Published: 22 February 2011 at 13:43
The Childhood and Youth Research Institute is set up to help shape public policy
Anglia Ruskin University is launching a groundbreaking cross-faculty research body in Chelmsford on March 3. The Childhood and Youth Research Institute is a unique initiative which will utilise the expertise of academics from different backgrounds to bring critical mass and interdisciplinary perspectives to policy making.
Anglia Ruskin has a long history of excellence in child-centred fields as diverse as social justice, children’s health and ophthalmology, education, children’s book illustration and music therapy, and a significant amount of the research undertaken through the Institute will be based on the participation of children and young people.
The Childhood and Youth Research Institute is led by sociologist and disability researcher Dr Chrissie Rogers, supported by a team of three post-doctoral research fellows – Dr Tam Sanger, Dr Zoe Jaques and Dr Darren Sharpe - and a cross-discipline steering group.
Acutely aware of the need for such a facility, Dr Rogers, who has a learning-disabled daughter herself, said:
The Childhood and Youth Research Institute will produce work on a diverse range of topics, including disability, inclusion and special educational needs, intimacy, sexuality/asexuality, marginalised and vulnerable children and young people, children’s literature and performance, early childhood, crime/deviance, families, formal and informal education, mental and physical health, law, pregnancy and care.
Dr Rogers, Dr Poul Rohleder and Dr Tam Sanger are already conducting research focusing on the experiences of young men and women with mild to moderate learning disabilities. This research will take the form of three separate focus groups with young men, young women and parents/carers where they will explore issues around friendships and intimate relationships.
Dr Sanger said:
Dr Zoe Jaques’ main research interest involves children’s fiction and she has published articles on The Water-Babies, the His Dark Materials trilogy and the Harry Potter series. Her latest work is Lewis Carroll’s Alice: A Publishing History, and Dr Jaques said:
The launch event begins with a drinks reception at 5.45pm in the mezzanine area of the Michael Ashcroft Building. The institute will be officially opened by Anglia Ruskin Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne at 6.30pm, followed by an introduction to the institute by Dr Rogers and a “Question Time” event chaired by Charlotte Hill, CEO of UK Youth. There will also be a performance by Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, a Jamaican dub poet and storyteller.The Childhood and Youth Research Institute is one of five dedicated research institutes at Anglia Ruskin University; the others being the Cultures of the Digital Economy, the Postgraduate Medical Institute, the Global Sustainability Institute, and the Institute of International Management Practice.