Opportunities for academics to increase their research impact

This is an open invitation for academics researching in the broad area of children and childhood to increase the impact of their research this year. The PARS playwork community offers a wide range of opportunities to share your research with an international network of practitioners, policy-makers and researchers and to support the development of new playwork theory and practice.

PARS is an ever-expanding learning community in 14 different countries/regions. In the last two years several PARS practitioners have become qualified at undergraduate and post-graduate levels and we are also very fortunate in the support we already receive from a number of academics from a variety of different disciplines. This year we would like to further develop our knowledge exchange projects and are therefore currently inviting academics from a broad range of disciplines and methodological backgrounds to engage in our knowledge exchange projects, which include;

PARS Book Club
There are four online Book Clubs every year on broad themes related to children and childhood. Each session includes one author presenter who discusses their own work and two reader presenters who review work by others. We are currently looking for authors of new literature to present their own work and for reviewers of books, research papers or other literature.
(You might also like to know that the first Book Club of 2023 will take place on 1st March and is on the theme of Inclusion with presenters from Taiwan, The Netherlands and Scotland – everybody welcome!)

PARS Conference
We have run two successful PARS online conferences in 2020 and 2021 (missing 2022 as we were too busy setting up our new qualifications!). Back by popular demand, this year’s conference will take place on 14th October. This year’s theme is yet to be decided, but at this point we would be interested in hearing from academics who would be interested present their research at the conference.

International Journal of Playwork Practice 
IJPP is the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the practice of playwork, and it is the official journal of PARS. We welcome submissions from academics from any discipline on research which is relevant to playwork. Please see the IJPP website for more details on how to submit your articles. We are also always very happy to hear from potential book reviewers and this could also be an opportunity for research students.

International Journal of Playwork Practice Research Seminar
IJPP has held four successful face-to-face annual research seminars in UK and Hong Kong, and these events currently take place online thanks to Covid! The next IJPP Research seminar will be held on 21st April, 13.00-15.00 UK time and the theme is ‘Research Methods for Researching with Children.’ We invite academics with relevant expertise in this area to contribute to this seminar.

PARS Special Interest Groups (SIGs) develop and disseminate research relevant to PARS playwork practice. SIGs are open to researchers and practitioners from any discipline interested in developing their own knowledge and practice and supporting the development of PARS playwork theory and practice around the world. We currently have three SIGs;

• The Play Cycle – led by Dr Pete King, Swansea University, UK

• Intergenerational Playwork – led by Associate Professor Jennifer Cartmel, Griffith University, Australia

• PARS in Educational Settings – led by Dr Jonathan McCloud, Roanoke College, USA

We welcome new members to all of these SIGs and would also like to hear from academics who would be interested in leading new SIGs in their relevant area of expertise.

Advances in Playwork Research 
Advances in Playwork Research is a Routledge series which explores a wide range of topics related to the theory and practice of playwork, from empirical research on playwork practices, to conceptual studies on playwork theory and research. The series encompasses a variety of methodological approaches, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods and historical studies. We are currently welcoming new proposals for additions to the APR series.

Local and international research projects
PARS practitioners create a range of research opportunities in innovative PARS projects the world, such as adventure playgrounds in Shanghai, Hong Kong and UK, PARS in Schools projects in New Zealand and UK and PARS for Parents programmes in Hong Kong and Brazil. We would love to hear from researchers who would be interested in developing research on such projects. We are also interested in hearing from researchers in the area of workforce development and professionalisation to discuss research opportunities with our NCFE-accredited PARS Customised Qualifications programme, which has so far qualified PARS practitioners in 8 countries, including South Korea, Brazil, Canada and The Netherlands.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please email Karen Clarke – info@commonthreads.org.uk with details of how you would like to get involved. Or if you would prefer just to keep up to date with PARS projects and opportunities at this stage, please sign up to our newsletters here .

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