Children participating as researchers in primary schools: what’s in it for teachers?

Elizabeth Nassem, Amanda French , Rosemarie Lowe

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Whilst within universities, research on rather than with children/pupils is a well-established methodology, this paper reports on teachers’ responses to a schools and university-based partnership project, ‘Pupils as Research Partners in Primary (PARPP), which works to co-create pupil-led research opportunities for pupils in research projects informed by pupils’ experiences in primary schools. A previous paper, French and Hobbs, [(2017). “‘So How Well Did It Really Go’? Working with Primary School Pupils as Project Evaluators: A Case Study.” TEAN Journal 9 (1): 56–65] reported on how one PARPP project had a beneficial effect on pupils and their school environment. For this paper the project team interviewed a number of teachers whose pupils in the partner schools were involved in the pilot study phase of the project. Specifically, the teachers were interviewed to ascertain if the involvement of pupils, as lead researchers in projects exploring various aspects of the school environment, had impacted on their perceptions of pupil-led research. Findings suggest that the experiences of teachers in schools where PARPP projects had taken place had led them to re-evaluate the practicality and desirability of encouraging pupils to actively to research their school environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-161
Number of pages13
JournalEducation 3-13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • children
  • participation
  • research


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