Children as Audience and as Co-Researchers

Research exploring the processes of being and becoming an audience

Pernille Welent Sørensen is a PhD student in Performance Design at Roskilde University (Denmark). Since 2010, she’s been employed by Teatercentrum (Denmark) who also co-financed her project “Children becoming Audience in the Performing Arts”. 

This talk is about becoming a researcher with children in a classroom when young people meet the Performing Arts in a school context. The talk focuses on some of the ethics of, and efforts in, trying to create a collaborative community in the classroom and researching the processes of being and becoming an audience. Such classrooms are where pupils are often in the position of being told what is right, what is wrong, and what knowledge is – both by teachers and by other pupils. The talk will discuss and reflect on how foregrounding and backgrounding operations can make children’s attentions, meaning-making processes, articulations, and knowledge production matter. It explores how to create spaces for polyphonic knowledge production and how this can interrupt the relations in a classroom, in a school, and in producing knowledge for as part of PhD research.