The purpose of this article is to contribute to the research methodology literature that arose out of the (new) sociology of childhood and the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989) with regard to conducting ethical research with children rather than on children. In particular, this article reflects on the development of a method (learning dialogues).
Learning dialogues were designed to enable children to share their responses to prompts about specific aspects of their lifeworlds. This was one method used to produce the data corpus which also included a large-scale survey, classroom ethnographies and (video) re-enactments of children's lives after school.
The piloting of the learning dialogues took place in several iterations and a particular form was used for the main study. The original idea and development of the learning dialogues highlights they were both a rich source of data that complemented the other data sources in the study and an activity that children indicated that they enjoyed. The authors discuss the practicalities involved with adapting a qualitative method to different settings and to projects with large numbers of children.
The conceptualisation of the learning dialogues as sources of personal documentation about aspects of children's lifeworlds was unique to this research. In thinking about the learning dialogues as one source of data within a broader project, the research aimed to be more inclusive of all participants in contributing to the findings produced in the project.
Funding: This work was supported by funds granted to the first author from the Office for Research, Victoria University. Additional funding was provided by the Australian Research Council: Grant Number DP180100325 on which the first author is the lead CI.
Yelland, N. and Bartholomaeus, C. (2021), "Towards learning dialogues as data: researching children's lifeworlds in global cities", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 394-407. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-10-2020-0141
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