The research process contains three primary sources which allows this project to reach a lot of young people. While the research process is still in the early stages, some of the implementations below will give readers a better insight into what is happening within the project.
The first part of this is sending a questionnaire out to schools. Since this is participatory research, the young people will take a letter of consent in to their schools on behalf of UCLan for permissions to allow their classmates to fill in the questionnaire. This has already been granted ethical approval and should launch in schools when it is ready. The questionnaire is composed of questions specific to young people, created by young people therefore this engages co-research and allows the young people to allow their voices and opinions to make a difference. The questionnaire will develop some statistics on knife crime that the young people can look at and discover what other young people believe and know about knife crime. There has been careful consideration made about how the questions are constructed and worded so that it is not an overwhelming experience for young people who take part. It is anonymously filled out and young people must consent to some ethical legalities before continuing to the questionnaire. It is also stated to the young people if they want to stop at any time they are welcome to do so and do not need to give reason therefore putting less pressure on young people who may be dealing with their own worries and fears on knife crime.
The second process in the project is creative media. This participatory method has been shown to be effective when working with children and young people as a creative output can enhance young people’s participation. The idea is to create essentially a digital story based on the young people’s views on knife crime. As previously stated, we have devised some questions which will get the young people talking, they will be taught how to use the software and they will put together the storyboard.
Another output is looking at existing literature for participatory research and knife crime. It is important to investigate different literature when conducting participatory research. It not only allows the young people to understand more about their contribution and collaboration in the project but also for facilitators to understand their role in participatory research. According to previous research is can be hard for someone who is an academic to let go of the control in a project, but as participatory research requires collaboration and should not include power dynamics.
While in the early stages, this project remains an important topic for young people to engage in and explore. The weeks to come will prove rewarding when finding results and making a positive change to the future of children and young people who are worried about knife crime in their area.
UCLan have devised The Centre Standards for participation with children and young people, and this has been followed as a guideline for participatory research and ethics. It ensures children and young people’s safety while working on projects as well as the facilitator’s safety when carrying out research projects with co-researchers.
Standards for Working with Children and Young People 2019-2020
Larkins, C., & Bilson, A. (2016). The Magic 6: Participatory Action and Learning Experiences with Roma Youth Training Manual.
Satchwell-Hirst, F. (2018). Literature Review of Knife Crime in the UK.