What if You Talked to Me? I Could Be Interesting! Ethical Research Considerations in Engaging with Bilingual / Multilingual Child Participants in Human Inquiry

  • Mary H. Maguire McGill University
Keywords: research ethics, consent, assent, dissent, children, power, dialogue, reciprocity, language


The increase in child-centered, participatory research activities with children poses new challenges and responsibilities to policy makers and researchers. This reflective piece is a call for Canadian policy makers and researchers to look more critically at their epistemological and ethical assumptions about their views of children, their competence and decision making in research activities. I draw on sociocultural (VYGOTSKY) and dialogic theories (BAKHTIN) to encourage conversation and dialogue about ethical issues in engaging child participants in human inquiry with particular attention to children who learn and live in diverse, multiple language and cultural contexts. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs050144


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Author Biography

Mary H. Maguire, McGill University
Mary H. MAGUIRE is a Professor of second language education in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education, Faculty of Education at McGill University. Her interdisciplinary research agenda includes ethnographic and qualitative studies in illiteracy, multiple literacy's and multilingual literacies in diverse heritage language, linguistically and culturally diverse contexts, multilingual children's identity and cultural positioning. As a former Associate Dean, Academic Programs, Graduate Studies & Research, she implemented the Tri-Policy Statement for the Faculty of Education's Ethical Review Board.
FQS Debate: Qualitative Research and Ethics