Explorative child-led workshops

Sub-project 1: Explorative child-led workshops

Sub-project 1 focuses on children’s experiences and visions. Professor in Social Science Hanne Warming, who has conducted research in the area of childhood, children perspectives and social work with vulnerable children for several years, is responsible for carrying out the project.

The project is built on explorative workshops with children and youth. The objective is to provide knowledge about children and young people’s experiences with trust/mistrust and the impact it has on their lives, participation in decision-making and citizenship. Moreover, the purpose is to facilitate children and young people’s voice in the discourse of trust in social work and, through that voice, to inform and challenge adults’ understandings including the pre-understandings in the other sub-projects.

Approximately 10 workshops are being held, divided between a children’s group and a group of young people.

The conceptual framework is based on the new sociology of childhood which emphasises that research about children and young people should include and prioritise the perspectives and knowledge of the children on their own terms and in as many stages of the research process as possible. This is important from both a methodical as well as ethical perspective.

Methologically, the workshops are inspired by a number of different methods. For example, De Bonos ‘hats model’ for creative thinking is used alongside with ‘future workshops’, which release both criticism and visions for the future, as well as focus group interviews. Different methods are being used, such as group interviews, personal interviews, association games, brainstorming, video bits, drawing, collages, theater, photos, child-led interviews and diaries with the purpose of meeting the ‘many languages’ of children and young people. The children/young people choose for themselves which form or method that suits them.

In this way, space is made for the participating children/young people’s thoughts and actions to unfold and develop through the workshops. The different points and results are regularly summarised and illustrated in words and pictures by the researcher and the children/young people in unison.

The results have been communicated in oral presentations for practicians in the field and for researchers as well. Moreover, the results have provided inputs to a book chapter. After the last workshop has been held, the findings will be published in articles and educational books.

The final workshop was held in spring 2012.