Ethical issues arise in all aspects of research, and are particularly noticeable when studying vulnerable members of society such as children within the early years sector. Appendix one includes an action plan of points of ethics I will have to take action on when completing my future research. I have also identified and recognized different ways to overcome different areas of ethicality I may find difficult when completing my research. Appendix two includes the presentation we completed as a group.
The focus of the presentation (appendix 2) we completed was to focus of the ethical issues that may arise in the scenario; role of outdoor play in a nursery, however although we completed this presentation we did not achieve the expected outcome. Working together as group during this presentation proved to be more challenging than expected, and this may be the reason as to why we did not complete the presentation as expected. It was challenging because as Burns et al (2008) identify some of the group member’s did not contribute and always the same people spoke within the group. To overcome this in future group work presentations all group members should contribute and to do this would mean assigning each group member with a different area to concentrate on. Another aspect of the presentation that could have been improved on was to add different formats of presentation styles for example using videos and more pictures within the presentation. This was something that was said in the peer feedback; “the presentation needed more visual things such as picture’s and videos”.
One of the points that we did not mention within the presentation was receiving consent prior to beginning the study. Gaining consent is also a point mentioned within the action plan (appendix 1). Although children should be viewed as capable beings, with their own voice, which they should express, by law they are not legally competent to consent to participate in research. Despite this the medical research council (2004) state ‘where children and young people have sufficient understanding and intelligence to understand what is proposed, it is their consent and not that of their parent/guardian that is required by law’ (MRC 2004:22-23) and in relation to Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, 1989) which state’s that children have a right to express their views on matters that have an affect on them. Therefore Children should be given the opportunity to provide assent to participate, meaning that they have a choice whether or not they want to participate in the research. With older children that have an understanding I will explain to them what I will be doing and why I am doing the research, I will be talking to the children one to one as oppose to as a group as some children may be led by other children’s views and may give consent because they friend did too. Gaining consent off younger children may be proven more difficult as I can not explain to them what I am going to do and receive verbal consent of them however I can use the Mosaic approach to listen to the child’s voice and it allows me to respect the child’s view in an empowering way (Clark and Moss, 2001). The mosaic approach allows me collate material by using different methods such as observations, listening and communicating with the children, to consider their views and identify whether they are giving assent to participation. Also with younger children the Leuven scale (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) cited in Palaiologou (2012) can be used to focus on how engaged a child is within an activity using a scale of 1-5; 1 being unengaged and 5 being fully engaged. Consequently if a child is not showing any engagement within the activity then they are showing dissent and should not be used as part of research. The Leuven scale is also effective with young babies, so when I am doing my research this will be the main method I use when wanted to