Assessing International Innovations in Child and Youth Methodology and Theory

(SSHRCC, 2010-2013)

Project: The assessment of emergent child and youth research methods and theories across the social sciences and humanities.

Background: Researchers and practitioners continue to require deep understandings about the problems and promises encountered in the daily lives and cultures of young people as they negotiate critical transitions toward adulthood. The largest gap in this knowledge relates to how these problems and promises are grounded in daily practices in schools, communities and digital contexts. There is also a gap in understanding how to best acquire this knowledge. For example, research on the impact of emerging digital cultures or changing economic patterns on young people is critical but difficult given the practical and ethical constraints of conducting studies into such cultures as FaceBook or YouTube. Innovative research processes are required to move the field ahead but we have yet to know the range, impact, efficacy and direction of this work.

Objectives: Two major research aims are to: a) report on a conceptual synthesis of emergent methods and theories, and b) conduct a study of international key informants on methods and theories in young lives. The knowledge gained will be used in the preparation of a Standard Research Grant proposal to SSHRC, therefore the study provides an important step toward enhancing Canada’s contributions to child/youth research and practice.

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