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The tree(s) of hope and ambition: An arts-based social science informed, participatory research method to explore children's future hopes, ambitions and support in relation to COVID-19

Williams, Sara; McEwen, Lindsey Jo; Gorell Barnes, Luci; Deave, Toity; Webber, Amanda; Jones, Verity; Fogg‐Rogers, Laura; Gopinath, Deepak; Hobbs, Laura

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Authors

Lindsey McEwen Lindsey.Mcewen@uwe.ac.uk
Professor in Environmental Management

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Toity Deave Toity.Deave@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Child & Family Health

Amanda Webber

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Verity Jones Verity6.Jones@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor of Education

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Dr Laura Fogg Rogers Laura.Foggrogers@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor of Knowledge Exchange in Engineering



Abstract

This paper offers a new child-centred methodology that explores children's visions of their futures, encourages self-reflection and depth and shares children's voices with peers and researchers, as unbrokered as possible. This final stage of a longitudinal, arts-based, social science-informed project was delivered by partnering with schools in socially disadvantaged areas of Bristol, a UK city. Our two-phase activity used a Tree metaphor to explore children's hopes, ambitions and support, looking forward to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis combined multi-disciplinary thematic and visual-narrative analysis, and revealed diversity, intersection and individuality in themes that scaled out from the child and their family over different timescales. Themes included emotion (concerns; empathy), experiences (happenings, resources skills; aspirations) and relationships, linked to their recent experiences of COVID-19 mitigation. The paper reflects critically on children's and researchers' positionality, and the complexities involved in developing research methods that encourage children's autonomy, agency and authenticity.

Citation

Williams, S., McEwen, L. J., Gorell Barnes, L., Deave, T., Webber, A., Jones, V., …Hobbs, L. (2023). The tree(s) of hope and ambition: An arts-based social science informed, participatory research method to explore children's future hopes, ambitions and support in relation to COVID-19. Children & Society, 37(5), 1356-1375. https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12767

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 26, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 19, 2023
Publication Date Sep 30, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 17, 2023
Journal Children and Society
Print ISSN 0951-0605
Electronic ISSN 1099-0860
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 5
Pages 1356-1375
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/chso.12767
Keywords Arts-based methods; children; future(s); health and well-being; hope(s); pandemic; COVID-19
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/10900949
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/chso.12767
Additional Information A subset of consented children's artwork and associated documentation will be available from Bristol Archives at the project end (Summer 2022).

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