Researching Children and Young People

Children learning 

Led by Professor Penelope Harnett , this theme focuses on the lived experiences of children and young people and analyses different policy and social contexts which impact on their lives.


Theme summary

The view that children and young people are active agents in their own lives and should have opportunities to participate in decisions relating to their futures underpins research within this theme. Our research provides a range of perspectives on the experiences of children and young people to inform practices and policies leading to learning improvement and to enhance opportunities for leading fulfilling lives.

Within this theme we have particular research strengths in approaches to curriculum planning and organisation together with expertise in researching learning and teaching within specific subject areas related to the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage. We are engaged in innovative practice development and transformational knowledge exchange with schools and settings in the region. Our work supports the principles of  the Cambridge Primary Review and we are a regional centre for this network. We are interested in learning in its broadest sense, including informal learning and learning in out of school contexts.

A number of colleagues have  expertise in researching different aspects of communication, language and literacies, including language acquisition;  the experiences of bi-lingual learners; classroom talk within different subject areas; content language integrated learning and supporting children’s experiences of reading in a range of contexts

A further significant area is researching under – reported areas in early childhood. The Department has forged strong links with professionals working with very young children in the region and hosts successful research conferences and seminars focusing on this area.

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