This year marks the 30th birthday of Tema Barn (Childhood Studies) at the University of Linkoping, Sweden. Tema Barn is an interdisciplinary research centre focused on children and childhoods that focuses on children’s perspectives and on child-orientated research methods.

As part of the birthday celebration, Professor Anna Sparrman and her team convened a multidisciplinary workshop to bring together an group of international academics to explore the multiplicities of children’s childhoods.

Professor Katherine Runswick-Cole (The School of Education and iHuman at The University of Sheffield) was invited to talk about “Ethic as Method”.  Drawing on her work with colleagues Dr Kirsty Liddiard and Professor Dan Goodley and the Co-Researcher Collective, Katherine spoke about participatory research with children and young people as a form of relational ethics.  She described the ways in which disabled children and young people have been excluded from research in the past. She talked about how the research team were learning together to understand the lives of children and young people with life limiting and life threatening impairments as part of an ongoing research project “Living Life to the Fullest: Life, Death, Disability and the Human” (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Katherine said: “I feel very privileged to have spent time with a committed group of academics to think about how we can better understand children’s participation in their social worlds.”