Considering CHE (Connectivity, Humanness, and Empathy)—Principles for Sustaining Respectful, Authentic, and Dialogical Research with Young Families

  • Alice BrownEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Education Research Methods book series (PSERM)


This book is framed to research with young families within a methodological approach that is respectful, ethical, and dialogical. As such, those who choose to adopt such an approach may need to reframe their methodological techniques, and theoretical orientations, in order to ensure authenticity, relevance, and rigour, and to best afford for these narratives to be privileged and illuminated. Such an approach also calls on researchers to draw on the mechanics of listening, and engage in dialogical relations (also raised in earlier chapters), each of these being essential components for engaging in the process of ethical co-construction of research with family members, and establishing and maintaining trust and effective rapport building with participants.

Particularly germane to the themes addressed in this chapter are considerations regarding going beyond just acknowledging the importance of building rapport, trust, and the relational dimensions in our work, and research with young families, to exploring key strategies and tools for maximising ethical, dialogical, and meaningful research encounters and mutually beneficial outcomes. These practices often require researchers to employ a great deal of ingenuity, plus a good share of emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills. This is particularly the case in relation to decision-making pertaining to key elements of rapport building, and maximising dialogical opportunities with members of young families, including those who may have been marginalised, disenfranchised, or positioned through a pathologised lens.

This chapter examines a range of these themes and considerations, as well as introducing the CHE principles of Connectivity, Humanness, and Empathy. These principles are considered to contribute to a robust and rigorous framework that can potentially guide researchers in analysing and evaluating the effectiveness of their decision-making, and in facilitating and sustaining humanising spaces and authentic relationships with family members. In sharing these principles, the intent is that these methodological insights might offer researchers an effective reflective device to deploy when planning, and evaluating relational intentions and outcomes of specific research projects.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business, Education, Law and ArtsUniversity of Southern QueenslandSpringfield CentralAustralia

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