Reflecting on the affordances and challenges of co-creation and participatory research with children and young people

August 3, 2022 By 0 Comments

On 12th and 13th July 2022, members of the NEW ABC’s UK team presented their reflections and important lessons around co-creation and participatory research regarding the Empowering Young Translators pilot action they are leading, as part of the 5th biennial Children and Childhoods Conference at the University of Suffolk.

Over the past year, NEW ABC project partners The Open University and Oxford Brookes University, have been leading the ‘Empowering Young Translators’ (EYT) pilot action in the UK. EYT is an arts and activity-based intervention engaging young people who translate for family, peers, and members of their local communities. The pilot action is underpinned by participatory action research (PAR) principles and has involved the creation of a weekly after-school club called the ‘Young Translators Club’. For the past year members of the Young Translators Club (aged 11-13 years old) have participated in a series of co-creative activities aimed at exploring and raising awareness about young translating as a caring practice.

In the presentation, they talked about the affordances and challenges of using participatory approaches in an after-school club. They discussed the benefits and challenges of working with different age groups, how they managed the fluid participation of the young people over the year, resources and time constraints and the impact of covid. In addition, they have begun to think about the dynamic of social relations that come to the fore during research that gradually builds on the young people’s experiences, a rhythm that is “slower” than traditional research.

The UK team was grateful for the opportunity to share their learning in progress and for the chance to showcase and celebrate the important work co-created with the Club members. This year’s Children & Childhoods conference brought together a range of scholars from various disciplines and topics of interest including participatory research with young people during the pandemic, health and diet, children’s development, children’s migration, learning experiences and slow pedagogy.