IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Children as co-researchers: there’s more at play here | RFTRW: S04E05

7 September 2020

Dr Kate Cowan talks to Dr Rob Webster about how children interact and communicate, the challenges researchers face when conducting research with them, and the pandemic’s effect on the way they play at home and school.

Dr Kate Cowan, Research for the Real World podcast

Dr Kate Cowan, Centre for Multimodal Research, UCL Knowledge Lab

An early years specialist, Kate’s research focuses on play, creativity and digital technologies, and prior to joining the IOE, she worked as a nursery teacher and remains committed to connecting research and practice. We hear examples of this from the ‘Playing the Archive’ project, which studied the ways children have played across the decades.

You might be familiar with W.C. Fields’ “Never work with animals or children” quote, but it appears that Kate has worked hard to push against the well-worn trope, employing multimodal methodologies to document and analyse play. Kate explains how using digital tools and involving children as co-researchers has benefitted her work.

To wrap up season 4, Rob and Kate discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected play, how the virus has been incorporated into new and traditional games, the significance of digital play during lockdown, and what’s in store for children as they return to school and interact with the outside world.

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