Storytelling and Role Play to Increase Younger Children's Autonomy Within Research: What Younger Children Really Think and Understand About Online Safety

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


This early career research paper is situated within a wider study investigating younger children’s understanding of online safety and how increasing children’s autonomy and voice can be included to potentially help with supporting younger children’s online safety. The paper begins with an overview of the literature, recognising the research paucity around younger children’s understanding of online safety (Holloway, Green and Livingstone, 2013). The paper then discusses children’s role within research and how participatory methods can potentially increase children’s voices; becoming active participants who can add to the body of knowledge about various issues in their lives (Einarsdottir & Harcourt 2011; Lansdown 2005; Pinter, Kuchah & Smith, 2013). To ensure children’s autonomy, this paper proposes two creative methodological approaches, storytelling and role play, to encourage research with children as opposed to research on children. Age appropriate story books with a focus on digital technology, will be examined to determine how issues of digital engagement, online safety, risk, trust and danger could be explored. Next, the paper discusses role-play, encouraging a holistic and child-centred approach to data collection and how this can facilitate further interpretation and depth. This paper thus seeks to explore issues around increasing younger children’s role within research, making a cultural shift from children viewed as passive to competent research participants.
Period4 Nov 2017
Event titleTACTYC Conference & Annual General Meeting: Me, You, Us: Young Children's Identities, Diversity and Equality in the 21st Century
Event typeConference
LocationBirmingham, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational