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Open Access Involving young people through co-production and widening participation approaches: Reflections from school-based engagement

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Co-production techniques that involve student voice have been shown to empower young people and shape their learning experiences, while widening participation approaches can improve students' educational aspirations. However, there is limited literature on the impact that a combination of co-production and widening participation approaches might have on students' learning, aspirations and self-esteem in the UK. The Research Methods in School Education (RISE) educational course aims to: (1) create a collaborative educational activity through co-production, giving young people an opportunity to voice their opinions; (2) raise awareness of community health issues; and (3) increase access to higher education. This paper describes and evaluates co-producing the RISE educational course with students and teachers from a sixth-form college in south-east London, drawing on students' voice, and on insights from teachers and researchers. We also assess the contribution of the course to improved awareness of community health issues, students' educational or career aspirations, and self-esteem.

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Keywords: CO-PRODUCTION; COMMUNITY HEALTH; HEALTH INEQUALITIES; PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT; WIDENING PARTICIPATION; YOUNG PEOPLE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Engagement with research goes further than participation in it. Engaged individuals and communities initiate research, advise, challenge or collaborate with researchers. Their involvement is always active and they have a crucial influence on the conduct of the research.

    Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    The journal welcomes relevant articles. See the publication homepage for details, or contact [email protected]

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