Research Groups

Children and Childhood

led by Professor Rachel Holmes

This research group recognises the complexity of contemporary childhoods in all aspects of its work. It is committed to the development of theoretically-driven intellectual, as well as diverse empirical research and evaluation projects in this endeavour.

To appreciate how each of these strands are committed to developing practice click here

House of Thoughts House of Thoughts © Sabine Timm











Drawing researchers and academics from education, the social and health sciences, the arts and humanities, the group is dedicated to working in critical interdisciplinary ways that rethink, question and challenge how babies, children and young people are conceptualised and produced through practices, policy and academia in the 21st century.

The group’s work impacts on research innovation and the creation of new critical knowledge about children and young people by developing creative approaches to methodology, engaging with challenging theoretical landscapes and being mindful of the complex ethical implications in the work we do. Our commitment to breaking new ground is crucial in seeking imaginative ways of developing different futures for the child, young person and her family.

The group has a strong interest in building research capacity and supporting the next generation of researchers, as well as developing research-informed pedagogical practices. Fostering a research-rich teaching and learning culture in the university creates fluidity across our research, teaching and knowledge exchange activities. Through our international research collaborations and partnerships with policy and user communities, we nurture collaborative spaces for discussion, seminars, exhibitions and conferences, bringing like-minded as well as critically diverse groups together.

Our work is committed to developing intellectual, professional and public debates about:

• Behaviour and reputation
• Babies and young children in art galleries and museums
• Young children’s relationship with food
• Working with two-year olds in education settings
• Identity and belonging
• Artists in schools
• Human and non-human animal relationships
• Young people and transition into education/employment
• Alternative education in youth work
• Ethnicity, family and community
• Friendship
• Gender, class and resistances
• Researching with children and young people
• Critical inter- and trans-disciplinary research and practice in childhood contexts

* Full film and resources available at