7 In guiding researchers on their conduct within this framework the Association sets out its guidelines under the following headings: • Responsibilities to Participants • Responsibilities to Sponsors of Research • Responsibilities to the Community of Educational Researchers • Responsibilities to Educational Professionals, Policy Makers and the General Public
GUIDELINES Responsibilities to Participants
8 Te participants in research may be the active or passive subjects of such processes as observation, experiment, auto/biographical reflection, survey or test. Tey may be collaborators or colleagues in the research process or they may simply be part of the context e.g. where students are part of the context but not the subjects of a teacher’s research into his or her own professional practice.
9 Te Association considers that educational researchers should operate within an ethic of respect for any persons involved in the research they are undertaking. Individuals should be treated fairly, sensitively, with dignity, and within an ethic of respect and freedom from prejudice regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, cultural identity, partnership status, faith, disability, political belief or any other significant difference. Tis ethic of respect should apply to both the researchers themselves and any individuals participating in the research either directly or indirectly. Adherence to this ethic of respect implies the following responsibilities on the part of researchers.
Voluntary Informed Consent
10 Te Association takes voluntary informed consent to be the condition in which participants understand and agree to their participation without any duress, prior to the research getting underway.
11 Researchers must take the steps necessary to ensure that all participants in the research understand the process in which they are to be engaged, including why their participation is necessary, how it will be used and how and to whom it will be reported. Social networking and other on-line activities, including their video-based environments, present challenges for consideration of consent issues and the participants must be clearly informed that their participation and interactions are being monitored and analysed for research.
12 Researchers engaged in action research must consider the extent to which their own reflective research impinges on others, for example in the case of the dual role of teacher and researcher and the impact on students and colleagues. Dual roles may also introduce explicit tensions in areas such as confidentiality and must be addressed accordingly.
13 Educational research undertaken by UK researchers outside of the UK must adhere to the same ethical standards as research in the UK. Appropriate consent should be sought from local authorities in cultures that adopt a collective approach to consent (e.g. community or religious leaders or local government officials) but cultural sensitivity should not extend to excluding the individuals concerned from making their own informed decision to take part in the research. Any additional regulations and cultural sensitivities of the host jurisdiction must also be
Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research 5
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