Ethical Considerations in Research

This will place Action Research generally within the field known as Naturalistic Research with its emphasis on the relationships between people. Consequently, you must fully understand and plan for the need to incorporate stringent ethics safeguards and processes in any Research Plan for classroom-based research. Your research participants will always be students, parents, other teaching staff – this brings to the forefront many potentially “sensitive” interactions and that’s where “ethical considerations” become all important.


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  1. Ethical Considerations in Research – a short video identifying some of the key issues about ethics and classroom research.

Corrine Moy outlines the topics that a conference she is running will be addressing. Children’s Research: Rights, Responsibilities, Protection, vulnerability – all issues you need to think about for your own Plan for some classroom research. Those interested can hunt up the Conference Proceedings.

Available online at:


2.Ethical Considerations in research with children

This is a brilliant paper written by a classroom teacher-researcher in an Australian School setting. This material and its insights are well worth thinking about with respect to your approach to research with children.


Keddie, A. (2000). Research with young children: Some ethical considerations, Journal of Educational Enquiry, 1( 2).
Available online at:


Another excellent article specifically concerning younger (ECE level) children – another largely Australian study is:

Dockett, S; Einarsdottir, J; Perry, R. (2009).Researching with children: Ethical tensions.Journal of Early Childhood Research October 2009 vol. 7 no. 3 283-298.

(I have uploaded this resource)


Any research carried out by University students in schools (and any other organisations) requires the researchers to complete and submit for approval one of the University’s research ethics application forms. It is important that you are aware of these conditions when at some future time you choose to conduct Action Research in your own schools/classes if an enrolled students. These are the same kind of regulations that other bodies may require (e.g. Education Department; Catholic Ed, etc).This Assignment will require you to address some of these exact issues. That is, carefully examining these documents will assist you in completing the “Ethics” Section of your Action final Learning Plan. So please check out the information and the particular forms in the following links:

Note: These guidelines will vary according to the exact nature of your projects, but expected responses have been filled in where appropriate.

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