Childhood, Youth and Families Research Cluster

The Childhood, Youth and Families Research Cluster acts as a hub to nurture, develop and disseminate research expertise

Welcoming all with an interest in childhood, youth and families, activity in the cluster is guided by the interdisciplinary nature of the subject and unites researchers from various academic disciplines with external agencies. Members originate from fields as diverse as teaching, nursing, social work and family and parenting support.

The Childhood, Youth and Families research cluster carry out a broad range of research.  The overarching focus of the cluster is research that considers the experiences of children and/or young people.  Members of the cluster also research families and communities and influential experiences on childhood and youth.  Examples of research areas include educational and developmental research on childhood and youth, safeguarding and protecting children’s welfare, parental support, multi-agency working and special and inclusive education.

The cluster provides a supportive environment for interested members of the faculty.  Members of the cluster can access support in carrying out individual research and/or writing for publication.  There are also opportunities for collaborative research and publications within the cluster and across clusters.  For example, members of the cluster are currently collaborating across clusters and with external contributors to write a book for Routledge on the contemporary issues in childhood.  The cluster aims to increase research output and endeavours to write collaborative bids for external funded research.  The cluster also has the capacity to plan workshops and access external speakers to support cluster members research.  Finally, members are encouraged to disseminate research findings in the cluster to inform teaching within the faculty and in relevant modules and courses.       

Research interests

The wide variety of member backgrounds and specialisms enables colleagues to develop an effective multi-disciplinary base for research.

Current research topics include the following areas:

  • Childhood, including early years both educationally and developmentally
  • Youth from adolescence into adulthood in an educational capacity or with families and communities
  • Language and literacy in childhood and adolescence
  • The pedagogy of play
  • Pedagogy and children’s learning
  • Barriers to the learning in children and adolescents
  • Special and inclusive education focused on child, youth and families
  • Communication and the child
  • Parental support and multi-agency working
  • Ethical issues in multi-agency working
  • Outdoor learning


Inclusive Education: perspectives on pedagogy, policy and practice. (2016, Routledge: London)

Contemporary Issues in Childhood: a bio-ecological approach (due to be published 2017, Routledge, London)

Cluster team

Cluster Coordinator: Dr Zeta Brown

Designated Researchers: Prof Tony Bertram and Prof Chris Pascal

Core Members and Associated Doctoral Students: . Kay Bennett, Karl Brennan, Jayne Daly, Tracey Edwards, Sue Fawson, Dot Heslop, Graham Jones, Helen Keane, Lucille Kelsall-Knight, Helen Lyndon, Sarah Mander, Clare Norman, Helen Perkins, Lynn Richards, Tracey Sheldon, Sarah Sherwin, Faye Stanley, Rhian Stevens, Sally Sturge, John Thain, Anne Wright, Dr Jennifer Worsley.

Associate members Dr Tunde Rozsahegyi; Gurpinder Lalli.