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    Research Statement

    I am interested in research which seeks to make a difference in children and young people's lives, particularly in the contexts of school and community. My research interests fall into two themes:

    • Political education (including citizenship education and human rights education) – with a focus on teaching controversial issues in transitional or conflict affected societies and the role of former combatants in education for citizenship.
    • Children’s rights - with a focus on children’s participation rights, children's civil and political rights, children's wellbeing and children's rights-based and participatory research methods.

    My research projects focus primarily on the substantive issues associated with these themes. In addition, I collaborate with colleagues who wish to apply a participatory approach to researching their own substantive areas. 

    Current research projects:

    A longitudinal study of the role of schools in impacting on the health and wellbeing of 12-16 year old students in Northern Ireland (The WiSe Study) with Paul Connolly (PI), Frank Kee, Katrina Lloyd, Laura Dunne - I am responsible for developing and implementing the participatory aspects of this research study.

    Children’s knowledge of health behaviours with Katrina Lloyd and Maria Cantwell (Centre for Public Health)

    Previous research projects:

    Orr, K., Emerson, L., Lundy, L., Royal Dawson, L. and Jiménez, E. (2016) Enabling the exercise of civil and political rights: the views of children, Save the Children Fund

    Jerome, L., Emerson, L., Lundy, L. & Orr, K. (2014) Child Rights Education: a study of implementation in countries with a UNICEF National Committee Presence, UNICEF

    Emerson. L. , Lloyd, K., Lundy, L., Orr, K. & Weaver, E. (2013-2014) Legal Needs of Children and Young People, Department of Justice

    Emerson, L. , Connolly, P. & Orr, K. (2012-2014) A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial Evaluation of the ‘From Prison to Peace’ Educational Programme, Office of the First and deputy First Minister

    Emerson, L. & Lloyd, K. (2013) Involving children in the development of a children's rights questionnaire (CRQ), Improving Children's Lives

    Lundy, L., Emerson, L., Lloyd, K., Byrne, B. & Yohanis, Y, (2012) Education Reform in Northern Ireland: a Human Rights Review, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

    Sibbett, C., Miller, S., Emerson, L. & Forbes, T. (2010-2012) Youth Suicide Clusters in Northern Ireland, ContactNI

    Lundy. L., Emerson, L. & Byrne, B (2010) Ready to Learn: Children’s Perspectives, Barnardo’s Northern Ireland

    Murphy, C., Kerr, K., Emerson, L. & Lundy, L. (2009) Attitudes of Children and Parents to Science Assessment, The Wellcome Trust

    Miller, S., Connolly, P., Lundy, L.  Emerson, L., & Maguire, L. (2007-2008) Ready to Learn: the Needs of Primary School Children in Disadvantaged Areas , Barnardo’s Northern Ireland.

    Emerson. L. & Lundy, L. (2007-2008) E-consultation with children, Department of Education and Curriculum Council for Examination and Assessment


    Post Graduate Certificate in Education (P.G.C.E.)

    Subject Studies: Methods for Teaching and Learning for Social Sciences and Religious Education; Citizenship Education

    Education and Professional Studies: curriculum theory, policy and practice; citizenship education


    MEd Curriculum: Theory, Policy and Practice

    MSc Children's Rights in Research


    EdD Research with Children and Young People

    EdD Qualitative Research Methods - contributions on transformative research and participatory action research (PAR)


    I am currently first supervisor for doctoral students in a range of areas, including -

    Jen Banks: Education for sustainable citizenship

    Patricia O'Lynn: young people's experience of school exclusion and alternative education provision

    John Currie: Political literacy and deliberation

    Colette Brownlee: Children's views on museum education

    Eilise Sweeney: Children's aspirations for the future

    Abi Wells: The lived experience of refugee children in NI

    Megan Ward: Teachers' pedagogical approaches to controversial political issues

    Peter Whelan: history education

    Completed doctoral (first supervision) covers a range of areas, including: young Palestinian's construction of human rights; young people's (inter)national identities in international schools; religious education and the truth claims of world religions; citizenship education and multiculturalism; the value of music education in the primary school; children's agency in play in the early years of school; skills for life and work in a globalised world; teacher professional identity.


    Current Leadership Roles: 

    Deputy Director, Centre for Children’s Rights

    Deputy Director, Post Graduate Certificate in Education (P.G.C.E.) (Learning and Teaching)

    Pathway Coordinator Post Graduate Certificate in Education (P.G.C.E.) in Social Science (Politics and Sociology) 

    Member of the Ethics Committee

    Previous roles:

    Education Studies Co-ordinator (P.G.C.E.) (2008-2013)

    Member of Ethics Committee (2008-2012)

    Member of Research Committee (2013-2015)

    Member of 'Improving Children's Lives' management committee (2014-2015)

    Frequent Journals

    • Technology Pedagogy and Education

      ISSNs: 1475-939X

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1747-5139


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.947 SNIP 1.443


    • British Educational Research Journal

      ISSNs: 0141-1926

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1469-3518


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 1.052 SNIP 1.476


    • Children and Society

      ISSNs: 0951-0605

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1099-0860


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.658 SNIP 0.931


    • Journal of Peace Education

      ISSNs: 1740-0201

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1740-021X


      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.441 SNIP 1.024


    • Childhood

      ISSNs: 0907-5682

      SAGE Publications Ltd

      Scopus rating (2018): SJR 0.536 SNIP 1.197


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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 40540