Power, Pedagogy and Participation: ethics and pragmatics in research with young people

Hugh Starkey, Bassel Akar, Lee Jerome, Audrey Osler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    This article addresses issues of methodology and ethical reflexivity when attempting to investigate the opinions of young people. Drawing specifically on three studies of young people's understandings of citizenship and their views on topical issues, two from England and one from Lebanon, the authors present ways in which the ethical and practical challenges of such research can be met. While acknowledging the power relationship between researchers and informants, they suggest that what they call ‘pedagogical research approaches’ built on a participative methodology can open up a space where both parties benefit. They argue that, when working in schools, teacher educators can take advantage of this status to present themselves simultaneously as insiders and outsiders. The authors have devised what are intended to be non-exploitative research instruments that permit the gathering of useful qualitative data during a short encounter. They illustrate their approach with examples of classroom activities they have developed to provide simultaneously a valid learning experience and usable data.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)426-440
    Number of pages15
    JournalResearch in Comparative and international Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


    • research methods
    • participative research
    • pedagogy
    • citizenship education


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