Judy Aulette
                         University of North Carolina, Charlotte
       This exercise is divided into three steps. In the first step, students generate data by
       writing about their own childhood experience. In step two, the professor presents a
       lecture on the inadequacy of our images of children based on the work of Barrie
       Thorne (1987). In the third step, students analyze the data they have created in Step
       One by thinking about what they have learned in the lecture about children.
Step One:
     I ask students to take out a sheet of paper and write for a few (about five) minutes
     responding to the following prompt: Think about a time that you were less than 14
     years old when you helped your parents. You can write about any event you choose
     as long as it occurred before you were 13 or 14 years old. Also, remember that you will
     be sharing these paragraphs with your classmates so do not write about anything you
     do not wish to share. Think about the term parent broadly. You might write about a
     time you helped your mother or your father or a step-parent, or maybe your
     grandmother or your sister was your parent when you were growing up. The point of
     the exercise is to tell about a time you helped an adult who was close to you. Explain
     what you did and how it made you feel.
       This idea comes from Elise Boulding's (1980) research on children. She collected data
       from young adults with a similar prompt.
Step Two:
      I lecture on three dominant images of children in our culture from Barrie Thorne's
      (1987) work: Children as learners of adult culture; children as victims of sexual and
      physical abuse; and children as threats against their parents, disrupting their lives and
      making physical and emotional demands. For the first image, I talk about research on
      socialization, especially gender socialization and how families are an important site
      for this kind of learning in childhood. For the topic of children as victims, I discuss the
      problem of physical and sexual abuse of children in families and I also discuss the
      issue of child poverty as an important way in which children are victims in our
      society. For the third topic of children as threats, I describe the general image of
      children as threats in our ideas about juvenile delinquents and gangs. Then I presnt
      the specific problem in the literature on families that describes how children seem to
      cause their parents to be less satisfied with their marriage. Finally I present data on
      how much it costs to raise a child and the economic burden children bring to their
       Thorne (1987) argues that although these three images are dominant they are not
       exhaustive. In fact, they present a very limited view of children and childhood. She
       asserts that children play many other kinds of roles and sociologists need to think
       more broadly about children and do more research on what children really do in
       families as well as other social settings.

Step Three:
      After the lecture, I ask students to get into groups of two or three and share their
      paragraphs about how they helped their parents. The way in which the prompt is
      structured in Step One means that few of their paragraphs fit into the dominant
      images of learner, threat or victim. I ask them to think about the stories they related in
      their paragraphs and as a group write in response to this question: Based on your
      paragraphs, what other roles can children play in families? Each group reports to the
      whole class what they have discovered.
       The class develops a long list of other roles children can play including categories like
       children as: unpaid domestic workers washing dishes and cleaning the house;
       childcare providers for their younger siblings and eldercare providers for their older
       family members; paid workers earning money baby sitting or mowing lawns and
       sharing their income with their families; entertainers playing sports and dancing in
       recitals for their families' enjoyment; translators in households where English is a
       second language; teachers of parents who are reentering the dating scene or trying to
       work the Internet; role models for young siblings who are having difficulties;
       emotional supporters for parents who are facing difficulties of death, illness or
       divorce; and problem solvers for parents lost on the highway or coping with crisis.
Value of the Exercise:
      1. Helps students to see the connection between data and theory. This implies also
         that they gain a clearer understanding of what sociological data are and how they
         can be generated.
       2. Helps students to see how theoretical frameworks can be enhanced or developed.
          In this case the dominant model is not incorrect but it is insufficient. Their work
          shows how it can be improved by specifying the many roles children can play.
       3. Shows students the connection between their own stories and sociological lessons.
       4. Actively engages students in ideas which enhances their understanding and
          retention of information.
     Bouiding, Elise. 1980. "The nurturance of adults by children in family settings." In H.
     Lopata (ed.) Research in the interweave of social roles. Vol.1 (pp. 167-189) Greenwich, CT:
     JAI Press.
       Thorne, Barrie. 1987. "Revisioning women and social change: Where are the children?"
       Gender and Society. 1:85-109.

                           PROJECT: CYBER PETS
                                   Elizabeth Osborn
                             St. Mary’s College of Maryland
      This is an undergraduate course assignment but could easily be adapted to a graduate
      level requirement. The research design concerns the culture of childhood in the
      context of “virtual pets” or “cyber pets” but is not limited to this particular topic. It
      might be re-focused on any part of material culture or peer experiences.
Research Paper Guidelines:
     Papers are intended to facilitate the development of your sociological imagination,
     your research skills, and your understanding of the relationship between children and
     their environment. During the course of the semester we have and will continue to
     examine many aspects of childhood. Your assignment is to choose one concept that
     interests you and research it in depth. For this paper you will be examining the
     sociology of childhood in the context of the “virtual pet” or “cyber pet” phenomenon
     as it relates to the culture of childhood.
       For several years virtual pets (VPs) have been a popular part of the material culture of
       children. Many interesting questions surround VPs as they relate to the intersection of
       the child’s world and the adult world and as they facilitate development of peer
       cultures. I have listed some possible research questions below but you are free to
       develop your own topic. We will spend an appropriate amount of class time
       discussing the range of interests. After class and individual discussions you will
       submit a paper proposal. Once your proposal has been approved you will begin
       collecting your data. Interviews may be conducted on children you have access to in
       your neighborhood, local schools, or other pre-approved setting. You will be required
       to get parental permission before interviewing children. Consent forms will be
       provided. You will also be given a list of local schools where the principal has agreed
       to cooperate with our project.
       Researchers are severely handicapped when they go into the field to conduct
       interviews without any experience or knowledge of their topic. Therefore, each of you
       will become familiar with virtual pets at the beginning of the project. You will be
       assigned a virtual pet that you will care for over the course of a week. At the end of
       the week you will have a better idea about the direction of your interviews. For
       instance, you will know how much time and attention VPs require and the possible
       (perhaps inevitable) need to recruit help and VP sitters, you will understand the
       possibility of emotional attachment and the range of sentiment when your VP “dies.”
       You may care for your “pet” until the completion of the project—engaging in activity
       with the VP during interviews may facilitate interaction with the interviewee.
       Once you understand the nature of VPs you will conduct practice interviews with
       fellow classmates in order to familiarize yourself with the basic interview guide that I
       will provide for you. Depending on your research plan the guide may be modified to
       fit your particular model. Based on the data you collect from these interviews you will
       write a research paper.

The paper you write for this class will be worth 25% of your final grade. Although I
do not deduct points for grammatical errors, formal use of the English language is
necessary for the flow of your ideas. Proof-read your papers. It must be typed,
double-spaced, and stapled in the upper left corner. It should be between 10 and 12
pages in length. Do not use any folders or cover pages. On the top of the first page
include your name, class section, and the date. Interviews are to be turned in with
your paper.
The structure of the paper should be centered around a clearly stated hypothesis and a
well constructed argument based on empirical evidence. Once you formulate a
statement (research question) the body of the paper is devoted to an argument that
elaborates upon and clarifies the problem, based upon data you have collected and/or
information gathered through your literature review.
Format and Organization
  A good research paper consists of six basic parts: introduction, development of
  ideas (literature review), data and methods, findings, conclusions, and references.
   1. The introduction is a specification of the topic of research. It should move from
      a general discussion of an area of interest to a more narrowly defined issue.
      This section should be no longer than two paragraphs or half a page. It should
      provide answers to three questions:
       (a) What is the general issue or interest area on which you are writing?
       (b) What are the specific questions that you are asking or issues you intend to
       (c) Why are these issues/questions important and sociologically interesting?
       Some possible research questions might be:
           How do children negotiate for the acquisition of VPs? Are they the same
           methods used under other circumstances, e.g., acquiring a real pet? Do
           they have to “trade” promises of future good deeds for the “reward” of a
           VP? Are they usually gifts?
           Do parents use VPs as a learning experience about how to care for a real
           Are children able to distinguish the death of a VP from the death of a live
           pet? At what ages are these distinctions clear?
           How do VPs contribute to peer cultures?
       Remember, you need to justify why it is important to address the issues you
       have set forth. Such justifications can be theoretical, policy-oriented,
       methodological, pedagogical, or other but should be clearly defensible. For
           Acquisition strategies may be related to the marketing strategies of toy
           Comparisons between VPs and real pets may be correlated with
           socialization practices within families. There may be distinctions along
           dimensions of age of children, position in the family, SES, etc.

       Distinctions between VPs and real pets may be related to psychological
       Interaction with VPs and friends may clarify the dynamics of peer cultures
       at certain age or grade levels.
   Note: The definition of a sociological problem, question, or issue is different
   from our everyday use of these terms. For sociologists, these are areas for
   which we lack adequate empirical knowledge or theoretical understanding.
   Since sociologists are, first and foremost, scientists, social issues such as
   changing norms and values offer many specific “problems.”
2. The development of your conceptual argument and hypotheses is the heart of the
   paper. Here you should present a logical argument in which you develop
   testable hypotheses. The arguments draw on but do not simply describe past
   literature; i.e. it is not simply a review of past literature. You should always
   include important alternative explanations and hence control variables.
   In the discussion section you will describe and explain the relationship
   between your independent variable(s) and your dependent variable as fully
   and clearly as you are able. The discussion section should fortify the argument
   and the point your are making.
   Example: If you are investigating the degree of attachment of children to VPs
   according to age group your dependent variable will be age of the child and
   your independent variables relating to the “emotions” of VPs. You might ask a
   series of questions relating to whether or not the child believes the VP “feels”
   sad, angry, happy, lonely, etc. You would provide a discussion of the literature
   on emotional attachment of children to toys or you might want to review
   attachment of children to real pets.
   Note: The key point is the organization of the material into a logical and
   systematic progression of points. Precisely how you organize your material
   will depend on the specific topic you have chosen. For instance, you might
   present and summarize the current state of theory and research on your topic
   and then evaluate this by discussing what is generally accepted as known
   information or relationships, what are unresolved or unresearched questions,
   what are current controversies, what are new directions for theory and
3. The discussion of data and methodology should address the questions:
   (a) What data can be reasonably used to test your hypotheses?
       (Discussion of variables relevant to the study.)
   (b) What is your plan for aggregation of the data? (How will you
       use these variables?)
   (c) Why is this data superior to other alternatives? (Relevant to a
       discussion of the importance of the in-depth interview of
       children [the experts] instead of others—teachers, parents, or
       other authority figures.)
   (d) What is the definition of your sample? (Whom did you
       interview and where?)

   (e) How are key concepts and variables to be measured?
       (Describe your questions.)
   (f) What method of analysis will be used? (Descriptives or
       statistical analyses?)
4. Your findings include a discussion of what you found and how you organize
   your data. This is where you report on your interviews and observations. If
   you do statistical analyses present your data in table format. Include your
       Describe the setting.
       Discuss interactions with the interviewees and their VPs.
       Relevant observations—concentration level of interviewee, ability to focus
       on questions and articulate answers.
       Interesting stories volunteered by children. Give them a voice.
   Be careful to explain what is, and not what should be, or what ought to be. Words
   that carry a value judgment—need, ought, must, should, have to—are
   excluded from your text unless the entire range of options is known by the
   reader, i.e., they have been defined by the author. This is a scientific paper and
   only empirical evidence can support hypotheses. Sociology is not about how
   you feel about things or about what is right or wrong. Sociology is about what
   is or is not the case. Therefore, in this section you will report what you heard,
   what you saw, and what you were told. These observations can be indexed for
   the purpose of explanation.
5. The conclusion consists of a brief summary of the issue and a recap that
   emphasizes why this research will make an important contribution. That is,
   you should draw out the implications of your research in terms of suggestions
   for social policy making, or important but unresolved or unresearched issues,
   or directions for further development of theory and research, etc.
6. In the reference section all books or journal articles used in the paper must be
   listed. If you are unsure of the proper way to cite a reference you should refer
   to the reference section in your textbook in the beginning of a copy of ASR or

                    ESSAY ASSIGNMENT OPTIONS
                                    Susan Roxburgh
                                  Kent State University
      The following series of paper options is designed to provide students with a wide
      range of choice in topics and approaches. Because of the wide range of choice,
      however, instructors should probably provide a means for approving topics before
      students begin. This assignment contains information for students on writing essays;
      but given the individual nature of the projects, some process for reviewing students’
      drafts is also recommended.
Option 1: Cultural Analysis
     Conduct an analysis of a movie or TV program that depicts the (post) modern life of a
     child. In constructing your paper, use the Kincheloe article as a model. What does the
     portrayal of the lives of children and the nature of children (you may find the Synnott
     and Postman articles useful for addressing this question) suggest about the (post)
     modern child? What societal conditions explain the particular depiction of childhood
     in the movie/T.V. you described? Your analysis should draw on the Kincheloe article,
     in terms of style and the issues raised, but should go beyond it, in the sense that I
     don't want you to just repeat what Kincheloe says.
Option 2: Research Paper
     Write a research paper on a topic of interest drawn from the course, using at least four
     references from appropriate research sources (this does not include popular
     magazines). This covers a very wide range of topics that includes anything directly
     and indirectly studied in the course. Suggested topics include:
       1. The impact of T. V. violence on children.
       2. The development of labor legislation prohibiting child labor during the Industrial
          era in Britain.
       3. The effect on children of living in poverty.
       4. The question of the inter-generational transmission of child abuse.
       5. The impact of birth order on life chances.
       6. The determinants of sibling rivalry.
       7. The impact of corporate involvement in schools on the quality of education.
       8. The impact of the quality of the school environment on academic success.
       9. An analysis of a social problem that concerns children.
Option 3: Observational Assignment
     Barrie Thorne's book Gender Play focuses on how children's interactions, especially
     during play, illustrate both gender separation and integration. She argues that boys
     and girls interact to both create and dismantle group gender boundaries differently in
     different settings and through various kinds of “borderwork” during play. Your
     assignment is to use her framework (the four types of “borderwork” would be one
     example) to conduct a small observational study of how children construct gender
     through their interactions.

       Before you begin observation make sure you get permission to observe - obviously if
       you work in a daycare then permission will not be necessary, but if you are going to
       observe a school playground, then you should be sure you check with an adult in
       In your paper you should consider the following issues: What kinds of interactions
       between boys and girls did you observe? Are cross-sex interactions different than
       same-sex interactions? If so, how do they differ? Are female same-sex interactions
       different from male same-sex interactions? If so, how do they differ? What types of
       “borderwork” did you observe? After doing your own ethnographic work, what can
       you add to Thorne's analysis?
Guidelines for Writing Your Paper:
     Length & Topic
        Your essay should be 7-10 pages. In addition to the topics listed below, you also
        have the option of selecting your own topic. My only requirement is that you
        MUST check with me to make sure the topic is suitable. This handout also contains
        some information on writing a paper. Be sure to read it carefully. Feel free to ask
        me to review drafts of your paper anywhere up to a few days before the due date.
          It is important that you provide a citation for every idea in the paper that is not
          your own. In other words, citations are not just necessary for quotations. Be sure to
          cite whenever you are discussing another author's ideas as you want to avoid the
          suggestion that you have plagiarized.
          The general rule for citations is that the reader should be able to trace your source
          without too much difficulty and your format should follow either APA (American
          Psychological Association) or ASA formats. Do not use footnote or endnotes
          styles, which are primarily used in the Humanities, and are not suitable for a
          social science paper. I will deduct marks if you use this format. If below is not
          clear, then simply check a sociology or psychology journal - suitable examples
          include Youth and Society, American Sociological Review, American Journal of
          Sociology. The format I prefer is as follows:
          In the text of your paper:
              A number of studies suggest that the primary impact of divorce on children is
              economic (Furstenberg and Cherlin 1991).
          At the back of the paper in an alphabetical list titled “References”:
              Furstenberg, Frank F., and Andrew J. Cherlin. 1991. Divided Families: What
              Happens to Children When Parents Part. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University.
          The citation above is for a book, note that the title of the book is italicized or
          underlined. For a journal article the title of the journal, not the title of the article is
          italicized or underlined, as follows:
              Albrecht, S. L. 1980. “Reactions and Adjustments to Divorce: Differences in the
              Experiences of Males and Females.” Family Relations. 29:59-68.

        Quotations should be indented and single-spaced, and the citation should include
        the page number, like so: (Parsons 1977, Page 298). It is rarely necessary to quote
        long passages from your sources. It will not escape the reader’s notice that long
        quotes are often used to fill up the required space. Another unsuitable strategy is
        to string together a lot of short quotes. As a general rule, you should paraphrase
        what your sources say, to illustrate that you understand the structure of an
        argument or the nature of the evidence, and because it is the most parsimonious
        and efficient strategy.
       Steps in writing a research paper
          This is when you think through and learn new material. Of the steps listed in this
          stage below, the most time-consuming will be the library research, since your topic
          has already been selected for you. Think of this portion of your paper as research
          in the sense that you are setting out to learn what is known about a particular
          empirical question. In the case of this particular paper; “What does the evidence
          suggest about the impact of divorce on children?” Note that the emphasis on
          empirical and evidence suggests that you should include only studies that conform
          to the basic methodological principles of good social science research. As such,
          magazine articles written for a wide audience are not suitable. Review and cite
          only academic journals. You should cite primarily recent literature (the last ten
          years), and should not cite fewer than 5-8 articles.
          Data Gathering Stage:
          Get organized. Zero in on a well-defined topic - what are you interested in? Gather
          material and do some introductory reading. Discuss (brainstorm) your topic.
          Define your thesis/research question/main idea. Do Library research. Organize
          library research notes.
          Writing Stage:
          Write the outline. Write the first draft. Revise it. Get an outside opinion; never
          hand in a paper that only you have read. Always seek the opinion of another
          reader. Rewrite if necessary. Revise again.
          Editing Stage:
          Check for purpose, organization, and clear thinking. Check for grammar, spelling,
          punctuation and so on. Prepare the final copy.
       Editing Guide: Some Questions to Ask Yourself
         What was my purpose in writing this paper? Have I achieved it?
          In what ways have I succeeded? Failed?
          Are my sentences complete? [read aloud]. Does it have a subject and predicate?
          Are my paragraphs complete? Do all the sentences relate?
          Can I explain every punctuation mark? Is each word spelled correctly?
          Is the final copy attractively presented? Does it have appropriate margins and

Have I followed an appropriate plan of organization? Is it a clear-cut plan that
readers will be able to follow? Are the introductory paragraphs really
introductory? Does the concluding paragraph really conclude?
What about level of English? Have I avoided the use of colloquial expressions or
slang or inappropriate use of he/man? Is there anything in the paper which seems
to strike a wrong note? Is there a word, sentence, phrase that may sound

                                   Sue Marie Wright
                             Eastern Washington University
      1. Recall an event episode or period in your own childhood that you would be
         willing to share without undue embarrassment or stress (e.g., adjustment to a new
         sibling, your kindergarten experience). Describe this event both objectively (what
         happened) and reflectively (how you felt). If you are working with a period in
         your childhood, be sure to focus in such a way that you can complete this part of
         the paper in 3-5 pages.
       2. Next choose two of the theoretical approaches that we have covered in this course.
          Describe both perspectives thoroughly and show how each could be used to
          explain this event (3-5 pages).
       3. Finally, evaluate the two different theoretical approaches given your objective
          account and your reflective account (3-5 pages). For instance, you might discuss
          which explanation seems the most effective if you just consider the objective
          account, which explanation seems the most effective if you just consider the
          reflective account, and whether considering both accounts together makes a
          difference in explaining this event and its impact. You may also draw on other
          theoretical approaches in your critique.
       4. 4. Cover sheet and evaluation page: Include your name and your student
          identification number on a cover sheet for your exam (do not put your name on
          your exam). I will remove this sheet and use it later to record grades. Include this
          page; I will use it for evaluations. Please do not put your name on this page.
            NOTE:     If you are uncomfortable with the autobiographical component of this
            assignment, please see me for alternatives.
       Section Points:                                      Comments:



       Total:                                               Grade:

Assessment/Evaluation Key for Paper #1
     Number One:
       Objective 1: Demonstrate ability to describe childhood events in detail including
       objective details and subjective impressions
          Weight for this section: 30%
            4=Demonstrates ability to provide details including objective observations and
            subjective impressions
            3=Demonstrates ability to provide details, but draws mostly from either objective
            or subjective views
            2=Outlines event clearly, but lacks detail
            1=Event unclear and/or serious lack of detail
       Number Two:
         Objective 1: Demonstrate comprehension of theoretical approaches to explaining
          Objective 2: Demonstrate ability to apply theories in explaining specific events
          Objective 3: Demonstrates ability to analyze events using appropriate theoretical
          Weight for this section: 30%
            4= Outlines theories correctly and uses them appropriately in analysis
            3= Outlines theories correctly but incorporates errors in analysis
            2=Demonstrates misunderstandings of theories that contribute to errors in
            1=Identifies theories, but major flaws evident in analysis or no analysis
       Number Three
         Objective 1: Demonstrates ability to evaluate strengths and weakness in theoretical
          Objective 2: Demonstrates ability to synthesize elements from various perspectives
          Weight for this section: 30%
            4=Demonstrates effective evaluation of theories; arguments strong in all areas
            3=Demonstrates ability to evaluate theories; arguments weak in some areas
            2=Attempts to evaluate theories, arguments indicate
            1=Attempts to evaluate theories, arguments indicate major flaws in
          Objective 1: Demonstrates ability to present ideas clearly
          Objective 2: Demonstrates ability to use conventional grammar, punctuation, and
          Weight for presentation: 10%

4=Consistent use of conventional grammar, punctuation, and spelling
3=Use of conventional grammar, punctuation, and spelling; only minor and
occasional errors
2=Use of conventional grammar, punctuation and spelling; numerous errors
1=Unconventional use of grammar and/or punctuation that interferes with

                                   Sue Marie Wright
                             Eastern Washington University

      The following are a set of six lab assignments. I use them as a series (one assigned
      each week for the first six weeks), but any of them could be used alone. Most are short
      and do not require a lot of research time on the part of the student. Since these labs are
      intended to get students to think critically and reflectively about childhood and
      children’s issues, I encourage students to work together, although I require that they
      write-up their labs individually. I find these assignments to be a very effective
      springboard for class discussions. The labs can also serve as an introduction to a more
      involved project. For instance, I use Lab #3: Analyzing a Childhood Event as an
      introduction to the midterm paper and Lab #4: Protection of Child Subjects as a way
      to get students thinking about their final project.

Images of Childhood
     You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be written
     individually. Please attach your report to this page.
       Lab Project #1
       1. Locate a photograph that includes at least one child. Cite the source of the
          photograph (e.g., Jane Doe’s personal collection) and attach a copy to your report.
           Source: __________________________________________________________
       2. Objectively describe the photograph with as much detail as possible. Your may
          include gender, age range, skin tone, dress, background, activities, etc., but only
          observable details.
       3. Now add your subjective impressions (e.g., you might address such topics as
          whether the subjects appear to be happily engaged, intent, uncomfortable,
          rebellious, etc.) and a reflexive response (i.e., what thoughts and feelings does this
          photograph evoke and why).
       4. Conclude this assignment by connecting this photograph with dominant
          ideologies about childhood. To do this, you might outline the way in which
          childhood was constructed during the period of the photograph and then discuss
          how the presentation of the subjects in the photograph support and/or challenge
          this construction of childhood?

Cultural Prospectives on Children
      Lab Project #2
      1. Locate an article on children from a culture/country other than your own. Cite
         the source of the article and attach a copy to your report.
          Source: _____________________________________________________________
       2. Summarize the major points of the article and its conclusion(s).
       3. Discuss the image(s) of children presented in the article and the cultural
          assumptions about children that are apparent.
       4. Conclude this assignment by analyzing how your own childhood experiences and
          cultural expectations shape your reading and response to this article.

                                                      NAME: ______________________________
Analyzing a Childhood Event
     You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be written
     individually. Please attach your report to this page.
       Lab Project #3
       1. Decide on an event from your own childhood or locate a childhood autobiography
          (e.g., Diary of Anne Frank; The Ghandi Reader, etc.) and decide on a particular
          event. Cite the source of this event.
       2. Objectively describe the event with as much detail as possible. You will want to
          include the physical setting, the social context (i.e., the people involved), and the
          kinds of interactions that took place. Include only observable details that most
          participants and/or observers could agree on.
       3. Now add your subjective impressions (e.g., relational context, emotional
          responses) and a reflexive response (i.e., what thoughts and feelings did/does this
          event evoke and why?).
       4. Conclude this assignment by connecting this event with one of the theoretical
          perspectives on childhood. For instance, you might discuss which of the
          theoretical perspectives your analysis of the event suggests. Be sure to support
          your ideas.

                                                           NAME: ____________________________
Protection of Human Subjects
     Lab Project #4
     1. Brainstorm ideas for a final project in pairs.
       2. Outline your proposal.
       3. Have your group critique your proposal.
       4. Revise your proposal given your group’s critique.
       5. Complete the attached “mock” Human Subjects protocol.
Guidelines on Protection of Human Subjects
     These guidelines apply to research or other activities in which human subjects are
     exposed to risk. There are three categories of projects, and the responsibility for
     determining the category in which a project falls rests with the faculty member who
     proposes research or supervises research by others. The categories are: (1) no risk to
     human subjects; (2) a potential risk to human subjects whose protection is the
     responsibility of an agency other than “Local” University (projects in this category
     will be subject to that agency's procedures concerning protection of human subjects at
     risk); and (3) a potential risk to human subjects whose protection is the responsibility
     of “Local” University. Within this category, a distinction is made between sponsored
     and un-sponsored projects. Projects in category three are subject to the guidelines on
     protection of human subjects outlined below.
       It is the view of “Local” University that the decision to undertake research rests upon
       a considered judgment by an individual researcher about contributing to knowledge
       and human welfare. The responsible scientist weighs alternatives and in an
       investigation, respects persons who participate and protects their dignity and welfare.
       In planning a study, the investigator is personally responsible for careful evaluation of
       the ethical acceptability of purposes and means; for maintaining ethical standards of a
       professional field; for openness and honesty with persons who serve as subjects,
       including full information about the research; and for accurate and timely disclosure
       of methods and findings to colleagues. The ethical investigator protects participants
       from physical or mental discomfort, harm, or danger, and when risks are present,
       informs participants of risks and takes prudent steps to minimize them.
       Identification of and personal information about research participants in a study is
       confidential. Any possibility that other persons might obtain access to confidential
       information should be explained to participants, and reasonable steps taken to
       prevent an invasion of confidential information.
       This policy publicizes the University's commitment to protect human beings who
       serve as subjects for research conducted by its faculty, students, and employees. Such
       protection should be provided whether or not the University and investigator are
       required by a sponsor to observe protective procedures. Certain of the policies set
       out, however, also will serve the purpose of providing assurance to sponsors that
       appropriate procedures for the protection of human subjects are embodied in research
       conducted at “Local” University.
       All proposals for sponsored research and all proposals for major, unsponsored
       projects (including dissertations and theses) which might involve human subjects at

risk must be submitted to the University Human Subjects Review Committee for
review and approval. Other proposals for unsponsored projects (including surveys
and class demonstrations or experiments) which might expose human subjects to risk
shall be submitted to the department chair, a department committee, or the
appropriate dean or director for review and approval. The latter projects may be
referred to the University Committee for review and approval at the discretion of the
appropriate unit reviewer. If the investigator is uncertain whether risk to human
subjects might be involved, the proposed research or project shall be submitted to the
appropriate committee or person.
Each project submitted for review must be accompanied by a written application (see
attached form), with clear explanations that:
1. Describe the procedures or activities in which the human subjects will participate.
   Describe any potential risks-physical, psychological, social, legal or other-and
   assess the seriousness of such risks. If methods of research create potential risks,
   describe other methods, if any, that were considered and why they will not be
   "Subject at risk" means any individual who may be exposed to the possibility
   of injury, including physical, psychological, or social injury, as a consequence
   of participation as a subject in the research, development, or related activity.
   These potential injuries must depart from the established and accepted
   methods necessary to meet the subject's needs or increase the ordinary risks of
   daily life, including the recognized risks inherent in a chosen occupation or
   field of service. A subject may be at risk when an investigator uses stored
   data or information obtained for purposes other than the investigator's
   research. Reviews should determine whether the original consent is sufficient
   or consent can be obtained.
2. Describe the requirements for a subject population. The rationale for using this
   population should be given. State how special groups such as prisoners, children,
   the mentally disabled, or others whose ability to give voluntary informed consent
   may be in question will be handled.
3. Describe consent procedures to be followed, including how and where informed
   consent will be obtained.
   "Informed consent" means that knowing consent of an individual or his legally
   authorized representative, so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice
   without undue inducement or element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, other form of
   constraint or coercion. The basic elements of information necessary to such
   consent include:
   (a) A fair explanation in non-technical language of the procedures to be followed,
       including identification of any procedures that are experimental;
   (b) A description of any discomforts and risks reasonably to be expected;
   (c) A description of any benefits reasonably to be expected;
   (d) disclosure of any appropriate alternative procedures;
   (e) An offer to answer any inquiries concerning the procedures, and

    (f) An instruction that the subject is free to withdraw his consent and to
        discontinue participation in the project or activity at any time without
4. Describe procedures (including confidentiality safeguards) for minimizing
   potential risks and assess their likely effectiveness.
5. Assess the potential benefits to the individual subject and to society which may
   result from the planned work.
6. Analyze the risk-benefit ratio.
Copies of questionnaires to be utilized in the proposed research and copies of cover
letters, consent forms or other materials available should be attached to the

*This document was adapted from Eastern Washington University’s Guidelines for the Protection of
Human Subjects.

               LOCAL UNIVERSITY
      “Mock” Human Subjects Review Application
I.       Investigator:
II.      Names of other persons responsible for performing or supervising procedures.
III.     Title of proposed activity:
IV.      Beginning date of proposed activity:
V.       Recommendations and Action [Instructor will complete Section VI]
         Date                   Approve                       Disapprove
         Subject to the following conditions:

         Period of approval from                       through
         Valid only as long as approved procedures are followed.
VI.      Outline of activity
       A. Background or rationale for this activity.

       B. Objectives.

       C. Procedures involved. Provide a short description of the sequence and
          methods to be used. (Which of these will be performed primarily for the
          purpose of this activity, e.g., volume of blood, size of biopsy, questionnaire,
          name of psychological test?)

D. Identify alternative procedures, if any, that might be advantageous to the

E. If any deception (withholding of complete information) is required for the
   validity of this activity, explain why this is necessary and attach debriefing

F. Subjects                             How Many                       Age Range

    1. Approximate number and ages:               normal
    2. Criteria for selection and exclusion.

    3. Source of subjects (including patients).

    4. How subjects will be approached and by whom.

    5. Steps taken to avoid causing potential subjects to be or feel

    6. Will subjects receive an inducement, e.g., payment, services
       without charge, extra course credit? If so, what amount or
       how? What is the reason for the inducement?

    7. Location where procedures will be carried out.

G. Risk
    1. Nature and amount of risk (include side effects),
       substantial stress, discomfort, or invasion of privacy

          2. Compare the expected risk with the expected benefit.

          3. Follow-up planned as part of the procedures.

          4. Plan for handling possible adverse effects.

          5. Arrangements for financial responsibility for adverse

       H. Confidentiality and anonymity.
          1. Will participation be anonymous (that is, investigator will
             have no way to identify subjects by appearance, name, or
             data)? Yes/No.                 If yes, how assured?

          2. Where participation is not anonymous, steps to insure

          3. Provision for controls over access to documents and data.

VII.    Checklist to be completed by investigator           Yes               No
       A. Will medical or academic records be used?
       B. Will audio-visual or tape recordings, or photographs be made?
       C. Should this activity be covered by the adverse effects insurance?
       D. Will written consent form(s) be used?
          Written consent is required in most cases (in addition to an oral
          1. If no, explain why a written consent form will not be used.

          2. If no, is a statement attached describing what participants
             will be told? Participants should be informed of elements
             of E., below.
        E. Does (Do) the consent form(s) include (page 5 provides a sample format):
          "Local University" heading?
          Name, position, department, and telephone number of investigator(s)? -
          Copy for subject?
          Signature and date lines to be completed by investigator, subject, parent-
          or legal guardian, and subject advocate, as applicable?
          The following information in simple language appropriate to the reader.
          1. Purpose-what the objectives are and why the study is
             being conducted?
          2. Benefits to be expected or knowledge hoped to be gained?
          3. Procedures to be followed, time involved for each, and
             total time?
          4. Nature and amount of risk, substantial stress, discomfort,
             or invasion of privacy involved?
          5. Appropriate alternative procedures that might be
             advantageous or available to subject?
          6. Costs the subject may immediately or ultimately be forced
             to bear?
          7. Reimbursement of costs or other inducement the subject
             will receive?
          8. Voluntary nature of participation and freedom to
             withdraw at any point without penalty or jeopardizing
             medical care?
          9. Opportunity to ask questions before consenting?
          10. Assurance that subject's identity will remain confidential
              or is anonymous?
          11. Who will have access to subject's responses?
          12. How the information will be used?
          13. How long the data will be retained by investigator?

*This document was adapted from the Eastern Washington University’s Human Subjects Review
Committee Application.

        Copies to: Subject
        Investigators' file
        (CONSENT FORMAT - use simple, informative language appropriate to the intended readers.)
                                   LOCAL UNIVERSITY
Co ns ent Fo r m
       (Title of Activity)
        (Investigator's name, position, department and telephone number)
        Investigators' statement
Pu rp ose an d Be nef its :
       (Include statements on what the activity is about, why it is being conducted, and who might
Pr oc edu res :
       (Outline procedures. Include the commitment of time for each, the total amount of time
       involved, and for what period. If a questionnaire or interview is involved, include examples of
       the most personal and sensitive questions. Indicate that individuals are free not to answer any
       questions which they find objectionable. State: "Washington State law provides that private
       conversations may not be recorded, intercepted, or divulged without permission of the
       individual(s) involved.")
R is ks , St re ss or D isc o mf o rt:
         (Avoid stating that there are no risks. Include information on reasonable risks and any
         possible invasion of privacy. List side effects and, if appropriate, how they will be handled.)
Ot he r Inf or m at io n:
        (Include information on alternative procedures available. State whether the identity of subjects
        will remain confidential or is anonymous, as applicable. Include that subjects are free to
        withdraw at any time without penalty, or, for patient subjects, "without penalty or
        jeopardizing future care." Include specific information when subjects will receive an
        inducement, e.g., money, free services, extra course credit [alternatives must be spelled out in
        this case] for participation in the study.)

                                                    Signature of investigator
        Subject's        statement
        (State: "The study described above has been explained to me, and I voluntarily consent to
        participate in this activity.” [“Study” or “research” may be used.] State: "I have had an
        opportunity to ask questions." Also state: "I give permission to ___ record, ___ intercept, and
        ___ divulge conversations in which I participate during this activity.” [“Study” or “research"
        may be used.”])
        Signature of subject                              Date
                Note:    include when appropriate
        Signature of parent/legal guardian                Date
                Note: When completed form is more than one page in length, number the pages,
                "Page 1 of -pages," etc., and place signatures on the last page.

Interpreting Children’s Literature
      You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be written
      individually. Please attach your report to this page.
       Lab Project #5
       1. Choose a book or short story intended for younger children and
          read it (preferably to a child).

            Source: ___________________________________________________________

       2.   Provide a synopsis.
       3. For what audience do you think the author intended this story?
          How do you think different children might respond to this story
          (e.g., boys/girls, various racial/ethnic children)?
       4. Conclude this assignment by critiquing the story. What
          assumptions seem to be made about children? Do you see these
          assumptions as valid? (Draw on course readings and presentations
          for this part of the assignment).

                                                           NAME _____________________________
Media Images of Youth
     You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be written
     individually. Please attach your report to this page.
       Lab Project #6
       1.Locate a media presentation of youth that is produced by adults
         (e.g., Seventeen) and a forum in which kids present themselves.
         Identify these two sources.
            Adult Presentation of youth: _______________________________________
            Youth presentation: _______________________________________________
       2. Describe the basic images of youth presented in each format. Are
          these images similar or different? In what ways?
       3. Analyze these presentations. What do you think informs the
          presentations in each format? Why are the images similar or
       4. Evaluate these presentations. In your opinion, which format
          presents a more accurate image of youth today and why? What is
          the impact of these presentations on adult images of youth? On
          youth’s image of themselves?

                    AN OBSERVATIONAL PROJECT
                                   Sue Marie Wright
                             Eastern Washington University
Directions For Project:
      This project requires a series of four structured, one-hour observation with children in
      a particular age group (e.g., infants, pre-school, grade school, etc.). You may choose
      the age group that you are most interested in working with or the age that you find
      most fascinating. Your observations must occur in at least two different types of
      settings (e.g., home, school, neighborhood, etc.) and must include both participant
      and non-participant observations. Directions for these observations are attached.
       Having completed the four observations, you will present a final report. Your final
       report should meet the following objectives:
           Demonstrate knowledge of research on children’s lives, especially research related
           to the age group and topic/issue that you are pursuing
           Demonstrate understanding of observational methods and ethical issues with
           child populations
           Demonstrate ability to describe observations
           Demonstrate ability to analyze qualitative data (identify themes, develop
           categories, generate hypotheses, etc.)
           Demonstrate ability to evaluate strengths and weakness of project
       To meet these objectives, I would like you to format your presentation as a research
       report. Your report should include the following elements:
       1. Background for the project: Discuss related research on the age group that you are
          observing. You might also want to discuss how you came to be interested in this
          project and/or your own theoretical orientation for understanding children’s lives.
          Be concise (approx. 1 page).
       2. Description of your observational process: Include such things as the locations of
          your observations, the times they occurred, the participants involved, the types of
          actions that were taking place, your role in the situation, etc. (approx. 2-3 pages).
       3. Analysis of qualitative data: Identify and describe the primary themes that emerge
          from your observations. Describe these themes, both in terms of your
          readings/research and from your own observations. For instance, what categories
          have been used in the past? What categories emerge from your observations?
          Expand your analysis by showing how you could explain specific
          interactions/events (approx. 3-5 pages).
       4. Evaluation of project: Do your observations and analysis fit with what you
          expected to find? If so, in what ways? If not, why? You might discuss multiple
          explanations for an event, and then support the explanation that seems the most
          accurate/complete (given your observations). Also, be sure to explain how your
          analysis relates to your own theoretical orientation (3-5 pages).

Observation #1
     1. Choose a site for a non-participant observation of a child or children in the age
        range that you plan to study. Be sure to get the proper permission before
        observing. Identify your location, your contacts (principal, teacher, etc.) and the
        pseudonyms you will use.
           Note: I will keep this page, so be sure to write your lab on a separate sheet.

       Location/Pseudonym: _______________________________________________________

       Contact at Location: __________________________________________________________
       2. In this lab, I would like you to concentrate on the physical location. How big is the
          space that your observations being made in? How is the furniture/equipment
          arranged? (A diagram may be helpful.) What is the condition of
          furniture/equipment? And how is the space used?
            Note the interactions that occur, separating objective description from your
       3. Separating your notes into two columns in the following manner is helpful:

Description:                               *Interpretation:
_________________________________________ *_____________________________________
[The objective “facts” of your observation * [Your subjective reflection of events goes
 go here, that is, actions, dialogue, and  * here, that is interpretations about a subject’s
 other interactions that most observers    * intentions, a subject’s emotional response,
 would agree on.]                          * your feelings or thoughts about the observation,
                                           * etc.]

       4. Analyze the impact of the physical setting. For instance, how does it limit or
          promote different kinds of interactions? What seems to be the major effect of the
          surroundings on the participants (e.g., does the locations lend a sense of energy or

           Note: You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be
           written individually. Please attach your report to this page.

                                                          NAME: _____________________________
Observation #2
     1. Choose a site for a non-participant observation of a child or children in the age
        range that you plan to study. Be sure to get the proper permission before
        observing. Identify your location, your contacts (principal, teacher, etc.) and the
        pseudonyms you will use.
           Note: I will keep this page, so be sure to write your lab on a separate sheet.

       Location/Pseudonym: ________________________________________________________

       Contact at Location: __________________________________________________________

       2. In this lab, I would like you to concentrate on the actions of your subjects. What is
          each person doing? And what is the order of these actions? You may find it most
          helpful to log the actions on the “description” side of your notes sequentially by
          time. For example: [2:10] The teacher holds up both hands and asks the children to
          move to the carpet at the front of the room. [2:11] The children get up and push in
          their chairs before walking to the carpet. Most move quietly around their desks to
          the carpet. However, George and John are elbowing one another as they walk.
          And there are several pairs of children whispering to each other. [2:12] The
          teacher directs the children to places on the carpet, using her hands to signal
          where she wants them to sit. When George arrives at the carpet, she places her
          hands on his shoulders and physically directs him to a particular place.
       Don’t forget to separate objective description from interpretation. You can separate
       your notes in the following manner:

Description:                               *Interpretation:
_________________________________________ *_____________________________________
2:10 The teacher holds up both hands.      * The teacher seems to be very much in control.
  She asks the kids to move to the carpet. *
 2:11 The kids get up and push in chairs.  * The kids appear subdued, not very interested.
Most walked quietly.                       * I am feeling bored, too.


       3. Now begin to analyze the sequence of actions that you observed. Are they similar
          to what you anticipated, given your readings? In what ways? In what ways, if
          any, are they different from what you anticipated? And how do you explain the
          actions that you observed?

           Note: You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be
           written individually. Please attach your report to this page.

                                                         NAME: _____________________________
Observation #3
     1. Choose a site for a participant observation of a child or children in the age range
        that you plan to study. Be sure to get the proper permission before observing.
        Identify your location, your contacts (principal, teacher, etc.) and the pseudonyms
        you will use.
          Note: I will keep this page, so be sure to write your lab on a separate sheet.
       Location/Pseudonym: ________________________________________________________

       Contact at Location: __________________________________________________________

       2. In this lab, I would like you to concentrate on the dialogue of your subjects. What
          is each person saying? And what is the order of interaction? For a model, refer to
          Andrew Pollard’s (1985: 173) The Social World Of The Primary School. Don’t forget
          to separate objective description from interpretation.

       3. Now begin to analyze the sequence of interactions that you observed. Are they
          similar to what you anticipated, given your readings? In what ways? In what
          ways, if any, are they different from what you anticipated? And how do you
          explain the interactions that you observed?

          Note: You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be
          written individually. Please attach your report to this page.

                                                         NAME: _____________________________
Observation #4
     1. Choose a site for a participant observation of a child or children in the age range
        that you plan to study. Be sure to get the proper permission before observing.
        Identify your location, your contacts (principal, teacher, etc.) and the pseudonyms
        you will use.

          Note: I will keep this page, so be sure to write your lab on a separate sheet.

       Location/Pseudonym: ________________________________________________________

       Contact at Location: __________________________________________________________

       2. For this observation, I would like you to concentrate on a particular theme that
          you have seen emerging in previous observations. Here you will be bringing
          elements of space, action, and dialogue, along with your own interpretations of
          events, together in a meaningful way. Andrew Pollard’s (1985: 173) The Social
          World Of The Primary School will give you an idea of how a professional
          ethnographer working with children would do this. Remember that these are
          Pollard’s published notes; your field notes will probably not be quite this neat.
          Have fun.

       3. After describing the theme and how you see it emerging, I would like you to show
          me how this contributes to your understanding of the lives of the children in the
          age group that you are working with.

          Note: You may work with other students on this lab, but your report must be
          written individually. Please attach your report to this page.


To top