VISTAS Assessment, Evaluation, Accountability and Research in Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.



Issues of Power and Voice in Designing Research With Children and Adolescents

Lisa L. Schulz

2011

Most youth will readily agree that the adults in their world are unable to comprehend the realities of their generation. Indeed, this may well be true. Each generation has its unique identity and sense of its own importance. However, as those adults, we, the researchers, the counselors, the educators, and the parents are accountable to create opportunity that the youth voice be heard and understood. In the zeal to identify effective programs to reduce and eliminate the achievement gap and social injustice in schools, research designs have not consistently encouraged a youth voice to emerge (Soto & Swadener, 2005). Structured with imposition and power, traditional research requires “reconceptualizing” to allow the youth voice to better guide our learning (Padilla, 2004; Soto & Swadener, 2005). In many schools across the nation student voice rarely impacts the creation of curricula and instructional practice, or influences procedure (Noguera, 2003; Wyngaard, 2005). The intention of this article is to offer discourse on the “dominant models of scholarship that often have privileged narrow areas of largely quantifiable research and have done little to enlighten the needs of learners in a democratic sphere” (Soto & Swadener, 2005, p. 2). By utilizing research paradigms and designs which give credence to the voice of the youth-participant, the reality as perceived by that participant can more authentically be heard, understood, and addressed through equitable policy and practice.

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