Keeping Connected: Young people, identity & schooling

Project Contact

Julianne Moss
T: +61 3 8344 8250
E: j.moss@unimelb.edu.au
W: Personal web page

Project Details

A research project investigating the social and educational experiences of young people whose schooling has been disrupted due to an ongoing health condition.

School connectedness and retention is an established key to both immediate and long-term health, academic and life outcomes. Young people with health conditions often miss schooling and get caught in a spiral of catching up and disconnection from important peer relationships and from school. Taking an approach that foregrounds education relationships (rather than focusing on chronic illness), this study investigates the experiences and perspectives of young people whose schooling is disrupted by illness or accident.

Bringing together a multi-disciplinary team of education and adolescent health researchers, together with industry partners from the Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute, the research will illuminate the educational and social experiences of young people with an ongoing health condition. Utilizing visual and narrative approaches within a qualitative and longitudinal framework, the experiences and perspectives of young people will be elicited through in depth interviews over a two-year period. Data from a large-scale survey will complement the qualitative approach while the perspectives of parents, education professionals and health professionals will further elucidate the experiences of these young people.

Through examining the professional and institutional processes that support or impede young people's connection to education, the research will build a new foundation for best practice for the professionals and institutions who work with young people in this situation. The research will produce guidelines for improving the services offered by health and schooling professionals, and provide better knowledge about the processes by which disconnection occurs.

Researchers

The Keeping Connected project brings together leading education and adolescent health researchers, together with industry partners from the Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute, in an innovative multidisciplinary approach to researching the experiences of young people.

Education Researchers

  • Professor Lyn Yates - Foundation Chair of Curriculum, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
    Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Melbourne
  • Dr Julianne Moss - Senior Lecturer
    Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Julie Whites - Senior Lecturer
    School of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, La Trobe University
  • Dr Trevor Hay - Senior Lecturer
    Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Peter Ferguson - Senior Lecturer
    Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Mary Dixon - Senior Lecturer
    Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Mary Dixon - Associate Director
    MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow

Centre for Adolescent Health Researchers

  • Dr Lyndal Bond - Associate Director
    MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, Glasgow
  • Dr Sarah Drew - Senior Researcher
    Adolescent Health and Social Environments Program -Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital

Project Officer

  • Ms Hannah Walker - Project Manager and Research Assistant
    Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

Collaborators

The Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute

The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Education Institute is proud to be the Industry Partner of the Australian Research Council-funded Keeping Connected study. The RCH Education Institute’s dual areas of focus are to deliver evidence-based, best practice education support to children and young people associated with the RCH, Melbourne, reflecting the principles of patient/student and family-focused practice; and to take a leadership role in the generation, transfer and exchange of knowledge relevant to the education/health interface for children, young people and families, relevant professionals and the broader community. The RCH Education Institute is funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD), with additional support from donors and supporters.

  • Dr Julie Green
    Deputy Director and Head of Research
  • Glenda Strong
    Executive Director

Published Research

Project reports

Keeping Identity, social connection and education for young people living with chronic illness (2010)

This report brings together the Keeping Connected project findings and discusses key themes and issues for attention. The report highlights the clear and pressing need for a system of advocacy on the part of the young people and families within both health and educations systems - and between schools and hospitals.

Keeping Connected: Identity, social connection and education for young people living with chronic illness [PDF 1.8mb]

Keeping Connected: Young people's stories of living and learning with an ongoing health condition (2009)

This report was written in December 2009 for the 31 young people who participated in the longitudinal case study component of the Keeping Connected project. Their stories and photos form the central focus of the report.

Keeping Connected: Young people's stories of living and learning with an ongoing health condition

This is a project report written for the 31 young people who participated in the longitudinal case study component of the Keeping Connected project. The report is the result of three years of regular interactions with the young people who were aged 10-18 years at the start of the research and forms the core part of the project.

The report brings together their stories and photos about:

  • who they are
  • how they manage their lives with an ongoing health condition
  • their educational lives
  • and their hopes and aspirations for the future

Journal Articles

  • Yates, L. (2010) The story they want to tell, and the visual story as evidence: young people, research authority and research purposes in the education and health domains. Special issue: Visual Research Methods and Issues of Voice. Visual Studies (in press)
  • Guillemin, M. & Drew, S. (2010) Questions of process in participant-generated visual methodologies. Visual Studies. (in press)
  • Ethnography versus Case Study, Julie White, Sarah Drew and Trevor Hay (2009), Qualitative Research Journal, Vol 9, No 1, pp 18-27

Non-reffered Articles

Media Reports

  • "Exposing the Damage", Genevieve Costigan, The Voice, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 7, March 2009
  • New School of Thought on Ill Kids, Margaret Cook, The Age, 19 March 2007
  • Study into how adolescent illness disrupts schooling, UniNews, Vol. 16, No. 3, 5-19 March 2007

Publications

Selected Conference Presentations 2007-2010

  • Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2009
    Canberra, 29 November - 3 December 2009

    The Keeping Connected project team presented a symposium at the AARE International Research Conference at the National Convention Centre, Canberra.

    The symposium title was: Adolescents living and learning with chronic illness: Resilience, goals and life trajectories.

    View the abstracts of the papers presented as part of the symposium.

  • Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2008
    Brisbane, 30 November - 4 December 2008

    The Keeping Connected project team presented a symposium at the AARE International Research Conference at the Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus. The conference theme was 'Changing Climates: Education for Sustainable Futures'. This current social concern applies equally well to education and the various policy, funding, institutional and social domains that shape the work of teachers and educational researchers.

    Below are the papers presented as part of the Symposium.

    • Research Design and the Keeping Connected Project [presentation in pdf, 372Kb], Lyn Yates.
    • Negotiating partnerships to build strategy for supporting young people with chronic illness in schooling [presentation in pdf, 1.9Mb], Tony Potas, Pam St Leger, Julie Green
    • Panel on "Schooling, identity and social connectivity: Sustainable futures for young people with chronic health conditions" [pdf, 48Kb], Pam St Ledger.
    • Schooling, identity and social connectivity [pdf, 124Kb], Julianne Moss.
  • American Education Research Association Conference 2007

    <'Connectedness' and the hospital/schooling interface: evidentiary and ethical issues in a collaborative research project using visual and narrative methods, Lyn Yates, Panel on "Methodological issues in study of urban youth", American Education Research Association Conference, Chicago, April 2007

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Download Research Publications

Keeping Connected: Identity, social connection and education for young people living with chronic illness report:

Download Research Publication [PDF]