Interest in methodologies that enable active participation of children in research has been growing (Gallacher & Gallagher 2008; Spyrou 2018). However, existing literature and methods do not necessarily centre the experiences of children themselves, especially those from marginalised social groups. In addition, existing studies on methodologies to research with children tend to lack an intersectional lens. While power can affect all children as a social group in relation to adults, taking an intersectional lens can attend to the multiple forms of power at work in society such as ableism, sexism, and racism. An increasing debate on the multiplicity of childhoods in childhood studies (Konstantoni & Emejulu 2017) often remains at theoretical level and how to attend the complexity in practice in different social contexts is under-discussed. Research methods using intersectionality are still limited, and no specific techniques have been developed to examine intersectionality among children because children are often not the target of intersectional inquiry (Rodó-de-Zárate 2017). Without advancement of methods, diverse experiences of children and their best interests may continue to be ignored, and this can make it difficult to reach solutions that bring meaningful changes in children’s lives.

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate participatory methods developed to generate data with children from marginalised social groups, to investigate how they experience challenges in education, especially at the intersection of disability, gender, ethnicity and caste. This study draws on a case study in post-conflict Nepal, where unequal distribution of power across social groups led to a decade-long conflict (Pherali 2011). Research methods include life storytelling by children, identity wheel, identity object, local art, and timeline activities. I argue that these creative methods can potentially grant epistemic justice to marginalised voices, trace multiple stories, experience of research participants, and emphasis on the ethics of listening (Chadwick 2017). Moreover, innovation in participatory methods requires researcher’s continued critical reflection and improvement through interaction with children to accommodate their diverse needs considering their sociocultural context and ability status. This paper will provide the methodological learning for intersectional research in other contexts, by demonstrating possible approaches to contextualise methods to unpack children’s experiences.