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New LLAKES website

January 28th, 2015 | News | 0 Comments

This website is being maintained as an archive of LLAKES Centre activities from 2008 to 2014.

For current and future information abbout the Centre, please see the new LLAKES website, at www.llakes.ac.uk.

Research seminar: “Widening the participation gap: the effect of educational track on political engagement”

January 12th, 2015 | News | 0 Comments

Dr Germ Janmaat, UCL Institute of Education

3.00 to 4.30 pm, Thursday 29 January 2015, Room 736, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Inequalities in political participation are widely recognised to be problematic as they make democratic government less responsive to the needs of the politically disengaged and thereby undermine the public legitimacy of liberal democracy. This seminar will assess the extent to which tracking contributes to these inequalities. Tracking is postulated to enhance the participation gap because of cross-track differences in the curriculum and in peer socialization. The results of two studies will be presented, which examine whether this predicted outcome can be observed among adolescents in England. The first study uses the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) while the second is based on the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study (CELS).

Germ Janmaat is Reader in Comparative Social Science at UCL Institute of Education, and leader of the theme ‘Education, Inequality and Social

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Cohesion’ within the Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES). He is mainly interested in the socio-political outcomes of education and has published widely on this topic. In 2013 he was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for a project on education and civic attitudes using longitudinal data sources. The current seminar will present two pieces of research he conducted as part of this fellowship.

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

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