Past Projects

Young Lives Research | We examine intersections of education and wellbeing.

Past Projects


Equity in Public Education in Canada – Engaging Marginalized Youth and Educators

STATUS: Complete (2012-2014)

Project 

Working with Concrete Roses Youth Services and Sick Kids® in Toronto, Ontario this project addressed inequalities in public education as experienced by marginalized youth.

Background

Too many Canadian youth remain challenged in achieving academic success in public education based on socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, immigrant, Aboriginal, or mental health status. Decades of research have shown that low socioeconomic status remains the single greatest barrier to school success. Additionally, intersections of poverty, mental health and school disengagement show how poor youth struggling with mental health issues often experience compromised academic outcomes. Finally, teacher education is under examined as a potent location for forging new pathways to equity in public education.

Objectives

The aims of the project were to 

a) develop and document a process for engaging marginalized youth in curriculum development and delivery in Faculties of Education and public schools,

b) initiate and document an innovative educational curriculum development process that partners stakeholders around youth using methods withfor, and by young people, and

c) develop and document potential impacts of the new curriculum on equity in education through a youth-led, ethnographic study.


Measuring What Matters: People for Education

STATUS: Complete (2012-2017)

The Project 

Measuring What Matters, a component of People for Education, aims to build consensus among a broad range of stakeholders – both within and outside of the education system – around broader goals and indicators of success for public education.

Background

The team works with universities, education experts, foundations, and governments in consulting with teachers, students, parents, principals, school boards, employers, and community organizations in exploring and identifying what truly matters when evaluating students’ achievements in school.

Objectives

The Project works to develop broader goals for success in education, and explores new ways to measure progress towards these goals.


Digital Storytelling: Technology, Mental Health, and Indigenous Youth

STATUS: Complete (2014-2015)

Project

The Digital Storytelling project was born out of a collaboration with Mi’Kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island (MCPEI), funding from Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts Network (CYCC), and a desire and need to explore the intersections of technology and mental health for Aboriginal youth.

Objectives 

This project used participatory-action research methods in working with youth from Lennox Island First Nation to speak and learn about mental health, and the impacts of technology on mental health and wellbeing. With support from Island Media and the Youth Centre on Lennox Island, youth were provided training in film and video editing, and were supported in creating mini-documentaries to portray aspects of their daily lives and how they understand and alleviate the pressures and stressors they encounter. 

Outcomes


Youth School-based Mental Health: An Arts-informed Conversation

STATUS: Complete (2010 – 2013)

The Project: 

Working with The Canadian Mental Health Association and The Hospital for Sick Children, the “Mural Project” investigated student and educator responses to a mural that depicts the experiences of eight young people with mental illness.

Objectives

The mural was taken into high schools in the provinces of Ontario and Prince Edward Island to increase knowledge and understanding of mental health and psychosis; to reduce the stigma associated with mental health; and to explore the use of arts as a way to communicate more effectively with young people and the community.


Assessing International Innovations in Child and Youth Methodology and Theory

STATUS: Complete (2010-2013)

The Project: 

This project conducted critical assessment of emergent child and youth research methods and theories across the social sciences and humanities.

Background

Researchers and practitioners continue to require deep understandings about the problems and promises encountered in the daily lives and cultures of young people as they negotiate critical transitions toward adulthood. The largest gap in this knowledge relates to how these problems and promises are grounded in daily practices in schools, communities and digital contexts. There is also a gap in understanding how to best acquire this knowledge. For example, research on the impact of emerging digital cultures or changing economic patterns on young people is critical but difficult given the practical and ethical constraints of conducting studies into cultures such as FaceBook or YouTube. Innovative research processes are required to move the field ahead but we have yet to know the range, impact, efficacy and direction of this work.

Objectives

Two major research aims were included

– report on a conceptual synthesis of emergent methods and theories, and

– to conduct a study of international key informants on methods and theories in young lives

Outputs

The knowledge gained was used in the preparation of a Standard Research Grant proposal to SSHRC, and therefore the study provided an important step toward enhancing Canada’s contributions to child/youth research and practice.


Knowledge Translation and Exchange Through Arts-based Health Research

STATUS: Complete (2012-2013)

The Project: 

Theatre, film, photography, and dance are not often associated with the academic research process, yet that is what this project sought to explore: the arts as a way of creating and sharing new knowledge with varied audiences. Arts-based research methods highlight the human aspects of medicine and health care in ways that help lower interdisciplinary barriers and improve understanding of health and the entire medical field. These methods value human experience and interaction, and they recognize personal, emotional, and embodied expressions of knowledge as an effective strategy for communicating research.

The aim of this project was to increase our understanding of the theory and practice of arts-based knowledge translation by exploring the contribution of arts-based research in both knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination in health research. 

Objectives

The improved understanding of the theory and practice of arts-based knowledge translation by exploring the contribution of arts-based research in both knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination within health research.

Outputs

The results of this Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded project supports the better understanding of concepts, theories, and practices that underlie effective arts-based knowledge translation in order to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products, and strengthen the health care system as a whole.


Journal of Youth Studies

STATUS: Complete

The Project: 

The leading journal in its field, the Journal of Youth Studies (JYS) is committed to the the theoretical understanding of the lived experiences of young people in the modern world.  

Objectives

Previously as Associate Editor, and currently as a member of the Advisory Committee, Dr. Kate Tilleczek supports the JYS in their focus to publish papers on a range of contexts and themes, employing various methodologies, to better understand the experiences and life contexts of today’s youth across the globe. This publication aims to mobilizing emerging knowledge to inform policy and practice as it pertains to youth.