In terms of my own position on the extent to which evidence-based practice informs our understanding of childhood and children’s lives, having read the two books and having looked, in detail, at the examples of evidence-based practice given in the module so far, it is obvious that evidence-based practice is the only way to deal with initiatives aimed at enhancing the lives of children and young people; this sector of the population needs to be listened to, and researched, as part of the research project, not simply as a phenomena to be researched, in order that their opinions and ideas be incorporated in to the developments in hand. Only in this way can evidence-based practice be developed which informs our understanding of childhood and children’s lives. Evidence-based practice, a wholly effective tool, ensuring that current, up-to-date, methods are utilised in the most effective way possible, can only be effective if the research itself has been conducted effectively.
This means that if the research concerns children and young people, then children and young people should be actively consulted in order to gain a valid and unbiased picture of the reality of the lives and opinions of these individuals; without this active consultation, and engagement with, children and young people in the research process, any evidence-based practice that results would not be valid, as it would be an extrapolation of hypotheses, nothing more. Thus, for me, evidence-based practice can only inform our understanding of childhood and children’s lives if the research that has been conducted to inform this evidence-based practice has engaged children and young people in the process.