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'University is a place of imagination where anything can happen': evaluating widening participation initiatives with young children

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There is increasing awareness of the importance of working with younger children in widening participation initiatives. While typical evaluation methods, such as feedback questionnaires, may be appropriate for collating evidence of the impact of initiatives with older children and teenagers, these tools are less appropriate for younger children. In the context of the evaluation of a campus-based creative writing programme for 9- to 10-year-old children, this paper discusses the utility of creative approaches to evaluation. Prior to and following their visit to a university campus, children completed a worksheet to gain their perspectives of university through sentence completion, comparison and drawing tasks. These methods provide insight into how children's perspectives are shaped by visiting a university campus, as well as differences between those who do and do not know someone who has attended university. We present snapshots of the evaluation data and discuss the implications for evaluation of widening participation initiatives with young children.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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