Understanding Children's Perspectives On Water Resources in Interdisciplinary Research

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Ethnographic Methods with Children, Water Resources, Water Infrastructure

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Children's perspectives and knowledge of their local environment are not often incorporated into interdisciplinary applied research projects focused on understanding human relations with water resources. This paper discusses the process of integrating children's perspectives into interdisciplinary research on water resources through the use of a method called “picture voice,” where children create drawings to share their experiences. The paper focuses on research conducted in southern Belize and how this approach can be useful for developing educational activities for school settings to share research results of interdisciplinary environmental research projects. Projects involving children ideally entail a collaborative effort between researchers and educators alike, and we suggest that picture voice is a methodological tool for young people to share their perspectives. We suggest greater attention should be given to children's knowledge by anthropologists and their natural and engineering sciences colleagues to expand curricula in a way that shifts attention to local ecology and children's environmental knowledge and practices. Finally, best practices for bridging anthropology and engineering to share results of projects through educational efforts are presented.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Practicing Anthropology, v. 41, issue 1, p. 32-37