood services they were attending. As such, this article provides a reflection on working from different international viewpoints and narrates a research story that identifies some of the questions met, both in the conceptual framework and in the research design. In order to realize this research project, the collaborators’ challenge was to construct a shared understanding of their work, which meant addressing philosophical, ethical and practical points of tension. These points are described in the article as they emerged within the research endeavour, rather than being theoretically illustrated. The aim here is to offer the reader a lived experience example of meaning-making: how the researchers worked together, exploring the commonalities and differences that characterized each individual’s research practice, with the aim to construct a synergistic approach to working with children in research.