Denbigh School students ‘sow the seeds’ for future urban tree research

Richard Holliman, Phil Wheeler and Alice Dunford, The Open University, UK.

Denbigh students and teachers have helped to inform future priorities for urban tree research in Milton Keynes.

Why did we engage with students and teachers from Denbigh School?

The Natural Environment Research Council, also known as NERC, funded staff from the Open University and Forest Research to explore an aspect of ecology, urban tree research. The project was called TreeLab.

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Can citizen inquiry be inclusive?

Jessica Carr, The Open University.

Jessica Carr, The Open University.

Are people with learning disabilities regularly excluded from decision-making processes which may have a direct impact on them?

I’ve recently published research that explores this important issue (Carr, 2018), with the aim of contributing to wider discussions about how we build capacity to ensure that citizens have access to, and agency within, research (Holliman, 2017).

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Learning from Engaging Opportunities

Engaging Opportunities (Holliman et al, 2018)

Engaging Opportunities (Holliman et al. 2018)

We have recently published the final report for ‘Engaging Opportunities’ (Holliman et al. 2018).

Funded as one of 12 by RCUK, our project involved a School-University Partnership (SUPI) between the Open University and the Denbigh Teaching School Alliance.

Informed by action research, our partnership was designed to create structured, strategic, sustainable and equitable mechanisms for effective school-university engagement with research.

Over four years our project team created engaging opportunities for 11 schools and more than 6,577 people within Milton Keynes. Students and teachers engaged with authentic practices of contemporary and inspiring research in a range of academic disciplines.

Through this work we offering opportunities to participate in mutual learning and develop relevant and useful skills and competencies in how to access, assess, analyse and respond to contemporary research.

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