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Dr Debbie Watson

Dr Debbie Watson

Dr Debbie Watson
BSc(Ed) (Hons) (Exon), PhD(Exon)

Reader in Childhood Studies

Social Science Complex,
8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 6786

Summary

Research projects

Current

  • trove
  • Life Chances: low-income families in modern urban settings
  • Poo Patrol

Debbie took up her position as Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at the School in August 2007. She is currently a Reader in Childhood Studies and Director of the Doctoral Programmes in the School.

Debbie is an experienced teacher in schools and in Higher Education. In particular, her interests have been in the sociology of childhood and in the health and wellbeing of children and young people. She is interested in co-productive research methods, creative and arts based research methods with children and publically engaged approaches to research. Much of her research and writing has been related to childhood identities and diversity and she has expertise in areas of childhood disability, children in the MENA region and with children in care and adopted children.

Recent projects include working with the children's charity Coram on their Post-Adoption Support Services (PASS) project where she researched adopted children's and adopters' perspectives on life storybooks as part of the child's life story work. This project is linked to an AHRC REACT 'Play Sandbox' project that she led with a creative partner (Chloe Meineck) to develop a technologically enhanced keepsake box (called 'trove') for children in care to attach stories to their precious birth objects and keep their precious mementoes secure. This work is ongoing with children and young people.

Debbie is also the academic lead on one of the ESRC funded Productive Margins projects called 'Low-income families in Modern Urban Settings: poverty, austerity and participatory resistance'. This is a co-produced project working with two grassroots community organisations supporting families in poverty in Bristol and Cardiff. She also led a small project working with a child-led arts studio in Hartcliffe, Bristol called Room13. The project: 'Room13 researching Room13' aims to co-develop with children and artists methods of pedagogical documentation. 

Her most recent project is a collaboration with colleagues in veterinary sciences to co-develop community designed interventions to reduce dog fouling in inner city neighbourhoods to improve child health outcomes and improve the environment for residents. This is funded by the Brigstow Research Institute.

Other collaborations include co-leading a strand of work on social and emotional wellbeing within a Bristol Health Partners Health Integration Team BoNEE working with multi-discilplinary teams to reduce health and wellbeing inequalities for children aged 0-8 years in Bristol. Debbie is also involved in a network of activity with grassroots organsiations called the Child Friendly City Network which aims to improve the situation for children in Bristol.

Poo Patrol http://www.bristol.ac.uk/brigstow/projects/poo-patrol/

Life Chances http://www.productivemargins.ac.uk/projects/low-income-families/

trove http://www.react-hub.org.uk/projects/play/trove

 

Biography

Debbie is currently a Reader in Childhood Studies and Director of the Doctoral Programmes in the School.

Her research interests have been in the sociology of childhood and in the health and wellbeing of children and young people. She is interested in co-productive research methods, creative and arts based research methods with children and publically engaged approaches to research. Much of her research and writing has been related to childhood identities and diversity and she has expertise in areas of childhood disability, children in the MENA region and with children in care and adopted children, as well as in child and family poverty.

 

Teaching

Sociological constructions of children; play and creativity; childhood wellbeing; childhood disability; education and inclusion; teenage pregnancy and parenthood; sex education; children’s rights and voices; creative and interpretive research methods; advanced qualitative methods; family policy and provisions; child and family poverty.

Keywords

  • Theorising identity and child well-being
  • assessment of performance
  • sex education
  • ethical working with vulnerable children
  • interprofessional working in children’s services and schools
  • participatory and creative research methods.

Expertise

I am interested in conceptual constructions of social and emotional wellbeing for children and how adult models of wellbeing drawn from economics and medicine have been imported into the debate about the state of childhood with little critique or clear articulation of what wellbeing looks like for children. In order to understand what wellbeing looks like for children I am interested in exploring notions of support for children and young people (particularly in a school context) and finding ways of accessing children, young people, families and professionals accounts and experiences of wellbeing using participatory and creative research methods.

  • Children's wellbeing
  • sociology of childhood
  • children
  • social and emotional wellbeing
  • performance methodologies
  • learning support
  • interprofessional working
  • Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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