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Lecture

Children in Canada Today - Chapter 3 Summary

7 Pages
162 Views

Department
Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1800
Professor
Shirley Ramsarran

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Description
Children in Canada Today: Chapter 3 Summary – Doing Research on and With Children Introduction Research methods is beneficial knowledge even for those who don‟t end up in a career that requires research Many of us trust experts unquestioningly because numbers confound us but not all research uses numbers and not all numbers are valid and informative Numbers can be intimidating as well, so many of us find ourselves accepting “the truth” as computed by scientists Understanding research process allow you to identify and understand the steps that were taken by researchers to arrive at certain kinds of conclusions o It shows you that researchers had other options, but chose a particular approach over many others available to them o For many reasons in studying this, they have chosen not to study that o By choosing to include these people in their study, they have chosen not to include those o Methodological choices are made to prove a particular point or support a certain set of assumptions o Understanding research will allow you to critically assess other people‟s work From Adult Perspectives (Research about Children) To Children‟s Voice (Research With and By Children) Much of what we know about children today comes from adults o Reflecting upon their own experiences as children or reporting on the experiences of children for whom they have responsibility – as parents, guardians, teachers, etc. This is not to say that their research is not valuable or important o But others are unlikely to be able to accurately represent children‟s views and understanding of their worlds – no matter how well intended or informed they may be This has happened in part because of our culture view of children as innocent, naïve, special, and incapable o As a result, adult researchers and adult study participants are treated as experts and as the people most knowledgeable about children‟s lives Children have not taken participated in research because of the obvious power differences between adult researchers and children and for fear that children will be intimidated or coerced By not including them into the research process are we not reinforcing their powerlessness? There is no doubt that children have not been given much room to manoeuvre in adult worlds, but clearly they also are not seen as experts on their own worlds and lives Increasingly, researchers are making commitments to listening to children and to seeing them as reliable informants of their own experiences Research on children‟s involvement in research shows that they are often passive about which methods to use, but they negotiate differing degrees of engagement when it comes to time control, comfort with the research medium, and privacy o Aka, they weren‟t very vocal about which techniques should be used when studying them, but were considerably more vocal in how research should unfold, how long data collection should take, how involved children themselves should be and how their privacy can and should be protected o They uphold standards of inclusiveness and fairness The Research Process Epistemology  stance on what should pass as acceptable knowledge If one holds macro approach (getting the big picture) they likely won‟t sit and talk to a select group of individuals one on one or oversee a group of children playing on a school ground, which are examples of the more close up micro approach Psychologists are more likely than sociologists to use experiments and clinical trials If you believe that only experts create knowledge then you won‟t ask children what is important to study, how best to do that, and how to involve them Participatory action research (PAR)  critique previous view and call for more inclusive research process that engages people, including children, actively in all stages of knowledge generation Before determining which methods to use, researchers must think of the purpose of their research o Exploratory research  trying to understand why something is happening o Descriptive research  trying to aim to describe situations or events o Evaluative research  trying to assess whether a policy or program, once implemented or introduced is actually effective o Deductive research  any research that begins with a theory or hypothesis in mind and there is an aim to test its value and application in a particular setting o Inductive research  research process begins by noticing something happening, with no theory in mind, and then trying to asses what is actually happening and why  Often linked to grounded theory  ongoing building of theory and understanding from qualitative observations – in other words, from the ground up  Grounded theory and participatory action research are distinct approaches within qualitative inquiry The Time Dimension as part of planning process, researchers must think about time dimension of their research cross sectional study  research project focusing on and collecting info at a single point in time  ex. Study of children spontaneously drawing one time longitudinal study  observing children at two or more points in time, often done for comparative purposes o useful for children if we are interested in understanding the changing nature of children‟s experiences with the passage of time Unit of Analysis unit of analysis  who or what will be studied o I.e. individuals, social groups, social artifact o In research about children, where the unit of analysis is individuals, it‟s usually not the child that is being research directly, but rather parents, guardians, etc., as they are considered the PMK (Person most knowledgeable) This can be valuable but is not the same as having the insight of the child themselves Research suggests that children as young as 4 can and have provided important insights through interviews into their daily lives and health experiences Social artifacts have played a role in meaningful research regarding children o Commercials, ads, toys, clothes, websites, television programs, movies and books, aimed at, created for, or targeting children o Also, things created by children – stories, jokes, crafts, etc. Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches Quantitative research  involves numerical representation and manipulation of observations for the purpose of describing an explaining social phenomena o Statistical analysis of survey data Qualitative research  non-numerical examination and interpretation of observations for the purpose of discovering underlying meaning, patterns, and relationships o More complicated o Especially important when doing research with children, allows them to tap into the richness of their thoughts and feelings about themselves, their environments and the world in which we all live o EXAMPLES: participation observation or ethnographic research, qualitative interviews, focus research o Much to be gained from ethnographic research from multiple perspectives: caregiver-centred, mother-centred, child-centred  Combined methods are increasingly use in research with children children are encouraged in interviews to say they didn‟t know and ask for clarification when necessary o they often assume adults already have the answers o using statements that they can agree or disagree with is sometimes more helpful than asking questions Ethics in Research Especially Including Children ethics  set of moral principles and codes of conduct all research involving humans is expected to follow certain guideli
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