Transformative research by children and adolescents: Partnerships between adults and children as researchers
Seminar Series 2016
Dr Harry Shier, Centre For Children's Rights, Queens University Belfast and CESESMA, Nicaragua
In this seminar, internationally renowned scholar, Harry Shier, will discuss his work with CESESMA (The Centre for Education in Health and Environment) in Nicaragua, and how they have re-thought the concepts of “empowerment” and “transformation” so that they serve as concepts we can work with rather than cool buzzwords. Dr Shier will introduce us to a new tool developed to help adult researchers prepare for working in partnership with children. Dr Shier hopes this seminar will be a genuine space for shared reflection, critique and new ideas.
Harry Shier worked in England for many years, first in children’s play, then in children’s rights and participation. In 1981 he founded Playtrain, an independent training agency specialising in children’s rights, play and creativity. In the 1990’s he worked and wrote extensively on children’s participation rights, most notably developing the “Article 31 Children’s Consultancy scheme”, which enabled children to act as consultants in the management of cultural institutions. This experience was crystallised in his 2001 paper “Pathways to Participation”, which introduced a tool for analysing children’s participation in decision-making that is now widely used throughout the world. In 2001 he worked with a community education organisation, CESESMA, in Nicaragua, to support child workers on the region’s coffee plantations in defending their rights.
Dr Shier has published widely on child participatory methods in both English and Spanish. It was his report on the violation of children’s right to play around the world that persuaded the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to produce a General Comment on Article 31 (IPA, 2010).
Dr Shier is currently based in Ireland at the Centre for Children’s Rights, Queens University Belfast.
His published writing and full CV are available at: harryshier.net