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Reflections on interviewing children and young people as a method of inquiry in exploring their perspectives on integration/inclusion


Address for correspondence
Professor Ann Lewis, School of Education, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.


There has been increasing interest in eliciting the views of children and young people; one arena for this has been the integration/inclusion context. However the increasing emphasis on the right of children to be heard has tended to emphasise the fact of production over the complexities of elicitation and interpretation. Ethical considerations in interviewing children about integration/inclusion include issues relating to confidentiality, anonymity, protocols, consent, assent and intrusion. Sampling issues include access, mode of communication and selection of data for analysis. This paper also discusses the use of various interview strategies applicable in this context. They include the merits of various ways of initiating (e.g. use of statements rather than questions) and sustaining (e.g. use of pause, interviewer phrasing) the dialogue. It is concluded that researchers in this field need to be rigorous in acknowledging and probing the complexities of child interviews in the integration/inclusion context.