Through the community-based research in Whitley, a new research group evolved – the ‘Young Researchers’.
With collaborative support from the John Madejski Academy, the Young Researchers were set up to mirror the concept of the Whitley Researchers, but represent and give a voice to young people. The work of the Young Researchers highlights how strongly youth aspirations depend on the following:
- Place: The ideas, constraints, role models and opportunities that we are exposed to as we grow up shape our choices.
- Relationships: Positive and collaborative two-way communication with (and between) the people in our lives makes a huge difference to our outlook.
- Pathways: having aspirations is only part of the story – most of us need a little help in exploring the pathways to fulfilling our dreams too.
- Voice: Being given the opportunity to speak for ourselves and pursue our own interests
(with consideration for the interests of others) allows us to develop and thrive as people.
As the group’s understanding of their role developed the Young Researchers became increasingly confident with gathering research material from groups that are sometimes quite difficult to reach. The work of this group continued to evolve as their role within the school and the Whitley community developed.
A series of interactive research activities were designed by the Young Researchers to open up conversations with school students in South Reading. It also traces the journey taken by the Young Researchers through their exploration into the theme of ‘aspiration.’ Find out more about their projects:
An illustration of the research journey for the first group of Young Researchers