Childhood, rights, research ethics and critical realism: New ways to research childhood

Three seminars with Priscilla Alderson, Professor Emerita of Childhood Studies, Institute of Education

Each session will briefly outline main ideas in critical realism. Then we will review how they can apply to research about childhood, and children’s rights, and research ethics. Please bring ideas and questions from your reading and research.  

Childhood and critical realism

Tuesday 21st January 2014, 5.30-7.30, Room 736, IOE, 20 Bedford Way, London

Critical realism examines the basic living reality (being) of children, and how that differs from ways in which children are perceived and understood (knowing). Another critical realist theme is the four planes of social being: bodies and nature; interpersonal relations; social structures; and the good life. How can all four planes inform research with children? Can methods in natural science apply to social science?

Children’s rights, citizenship and critical realism 

Tuesday 25th February, 5.30-7.30, Room 736, IOE, 20 Bedford Way, London

Do universal rights really exist, or are rights simply local ideas that vary in time and place? When do ‘human’ rights begin in life? Do they gradually develop up towards adulthood, or can babies have human rights and be citizens? How can critical realist concepts of being and knowing, and of the four planes of social being, inform research about rights and citizenship?  

Research ethics and critical realism

Thursday 13th March, 5.30-7.30, Room 736, IOE, 20 Bedford Way, London

Are justice, respect and avoiding harm universal concepts, or are they simply local ideas that vary in time and place? How can critical realist concepts of being and knowing, and of the four planes of social being, inform research ethics and how they are applied? How do ethics in natural science and in social science research overlap or differ?

Although the seminars are planned for MA students, others are very welcome to attend one or more sessions. For those wanting more advanced sessions on critical realism, these are held by Professor Roy Bhaskar at the Institute of Education on alternate Monday evenings.

Power point files and background reading will be sent out before the sessions, and the format will mainly be discussion. If you would like to know more before you decide whether to attend, the main themes are set out in Priscilla Alderson’s book Childhoods Real and Imagined: An Introduction to Critical Realism and Childhood Studies (Routledge 2013) Chapters 1-3, IOE library Ral Bad ALD.

To register and for more information contact Rachel Rosen: r.rosen@ioe.ac.uk.

 

Leave a Reply