Research Seminar: ‘Young Children’s Wellbeing in Comparative Perspective’, 15 January 2015

December 18th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

LLAKES Research Seminar: ‘Young Children’s Wellbeing in Comparative Perspective: A multi-country case study of breast-feeding and leave policies

Professor Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Thursday 15 January 2015, Room 709a, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

There are large cross-national differences in early child wellbeing according to international OECD and Unicef reports. But there is still much we do not understand about the reasons for these differences and the role of national institutional factors in contributing to them. Moreover, without harmonised cross-national studies covering relevant topics, there are substantial challenges in identifying institutional or broader “cultural” factors.  In this paper we take a multi-country case study approach focusing on the individual and institutional/cultural factors implicated in country differences in breast-feeding, using comparisons across five national infant cohort studies. Breast-feeding is a pertinent example as it is implicated in a wide range of infant and child outcomes and it shows substantial variation across the five countries under study. Using post-hoc harmonisation, we first explore existing evidence on the key individual-level risk/promotive factors for breast-feeding and that on the role of leave policies in influencing breast-feeding initiation / continuation. We then explore differences across countries in the risk/promotive factors and in their association with breast-feeding, and draw inferences about the role of institutional differences. We discuss the implications of our findings and possible extensions of the approach.

Lucinda Platt is Professor of Social Policy and Sociology in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on ethnicity, immigration, poverty and child wellbeing, broadly defined. A quantitative sociologist, she was formerly Director of the Millennium Cohort Study and remains a co-investigator with responsibility for the ethnicity strand on Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

 

Karen Evans – Hanover presentation

December 10th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Professor Karen Evans travelled to Hanover this week to address the researchers and senior researchers of the Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung GmbH on the theme of ‘Researching the Differences that Lifelong Learning Can Make’. The topic of  Lifelong Learning is increasing in significance in German debates on educational development, particularly in Higher Education. LLAKES research has much to offer in providing insights into the ways in which quantitative and qualitative research approaches can illuminate questions of both theoretical and policy significance. The talk concluded with discussion of the scope for comparative research between England Germany, in the context of the very different institutional landscapes  in the two countries.

 

LLAKES – 2015 Spring seminar programme

December 10th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

The outline programme for the LLAKES 2015 Spring seminar series is now available. Further details will be posted in due course. All seminars are free to attend and are held at the UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.

15 January 2015
Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics
Young children’s wellbeing in comparative perspective
15.00-16.30, Room 709a

29 January 2015
Germ Janmaat, UCL Institute of Education
Educational trajectories and inequalities of political engagement among adolescents in England
15.00-16.30, Room 736
 

10 February 2015
Ruth Lupton, University of Manchester
Better or worse? Education policy and educational inequality under the coalition
15.00-16.30, Room 604
 

24 February 2015
Rachel Wilde, UCL Institute of Education
Private schools and public benefit
15.00-16.30, Committee Room 2

10 March 2015
Rebecca Riley, National Institute of Economic and Social Research
Driving productivity growth: the importance of firm-specific knowledge assets
15.00-16.30, Room 736

 

24 March 2015
Brian Nolan, Dublin City University
Inequality, growth and living standards
15.00-16.30, Room 744

Research Seminar: ‘Using youth advisors in research on “hard to reach” groups – the challenges and benefits of Peer Interviewing’, 9 December 2014

November 25th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Dr Avril Keating, Institute of Education

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 9 December 2014, Room 784, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

In recent years there has been increasing interest in participatory research methods and their practical, ethical, and epistemological benefits. These methods have been found to be particularly beneficial in increasing access to (and understanding of) social groups that academic and professional researchers often find difficult to engage in the research process (such as homeless people, asylum seekers, or drug users).

This seminar reports on a recent small-scale project that sought to use participatory research principles to collect in-depth qualitative data from young people with low income, low skills, and/ or from deprived backgrounds. As part of this project, we recruited youth workers to conduct peer interviews in their own (deprived) communities and to contribute to the developing research agenda and analysis. In this seminar, we will report on the results of these efforts, and highlight both the benefits and the challenges of putting these participatory principles into practice. In particular, we shall see that while the peer interviews produced very valuable data for the academic team, maintaining the participatory principles proved much more challenging.

This project was undertaken as part of LLAKES Project 1.2 – The Crisis for Contemporary Youth: Young People, Opportunities and Civic Values in the UK.

Avril Keating is a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Social Science, and an ESRC Future Research Leader fellow. She is jointly based in the LLAKES Research Centre and the Department of Lifelong Learning and Comparative Education (Institute of Education). At LLAKES, Avril is leading Project 1.2 with Andy Green, and overseeing the continuation of the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study (CELS).

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

Research Seminar: ‘Positive Youth Development in the Context of the Global Recession’, 4 December 2014

November 14th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Professor Ingrid Schoon, Institute of Education/University College London

2.00 to 3.30 pm, Thursday 4 December 2014, Library, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), 2 Dean Trench Street, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HE

Against the backdrop of the current economic crisis, this seminar examines the pathways available to young people after the completion of compulsory schooling, and how these options are shaped by family background, school experiences, and individual competences and expectations. By introducing a diverse pathways view, it is argued that there are multiple pathways leading to successful adaptations in the transition to adulthood. Young people have to carve their pathways to adulthood based on the resources and opportunities that are available to them. The research findings presented here question the assumption of universality in the timing and sequencing of the transitions to adulthood, and the role of potential support factors.

Ingrid Schoon is Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at the Institute of Education/University College London, and is also Research Director of the Department of Quantitative Social Science, and Research Professor at the Wissenschaftszentrum, Berlin. She is currently directing the international post-doctoral Fellowship programme PATHWAYS to Adulthood (funded by the Jacobs Foundation), is Co-Principal Investigator of the ESRC funded Centre for the Learning and Life Chances in  Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES). In her role as Research Professor at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, she is conducting a project on the ‘Transition to Adulthood’.

She has published widely, including a monograph on ‘Risk and Resilience’ (2006) and two co-edited books on ‘Transitions from School to Work’ (2009 with Rainer, K. Silbereisen) and on ‘Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment (2014, with Jacquelynne Eccles), all published by Cambridge University Press.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

 

Research Seminar, 25 November 2014: The Challenges of a Knowledge Economy

November 10th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Professor David Soskice, London School of Economics

4.00 to 5.30 pm, Tuesday 25 November 2014, Committee Room 2, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

 This seminar will address the ways in which the Information Technology revolution has substantially changed desirable skill sets, associated with: massive changes in employment characteristics; education participation at different levels; the social and economic role of women;  the structure and function of major cities; and in terms of rewards, inequality and poverty. Advanced societies have moved from a Fordist world driven by small elites to a world in which large proportions of younger cohorts go through some form of higher education. Yet despite (or because of) advanced democracy – and a gendered reconfiguration of political parties and welfare states – levels of redistribution in favour of the many losers from these changes have declined. This is true also of coordinated economies, although to a lesser extent. Over the next decade it is likely that we will see an increase in the pace of change; and particularly in the UK and USA, it is unclear as to how prepared we are for this further shift.

David Soskice has been LSE School Professor of Political Science and Economics since 2012. From 2007 to 2012 he was Research Professor of Comparative Political Economy at Oxford University, and Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, as well as Research Professor in Political Science at Duke University. Prior to that he was research director at the WZB in Berlin since 1990; and before that economics fellow at University College, Oxford. His main research is on patterns of advanced capitalism, democratic politics and macroeconomics in the advanced nations with Torben Iversen, with whom he has written a sequence of articles in APSR, World Politics and QJE. He worked with Peter Hall on Varieties of Capitalism (OUP, 2001). With Wendy Carlin he has just published Macroeconomics: Instability, Institutions and the Financial System (OUP, 2014), and he is currently working with Nicola Lacey on crime and punishment in the US and the UK.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

 

Research Seminar, 11 November: Division and isolation following the tornado effect of the economic slump

October 30th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Research Seminar: ‘Findings from the “Hard Times” project: division and isolation following the tornado effect of the economic slump’

Dr Gabriella Elgenius, University of Gothenburg

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 11 November 2014, Room 639, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

 Abstract

Hard Times was a research collaboration between the University of Manchester and Harvard University, including a number of scholars linked to Professor Anthony Heath and Professor Robert Putnam, with the support of Tom Clark at The Guardian. The book – Hard Times – was published by Yale University Press in 2014.

The authors examined the effects of the recent economic downturn, which they label as the ‘nastiest’ recession, as opposed to the deepest or biggest, because of the inequality and social damage it has caused and because it is the worst slump since the Second World War. Moreover, the recession has hit vulnerable groups disproportionately: we are not “all in it together” as claimed by some politicians. The Hard Times Project builds on the social capital discourse as it investigates the effect of the economic crisis and its implications for communities in Britain.

This talk will address the main findings of the Hard Times project, focusing on the destructive effects on individuals and communities, and on the patterns of experiences of vulnerable groups (including the young, unemployed, ethnic minorities, single mothers, disabled, and groups with no secondary education) who have been hit hardest by the recession; and will demonstrate that the most vulnerable have taken the hardest hit – as if a tornado had swept through Britain.

Gabriella Elgenius is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Gothenburg, and Associate Member, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford. Her research interests include Nationalism, Diasporas, Citizenship, Ethnicity and Identity Politics. She is working currently on research projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Academy, the John Fell Fund, and by a Marie Curie Fellowship.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

Research Seminar: ‘The UK Productivity Puzzle’, 4 November

October 22nd, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Dr Alex Bryson, National Institute of Economic and Social Research

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 4 November 2014, Room 709a, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

Abstract

The era of sustained economic growth enjoyed in the UK for nearly two decades was reversed almost overnight with the 2008 banking crisis.  Stock market crashes throughout the world were precipitated by investor uncertainty, firms suffered from sudden credit tightening, and demand for goods and services started falling.  Whilst many of these immediate responses to the banking crisis were common across the world, each country faced specific difficulties due to differences in the nature of their economies and institutions and the position they were in when the crisis hit.  The UK economy has performed particularly poorly in the intervening six years.  Output per head remains below its pre-recession peak due to a combination of remarkably sluggish GDP growth and higher-than-anticipated employment levels. This presentation reviews the literature on the UK’s productivity “puzzle”, examining some of the main culprits or suspects that may explain recent trends.  The second section contributes to the empirical literature by testing some hypotheses in new ways, in order to shed further light on patterns of productivity growth among British workplaces over the period 2004-2011. The third and final section looks to the future and comments on the prospects for UK productivity growth over the next decade or so.

Alex Bryson is Head of the Employment Group at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research where he has been working since October 2008.  He was previously Research Director at the Policy Studies Institute where he has worked for nineteen years.  He is also a Research Fellow at IZA, at Rutgers and at the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.  His research focuses on industrial relations, labour economics and programme evaluation.  He is on the editorial board of the NIESR Economic Review and was previously an editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations.   In 2005-2006 he was the Wertheim Fellow at the Harvard Law School and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

Research Seminar: ‘The UK’s Productivity Puzzle: what do Workplace Data tell us?’, 4 November 2014

October 15th, 2014 | News | 0 Comments


Dr Alex Bryson, National Institute of Economic and Social Research

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 4 November 2014, Room 709a, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

Abstract

The era of sustained economic growth enjoyed in the UK for nearly two decades was reversed almost overnight with the 2008 banking crisis.  Stock market crashes throughout the world were precipitated by investor uncertainty, firms suffered from sudden credit tightening, and demand for goods and services started falling.  Whilst many of these immediate responses to the banking crisis were common across the world, each country faced specific difficulties due to differences in the nature of their economies and institutions and the position they were in when the crisis hit.  The UK economy has performed particularly poorly in the intervening six years.  Output per head remains below its pre-recession peak due to a combination of remarkably sluggish GDP growth and higher-than-anticipated employment levels. This presentation reviews the literature on the UK’s productivity “puzzle”, examining some of the main culprits or suspects that may explain recent trends.  The second section contributes to the empirical literature by testing some hypotheses in new ways, in order to shed further light on patterns of productivity growth among British workplaces over the period 2004-2011. The third and final section looks to the future and comments on the prospects for UK productivity growth over the next decade or so.

Alex Bryson is Head of the Employment Group at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research where he has been working since October 2008.  He was previously Research Director at the Policy Studies Institute where he has worked for nineteen years.  He is also a Research Fellow at IZA, at Rutgers and at the Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.  His research focuses on industrial relations, labour economics and programme evaluation.  He is on the editorial board of the NIESR Economic Review and was previously an editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations.   In 2005-2006 he was the Wertheim Fellow at the Harvard Law School and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The seminar is free to attend, but prior registration would be helpful: to register, please contact llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

 

Research Seminar: ‘Higher Education Reform under the Coalition’, 14 October 2014

October 1st, 2014 | News | 0 Comments

Professor Andy Westwood, Guild HE

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 14 October 2014, Room 709a, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL

In this seminar, Andy will look at the main areas of Higher Education reform enacted by the Coalition government since 2010; their impact; and what it means for the future. He will also look at prospects for further reform after the 2015 General Election as well as which political party – or combination of parties – may be in Government at that time.

Andy Westwood is the Chief Executive at GuildHE, one of two formal representative bodies for Higher Education in the UK. He came to GuildHE from Whitehall where he spent five years as a special adviser to ministers in the Treasury, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Andy is a Professor of Politics and Policy at Winchester University, President of the OECD forum for Social Innovation, and Chair of the LLAKES Advisory Board.

Attendance at the seminar is free, but prior registration would be helpful; to register, please contact  llakesevents@ioe.ac.uk

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