Refereed Article Consulting Young Children: Experiences from a Museum Visitor Studies
Citation: Dockett, S; Main, S; Kelly, L. 2011. Consulting Young Children: Experiences from a Museum Visitor Studies. Visitor Studies. 14. (1): 13-33. (http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/10645578.2011.557626).
Since 1999, the Australian Museum has provided a designated play/learning space for young children aged 0-5 years. A recent redevelopment and redesign of the museum provided a valuable opportunity for a team of museum staff and university researchers to consult with young children about their experiences and expectations about this play space and the museum generally. This article reports the processes of consultation; methods used to consult with children; issues identified by the children involved; and the ways in which children's perspectives influenced the design of the new Kidspace. In particular, the authors noted the importance of children's journals as both a means of constructing data and as a means for reflection on the importance of social spaces in research with children. Underpinning the project was a commitment to recognizing young children as competent social actors, with the right to be consulted on matters that are important to them.