Using participatory approaches with children and young people to research volitional reading

Charlotte Webber, Elena Santi, Julia Calabrese, Sarah McGeown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Children and young people’s volitional book reading has declined consistently over the last two decades, and research efforts to reverse this trajectory would benefit considerably from the input and insights of children and young people. Meanwhile, the expanding and intensifying role of technology in many children and young people’s daily lives makes it difficult for adult reading researchers to stay informed and up-to-date on how technology is shaping and diversifying volitional reading practices and experiences. Participatory research approaches aim to break down the traditional barriers which exist between the researcher and the researched, creating inclusive, non-hierarchical relationships which support collaborative research, and draw upon the knowledge and experience of all involved. While there is growing interest in, and use of, participatory approaches in reading research, this is the first review, to the best of our knowledge, which focuses on participatory research approaches within the context of children and young people’s reading. The aim of this review article is to a) summarise the principles, benefits, and methodological considerations associated with participatory approaches with children and young people, and b) describe different participatory reading research studies with children or young people, and reflect on how these can inform future research into volitional reading. This article aims to inform, support, and encourage the reading research community to consider adopting participatory principles and practices in their work (where appropriate), as we work collectively to enhance knowledge, thinking, and practice in relation to children and young people’s volitional reading.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage and Education
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • children
  • participatory
  • reading
  • young people


Dive into the research topics of 'Using participatory approaches with children and young people to research volitional reading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this