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Public Seminar: 13th June 2016

Children, Young People and Social Change Research Network

Extended Lunchtime Seminar:
Research Methodologies Utilising Cutting Edge and Pioneering Methods and Approaches

I4P is delighted to invite you to an extended lunchtime seminar hosted by the Children, Young People and Social Change Research Network. The seminar has been designed to encourage dialogue, debate, conversation and an exchange of ideas. The theme of the seminar focuses on research methodologies utilising cutting edge and pioneering methods and approaches.

Paper abstracts are detailed below and presentations include: Working with year 10 co-researchers in a research evaluation; Moving beyond the textual and visual in qualitative research; Problematizing ethical frameworks; and The opportunities of transgressing social structures offered by clowning in hospital contexts.

These cutting edge approaches demonstrate the innovative and important research undertaken at Edge Hill but invites participants from the wider academic community and input is particularly welcome from practitioners and the non-academic community.

Learn more about the Children, Young People and Social Change Research Network.

Guest Speakers:


‘Evaluating drama-based crime prevention’

Dr Victoria Foster, Department of SoPsychcial Sciences Edge Hill University, and Year 10 Co-researchers from Notre Dame Catholic College
Year 10 students from Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton have been working on a participatory, arts-based evaluation of the Royal Court Theatre’s ‘Terriers’. This play, written by Maurice Bessman, tackles issues of gangs, gun crime and sexual exploitation, and has been touring schools on Merseyside, and further afield, since 2008. Terriers was performed at Notre Dame at the end of 2015. This presentation discusses the methods we used to capture the affective reactions of 150 Year 10 students. We will consider some of the dilemmas raised through the research process and briefly talk through some of the research findings. We will conclude the presentation by thinking about the role of the arts in our lives, and its power to communicate messages through emotion and humour.

‘What’s under our noses?’

Chris Hughes, Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Edge Hill University
Drawing upon recent developments in the sociology of the senses, this talk will highlight some potentially interesting ways of rethinking qualitative research. In doing so, it will be suggested how a ‘qualia’-tative approach to research and inquiry could help shed light on some of the hard to reach and often nuanced aspects of social life. In particular, some ideas will be offered concerning the sensuousness of childhood alongside several methodological problems and possibilities.

‘Ethical practice for the playwork practitioner’

David Stonehouse, Faculty of Health & Social Care, Edge Hill University
This paper discusses the importance of ethics for play and playwork practitioners as the sector and work force move towards becoming a recognised profession within the United Kingdom. Exactly what is meant by the term ethics is defined, before moving on to a discussion of two key areas. First, the ethical framework known as F.A.I.R. (this mnemonic stands for Fairness, respect for Autonomy, Integrity, and to seek the most beneficial and least harmful consequences or Results) devised by (Rowson, 2006) and second, the four ethical principles of Beauchamp and Childress (2013).Throughout links are made to the eight Playwork Principles developed by the Playwork Principles Scrutiny Group, Cardiff in 2005 and endorsed by SkillsActive (2013).

‘Breaking the Rules and Healing Division: The Enigma of Contemporary Hospital Clowning’

Barnaby King, Department of Performing Arts, Edge Hill University
Clowns in hospitals seems like a troublesome combination. Yet, since the mid-eighties hospital clowning – or clown care, as it is sometimes known – has enjoyed growing levels of acceptance and support in many parts of the world. A growing body of research, from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives, advances some tentative explanations for its effectiveness as a physical, mental, spiritual and social palliative, especially for children. Much of this focuses on the ability of clowns, through their transgressive playfulness, to mitigate the unfavourable conditions often present in hospital environments. But at the same time the practice of clowning, as well as the clowns themselves, often encounter high levels of suspicion and resistance from medical professionals as well as managers and administrators. This research presentation offers a glimpse into the world of the hospital clown, based on participant observation with the Chicago branch of Big Apple Circus’s Clown Care Unit (CCU) and asks: How does clowning provide positive experiences for children, parents and hospital staff? Why, on the other hand, is there so much resistance to the very idea of clowning in hospitals? And why have certain countries, such as Canada, Argentina and Sweden, embraced hospital clowning?

Date: Monday 13th June 2016

11.30am start
3.00pm close
This seminar is free and lunch will be provided

Venue: The Psychology and Social Sciences building, Room PSS101 (building 8 on the Map) at Edge Hill University (Directions).

Registration: Closed

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