Childhood & Youth Studies
Talk Factory is designed for use on an Interactive Whiteboard and supports whole class plenary discussions. It is designed to support ‘exploratory’ talk, which is defined as “a joint, co-ordinated form of co-reasoning, in which speakers share relevant knowledge, challenge ideas, evaluate evidence, consider options and try to reach agreement in an equitable manner” (Mercer, 2008). Research in recent years has found that this kind of classroom dialogue is effective for promoting children’s talking, thinking and listening skills (see Mercer and Littleton, 2007 and the Thinking Together website for details).
The CRC is all about children by children. Our primary objective is to empower children and young people as active researchers. The CRC recognises that children are experts on their own lives. We value the child's perspective and believe in promoting child voice by supporting children to carry out research on topics that are important to them. The CRC is based at the Open University in Milton Keynes. We offer diverse groups of children and young people a taught programme on all aspects of the research process followed by one-to-one support to design and carry out a research project. We also help them to disseminate their research findings and support a variety of outreach programmes. We have links to numerous schools and community organisations nationally and internationally and exist to contribute to the body of knowledge on childhood and children's lived experiences.
The aim of the study is to provide a picture of what it means to be a mother in the twenty first century. Using a combination of individual interviews and cultural analysis we will explore how contemporary women imagine motherhood and how the identity of mother sits with other identities such as 'worker', 'daughter', 'lover' and 'citizen'. We want to know how identities are made in practice, and the part played by advice books, magazines and also people such as friends, partners, professionals and relatives. How does the arrival of a new generation impact on the relationship between mothers and daughters, can we see boundaries, responsibilities, duties and identities realign?
This research project explores youth voice initiatives within Creative Partnerships. Creative Partnerships as an organisation has a track record of addressing the challenges of youth participation at a number of levels, sometimes embedding participation implicitly in approaches to its creative work, and sometimes developing new formal mechanisms and spaces.
Creative Little Scientists
The Creative Little Scientists project constitutes a timely contribution to a better understanding, at the European level, of the potential available on the common ground that science and mathematics education in pre-school and early primary school (up to the age of 8) can share with creativity. The project proposes guidelines, curricula and exemplary materials for relevant teacher training in the various European contexts. To achieve these, the Creative Little Scientists project brings together a consortium comprising expertise of the highest level and quality in the areas of science and mathematics education in early childhood, creativity in education, cognitive psychology, comparative educational studies, and teacher training. This consortium carries out research in a sample of nine European countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and the UK) which have been selected to represent a wide spectrum of educational, economic, social and cultural contexts. 1/10/2011 - 31/3/2014
Learning to read in the 21st century
Literacy has always been a social practice. But in the twenty-first century, it is a changing form due to the rapid proliferation of digital technologies. Children today need to become literate not only with print but also with a wide range of other media. And digital technologies can be highly effective tools for the teaching of literacy - even to the very young. In this short film, Open University researchers Dr Janet Soler, Professor Teresa Cremin, and Professor David Messer discuss their work with Dr Daniel Allington.
For more on children’s print and digital media literacies, see also the Multimodal Literacies in the Early Years research project, carried out at the Open University by Dr Rosie Flewitt and Dr Sylvia Wolfe.
In 2006, a team of researchers from the Open University, the University of Southampton and Canterbury Christ Church University were commissioned by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to conduct a three-year longitudinal study to:
- review existing evidence on the impact of language learning on pupils;
- investigate the nature and quality of the provision of language learning at Key Stage 2 (children aged seven to eleven years old);
- assess its impact on pupils' learning in languages and across the curriculum.
The project draws upon newspaper, primary sources and archival based material from the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Consequently, the project will have considerable interdisciplinary and international impact. The findings will be of interest to those who work, not only with theories of literacy, but also to historians, sociologists, policymakers and teachers who engage with critical theory in its broadest sense, in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand as well as elsewhere. Moreover, given the introduction of the Literacy Hour in England, and recent attempts by politicians in the United States, Australia and New Zealand to restructure policies towards the teaching of reading, this is a topical and timely project with the potential to contribute to wider national and international policy debates in education.
Language and Literacies
This research project sets out to examine the real nature of digital literacies for today’s undergraduates. These students are often referred to as ‘digital natives’, spending time text messaging, chatting online, surfing the net and using social networking sites like Facebook.
This project will use observations in four primary classrooms to provide a more detached and theoretically informed study of how whiteboards are used by teachers, in the context of established classroom practices, patterns of classroom interaction and educational goals. It will thus provide an empirically-grounded account of the use of this new technology and an assessment of its educational value.
The Metaphor Analysis project is a research project funded by the ESRC's National Centre for Research Methodology. It was awarded to Lynne Cameron and the MetNet Group and runs from 1 May 2006 for six months.MetNet (the Metaphor Network) is an active group of researchers, currently based in the north of England, investigating the use of metaphor and metonymy in discourse, and developing theoretical approaches to metaphor that go beyond cognitive metaphor theory
The research project Multimodal Literacies in the Early Years explored what learning to be ‘literate’ means for young children growing up in today’s media-rich world. It was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and was led by Dr Rosie Flewitt with Dr Sylvia Wolfe (University of Cambridge) as Research Associate.
Professional Academic Writing in a Global Context is a longitudinal study focusing on the politics and practices of academic text production in a global context.
The UK Organic food market is now the third largest in the world, with a value of two billion dollars and an annual growth rate of approximately 10% (Sahota 2007). Its importance is not however only economic. Organic purchasing reflects growing public concern about food production and consumption, and its personal, social and environmental impact. In addition, the lively debate about food in contemporary British society foregrounds issues relating to the role of persuasive communication in both public and private decision making. Against this background, our project examined the language and social construction of organic food promotion (OFP), the communicative strategies employed by writers of promotional materials, and public reactions to them.
Technology Enhanced Learning
CASTL represents a major initiative of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The CASTL Program seeks to support the development of a scholarship of teaching and learning that:
- fosters significant, long-lasting learning for all students;
- enhances the practice and profession of teaching,
- brings to faculty members' work as teachers the recognition and reward afforded to other forms of scholarly work
The project aims to help young people to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to understand and contribute to their changing world. It is a collaboration with the University of Nottingham and was awarded nearly £1.2m from ESRC and EPSRC through the TEL ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’ initiative, part of the national Teaching and Learning Research Programme.