Ethics Tutorial - Review of TCPS2 - the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans.
I enrolled in a tutorial necessary for graduate students to complete before engaging in research involving children. While the tutorial's interface appeared to be outdated (archaic graphics!), the content nonetheless remains of pertinent importance to conducting research relating to human behaviour. The tutorial highlights the delicate nature of having humans form a part of the research process. Given that our research involves minors, who are placed in a higher vulnerability class thus requiring a higher standard of care, a heightened approach to ethics is required. It is paramount to ensure the safety and comfort of all children, and for them to be informed as much as possible on the research project. The fruit of the project should not be as a result of negatively impacting its participants!
Special considerations must be taken into account when working with children. For starters, parental/guardian consent is required for the child's participation since, according to the law, they may not be considered as capable of making decisions on their own behalf until they are 18. They also may be more vulnerable to coercion or controlling forces.
While the Curating the Story Museum project is indeed a "low risk" project in terms of its ethical impact, it is still important to consider and to have an understanding of the sensitivity of working with children. Issues that could potentially arise are if the child feels obliged to participate even though they are experiencing discomfort or anxiety. To avoid this, we are meeting the children in their regular environment (i.e., the classroom) to ensure that they feel comfortable with their surroundings.
And with that information in mind, we can remember that the wellbeing of the children comes first! :)