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Welcome

The Liverpool Hope University Child Development and Education Research Group is committed to recognising that it is typical for children and young people to develop biologically, cognitively, socially and emotionally at different rates. Our main focus is to provide better explanations of how this impacts on the progress they make in education settings and beyond so that evidence-based decisions can be made to improve life chances for all. Likewise, our research is also concerned with the study of children's and adolescents' emotional skills, prosocial behaviour, and well being. To accomplish this, we use a range of methods including experiments, observations, interviews, questionnaires and visual ethnography. Our newly constructed Science Building at Hope Park has state-of-the-art facilities to allow us to continue to develop research which is internationally excellent. Furthermore, we enjoy successful partnerships with schools in the North West as well as the parents and children who willingly participate in our research studies.

 

Research Group News

Childlab@Hope database and recruitment

We are in the process of setting up a database for children and families in order to recruit participants to our ChildLab. Dr Belen Lopez-Perez is bringing her expertise in database design and recruitment to this. You may also spot some changes to the ChildLab in the Health Sciences Building over the forthcoming month and you are welcome to come and have a look around.

Multilingualism in the classroom

Lorna Bourke accepted recently an invitation by the European Literacy Network COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action IS1401 to become part of a collaborative project that explores teacher knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards multilingualism in the classroom. This project will involve the participation of researchers from ten other countries. it is hoped that we will gain a greater understanding of the benefits and challenges of multilingualism from teachers' perspectives.

SIG Writing Conference and Research School 2016

During the summer Drs Lorna Bourke and Simon Davies organised the European Association of Learning and Instruction Special Interest Group Research School and Conference on Writing. This international conference focused on a broad range of contributions to the field of writing research: measurement of text quality, writing processes, writing skills; effective instruction in writing, new forms and definitions of writing; writing in academic and other contexts. There are lots of images relating to the conference on the conference Facebook and Twitter sites (details on the conference weblink).  

Awards and Funding

 

BA Small Research Grant Round 2 The role of visual memory in emergent writing skills.  

European Literacy Network COST Action IS1401 Training School Grant: People, processes & products: The triple narrative that awakens writing.

European Literacy Network COST Action IS1401 Working Group: An integrated and inclusive approach to foundational literacy.

Santander Universities Internalisation Grant to study interpersonal emotion regulation in children with Asperger's and typically developing children.

 

Global Hope 

Drs Simon Davies and Lorna Bourke have long been associated with the universities overseas education charity, Global Hope. This has meant devising projects for staff and students in liaison with host communities in Africa, India and Sri Lanka. We have also been fortunate to extend this interest through collaboration with the World Museum in Liverpool and their proposed Tibetan Realities Exhibition. Most of the projects we have undertaken have been with SOS Children's Villages and the Tibetan Homes Foundation.

Key Research Themes

Writing development

In order to function in society we need to be literate. One of the main challenges to education in the UK is to improve standards in writing. This is difficult to accomplish whilst our understanding of the processes involved in writing are still not fully understood. This is especially true for beginner writers at the very early stages of school-based education.

International excellence in research in writing and development focuses on the underlying mechanisms and processes by which children acquire writing skills. A more detailed understanding of the interactions between working memory, executive functioning, integration and coding of information, motivation, self-efficacy and writing apprehension will inform the education environment children learn to write in.

Thinking and feeling different

A greater understanding of the difficulties presented to young people with Autism has meant more inclusionary practices being developed within mainstream education. However, because of some fundamental challenges people with Autism can experience in language development it is also likely that this will impact on their ability to write, especially fiction-based stories. This project aims to recognise the relationship between the underlying impairments related to Autism and the ability to engage in specific literacy-based tasks.

Emotional development

Emotion regulation is key to mental health, academic achievement, and good social relationships. This project aims to gain a better understanding of how children and adolescents regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. An example of this research can be found in an online game we have recently developed to assess and train children with high-functioning Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to identify as well as regulate others' emotions in different scenarios (http://emodiscovery.com)

 

Children and adolescents' well being

Until recently, children's and adolescents happiness has been an overlooked area. In the current research project we look at children's and adolescent's conceptualisations of happiness and its impact on different domains (e.g. academic performance). Furthermore, we also study whether there are informants' discrepancies (e.g. whether children- and parent-reports are similar or not) when it comes to children's and adolescents' well being. This research has been featured in different international media.

                                                

Numerical cognition and applications within educational settings 

 The study of numerical cognition can be summarised as investigating the way in which representations of number concepts such as magnitude,parity and quantity change with age and educational experience. Our concept of number develops from non-symbolic quantity-based representations (e.g. a collection of items [*****]), through to the use of verbal labelling with number words (e.g. five)  and finally to  Arabic digit representations (e.g. 5). 

Such changes occur though brain development which establishes links between these different representations, and through exposure to the language of number in educational and family settings. Early in development (often pre-linguistically) children develop a basic knowledge of numerical quantity and are able to accurately make comparisons between sets of items. It is therefore important to understand both the cognitive mechanisms which promote the development of numerical processing and the impact that educational instruction has on this.
Therefore research should address numerical cognition within different age groups, ability group and cultural settings (where educational practices may differ). It is clear that number processing should be assessed in lab studies (to investigate cognitive mechanisms) and within classroom settings (to investigate impact of pedagogy and wider attitudinal issues around maths) to fully develop our knowledge of the psychology underpinning numerical cognition.   

Transition into adulthood

Moving towards greater independence as students begin to complete their education at University can cause a questioning of beliefs, values and attitudes that have been previously long held. This may become even more salient when the factors associated with a core identity have to be negotiated as a marginalised group within the complexity of multiple world views and perspectives. Visual ethnographic techniques inform the research methods developed within this theme. The main theoretical focus of which lies in the impact of notions of ‘Tibetaness’ within students who form part of a diasporic community in India. The project is in collaboration with the World Museum, Liverpool, UK and Liverpool Hope University’s overseas education charity, Global Hope. The findings are particularly relevant to debates surrounding the experience of refugees and migrants across the world, today.

Developmental change in inhibitory and binding effects in babies

This exciting area of research investigates the ability of infants to associate actions with outcomes. A new member of the developmental team has used his skills and expertise to work collaboratively in a babylab team to help design and analyse experiments featuring infant eye-tracking for other researchers to collect data.

Liverpool Hope Internship Scheme

The research group actively recruits recent graduates onto the Graduate Internship Scheme to become research assistants on the projects described above. 

 

PostGrad Projects

PhD: A componential or contextual approach to language communication

PhD: Attachment relationships in Islamic, Hebrew and Christian Scriptures

PhD: Emotion anticipation and emotional memory: Investigations using EEG [VC PhD Scholarship]

Memory and attention

MSc: Visual short-term memory, orthographic awareness and feature binding

MSc: The role of attention in short-term and long-term memory for audio visual binding of information

MSc: Symbolic and non-symbolic numerical magnitude comparison: how approximate number sense changes in relation to mathematical achievement from infants to juniors

Special Education Needs

MSc: Observations of social interactions of Preschool Children with and without Special Educational Needs

MSc: This is not behaviour modification: an evaluation of the development of reasoning skills in young adults with disabilities on a special education programme

MSc: Living with dyslexia

MSc: Life with a learning disability

MSc: Inclusion and Autism: The impact of teachers’ attitudes and perceptions

Perceptions and education

MSc: Achieving home-school partnership: A critical comparison and exploration of teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of power and collaboration 

Research Academics

 

Dr Lorna Bourke

Dr Lorna Bourke

Principal Lecturer in Psychology and Research Group Lead

E: bourkel@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3077

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/bourkel
 
   

Dr Simon Davies

Dr Simon Davies

Lecturer in Psychology

E: daviess@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3049

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/daviess

 
   

Dr Neil Harrison

Dr Neil Harrison 

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

E: harrisn@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3504

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/harrisn

 
   

Dr Glen Pennington

Dr Glen Pennington

Professional Tutor and Psychology Lab Manager

E: penning@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3505

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/penning

 
   

Dr Tom Gallagher-Mitchell

Dr Tom Gallagher-Mitchell

Lecturer in Psychology

E: mitchet@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3718

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/mitchet

 
   

 

Dr Belen Lopez-Perez

Lecturer in Psychology

E: lopezpb@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3832

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/lopezpb

 
   

Dr Antonio Zuffiano

Lecturer in Psychology

E: zuffiaa@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 2157

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/zuffiaa

 
   

 

Dr Michiel Spape

Lecturer in Psychology

E: spapem@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3162

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/spapem

 
   

 


Teaching

Undergraduate

PSYCOREC001: Foundations of Psychology

The Brain and the Central Nervous System

Perception and Attention

The Self and Society

Interpersonal Relationships

 

PSYADDC001: Foundations of Psychology

Emotions and Intelligence

Contemporary Issues in Psychology

 

PSYCOREI001: Explorations in Psychology

Learning and Memory

Language and Communication

Social Cognition

Research Methods and Statistics

 

PSYCOREH001: Advanced Studies in Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Personality and Wellbeing

 

PSYRESH001: Psychology Dissertation [Key Honours Assessment]

 

PSYADDH001: Advances in Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience

Psychology and Education

 

Postgraduate

MSc Psychology (Conversion)

PSYM001: Brain and Mind

PSYM002: Individual and Group

PSYM003: Research Project (Dissertation)

REMM002: Research Methods and Data Analysis

 

MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging

PSYM005: Cognitive Neuroscience

Welcome

The Liverpool Hope University Child Development and Education Research Group is committed to recognising that it is typical for children and young people to develop biologically, cognitively, socially and emotionally at different rates. Our main focus is to provide better explanations of how this impacts on the progress they make in education settings and beyond so that evidence-based decisions can be made to improve life chances for all. Likewise, our research is also concerned with the study of children's and adolescents' emotional skills, prosocial behaviour, and well being. To accomplish this, we use a range of methods including experiments, observations, interviews, questionnaires and visual ethnography. Our newly constructed Science Building at Hope Park has state-of-the-art facilities to allow us to continue to develop research which is internationally excellent. Furthermore, we enjoy successful partnerships with schools in the North West as well as the parents and children who willingly participate in our research studies.

 

Research Group News

Childlab@Hope database and recruitment

We are in the process of setting up a database for children and families in order to recruit participants to our ChildLab. Dr Belen Lopez-Perez is bringing her expertise in database design and recruitment to this. You may also spot some changes to the ChildLab in the Health Sciences Building over the forthcoming month and you are welcome to come and have a look around.

Multilingualism in the classroom

Lorna Bourke accepted recently an invitation by the European Literacy Network COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action IS1401 to become part of a collaborative project that explores teacher knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards multilingualism in the classroom. This project will involve the participation of researchers from ten other countries. it is hoped that we will gain a greater understanding of the benefits and challenges of multilingualism from teachers' perspectives.

SIG Writing Conference and Research School 2016

During the summer Drs Lorna Bourke and Simon Davies organised the European Association of Learning and Instruction Special Interest Group Research School and Conference on Writing. This international conference focused on a broad range of contributions to the field of writing research: measurement of text quality, writing processes, writing skills; effective instruction in writing, new forms and definitions of writing; writing in academic and other contexts. There are lots of images relating to the conference on the conference Facebook and Twitter sites (details on the conference weblink).  

Awards and Funding

 

BA Small Research Grant Round 2 The role of visual memory in emergent writing skills.  

European Literacy Network COST Action IS1401 Training School Grant: People, processes & products: The triple narrative that awakens writing.

European Literacy Network COST Action IS1401 Working Group: An integrated and inclusive approach to foundational literacy.

Santander Universities Internalisation Grant to study interpersonal emotion regulation in children with Asperger's and typically developing children.

 

Global Hope 

Drs Simon Davies and Lorna Bourke have long been associated with the universities overseas education charity, Global Hope. This has meant devising projects for staff and students in liaison with host communities in Africa, India and Sri Lanka. We have also been fortunate to extend this interest through collaboration with the World Museum in Liverpool and their proposed Tibetan Realities Exhibition. Most of the projects we have undertaken have been with SOS Children's Villages and the Tibetan Homes Foundation.

Key Research Themes

Writing development

In order to function in society we need to be literate. One of the main challenges to education in the UK is to improve standards in writing. This is difficult to accomplish whilst our understanding of the processes involved in writing are still not fully understood. This is especially true for beginner writers at the very early stages of school-based education.

International excellence in research in writing and development focuses on the underlying mechanisms and processes by which children acquire writing skills. A more detailed understanding of the interactions between working memory, executive functioning, integration and coding of information, motivation, self-efficacy and writing apprehension will inform the education environment children learn to write in.

Thinking and feeling different

A greater understanding of the difficulties presented to young people with Autism has meant more inclusionary practices being developed within mainstream education. However, because of some fundamental challenges people with Autism can experience in language development it is also likely that this will impact on their ability to write, especially fiction-based stories. This project aims to recognise the relationship between the underlying impairments related to Autism and the ability to engage in specific literacy-based tasks.

Emotional development

Emotion regulation is key to mental health, academic achievement, and good social relationships. This project aims to gain a better understanding of how children and adolescents regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. An example of this research can be found in an online game we have recently developed to assess and train children with high-functioning Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to identify as well as regulate others' emotions in different scenarios (http://emodiscovery.com)

 

Children and adolescents' well being

Until recently, children's and adolescents happiness has been an overlooked area. In the current research project we look at children's and adolescent's conceptualisations of happiness and its impact on different domains (e.g. academic performance). Furthermore, we also study whether there are informants' discrepancies (e.g. whether children- and parent-reports are similar or not) when it comes to children's and adolescents' well being. This research has been featured in different international media.

                                                

Numerical cognition and applications within educational settings 

 The study of numerical cognition can be summarised as investigating the way in which representations of number concepts such as magnitude,parity and quantity change with age and educational experience. Our concept of number develops from non-symbolic quantity-based representations (e.g. a collection of items [*****]), through to the use of verbal labelling with number words (e.g. five)  and finally to  Arabic digit representations (e.g. 5). 

Such changes occur though brain development which establishes links between these different representations, and through exposure to the language of number in educational and family settings. Early in development (often pre-linguistically) children develop a basic knowledge of numerical quantity and are able to accurately make comparisons between sets of items. It is therefore important to understand both the cognitive mechanisms which promote the development of numerical processing and the impact that educational instruction has on this.
Therefore research should address numerical cognition within different age groups, ability group and cultural settings (where educational practices may differ). It is clear that number processing should be assessed in lab studies (to investigate cognitive mechanisms) and within classroom settings (to investigate impact of pedagogy and wider attitudinal issues around maths) to fully develop our knowledge of the psychology underpinning numerical cognition.   

Transition into adulthood

Moving towards greater independence as students begin to complete their education at University can cause a questioning of beliefs, values and attitudes that have been previously long held. This may become even more salient when the factors associated with a core identity have to be negotiated as a marginalised group within the complexity of multiple world views and perspectives. Visual ethnographic techniques inform the research methods developed within this theme. The main theoretical focus of which lies in the impact of notions of ‘Tibetaness’ within students who form part of a diasporic community in India. The project is in collaboration with the World Museum, Liverpool, UK and Liverpool Hope University’s overseas education charity, Global Hope. The findings are particularly relevant to debates surrounding the experience of refugees and migrants across the world, today.

Developmental change in inhibitory and binding effects in babies

This exciting area of research investigates the ability of infants to associate actions with outcomes. A new member of the developmental team has used his skills and expertise to work collaboratively in a babylab team to help design and analyse experiments featuring infant eye-tracking for other researchers to collect data.

Liverpool Hope Internship Scheme

The research group actively recruits recent graduates onto the Graduate Internship Scheme to become research assistants on the projects described above. 

 

PostGrad Projects

PhD: A componential or contextual approach to language communication

PhD: Attachment relationships in Islamic, Hebrew and Christian Scriptures

PhD: Emotion anticipation and emotional memory: Investigations using EEG [VC PhD Scholarship]

Memory and attention

MSc: Visual short-term memory, orthographic awareness and feature binding

MSc: The role of attention in short-term and long-term memory for audio visual binding of information

MSc: Symbolic and non-symbolic numerical magnitude comparison: how approximate number sense changes in relation to mathematical achievement from infants to juniors

Special Education Needs

MSc: Observations of social interactions of Preschool Children with and without Special Educational Needs

MSc: This is not behaviour modification: an evaluation of the development of reasoning skills in young adults with disabilities on a special education programme

MSc: Living with dyslexia

MSc: Life with a learning disability

MSc: Inclusion and Autism: The impact of teachers’ attitudes and perceptions

Perceptions and education

MSc: Achieving home-school partnership: A critical comparison and exploration of teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of power and collaboration 

Research Academics

 

Dr Lorna Bourke

Dr Lorna Bourke

Principal Lecturer in Psychology and Research Group Lead

E: bourkel@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3077

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/bourkel
 
   

Dr Simon Davies

Dr Simon Davies

Lecturer in Psychology

E: daviess@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3049

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/daviess

 
   

Dr Neil Harrison

Dr Neil Harrison 

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

E: harrisn@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3504

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/harrisn

 
   

Dr Glen Pennington

Dr Glen Pennington

Professional Tutor and Psychology Lab Manager

E: penning@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3505

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/penning

 
   

Dr Tom Gallagher-Mitchell

Dr Tom Gallagher-Mitchell

Lecturer in Psychology

E: mitchet@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3718

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/mitchet

 
   

 

Dr Belen Lopez-Perez

Lecturer in Psychology

E: lopezpb@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3832

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/lopezpb

 
   

Dr Antonio Zuffiano

Lecturer in Psychology

E: zuffiaa@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 2157

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/zuffiaa

 
   

 

Dr Michiel Spape

Lecturer in Psychology

E: spapem@hope.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)151 291 3162

W: http://www.hope.ac.uk/staff/spapem

 
   

 


Teaching

Undergraduate

PSYCOREC001: Foundations of Psychology

The Brain and the Central Nervous System

Perception and Attention

The Self and Society

Interpersonal Relationships

 

PSYADDC001: Foundations of Psychology

Emotions and Intelligence

Contemporary Issues in Psychology

 

PSYCOREI001: Explorations in Psychology

Learning and Memory

Language and Communication

Social Cognition

Research Methods and Statistics

 

PSYCOREH001: Advanced Studies in Psychology

Developmental Psychology

Personality and Wellbeing

 

PSYRESH001: Psychology Dissertation [Key Honours Assessment]

 

PSYADDH001: Advances in Psychology

Cognitive Neuroscience

Psychology and Education

 

Postgraduate

MSc Psychology (Conversion)

PSYM001: Brain and Mind

PSYM002: Individual and Group

PSYM003: Research Project (Dissertation)

REMM002: Research Methods and Data Analysis

 

MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging

PSYM005: Cognitive Neuroscience