Research on Stage

With Research on Stage (RoSt), KeKi contributes to the disclosure of ongoing and recently finalised research about children’s rights. Once a year, we give the floor to one or more researchers to present their work for a diverse audience. Using a methodology that is adapted to the project put on stage, the results and their relevance for policy and practice are analysed and shared. As such, RoSt contributes to the translation of theoretical, mostly academic research to the day-to-day working environment of children’s rights professionals.

Interreligious diversity in the classroom - 2017

Dealing with interreligious diversity in the classroom can lead to many questions, misunderstandings, taboos and in some cases conflict. But it can also lead to enrichment for pupils and teachers. How do we get the best out of a diverse classroom? And how can class diversity be a stepping stone to internalising a democratic attitude of criticial citizenship? These questions were central to KeKi's Research on Stage 2017. 

Researchers Lore Van Prague (UAntwerp, Ghent University) and Goedroen Juchtmans (KU Leuven) presented the stories of pupils they interviewed in various primary and secondary schools. How do young people integrate the various worldviews with which they grow up into their identity? Which attitudes of parents and teachers lead to conflict for them? And what role does having a different worldview play in their perception of their educational path? After that, Johan Lievens and Jonas Vernimmen (KULeuven) discussed a number of legal issues about freedom of religion in education in greater depth. Is banning the headscarf banned on the playground in accordance with the constitution? Is it permissible for non-subsidised schools to remove the theory of evolution from the curriculum? Do children with a non-Christian religion have the right to their own religious holidays? Can the hours of religion be filled in by another course?

The focus of this day was on the expertise of the professionals in the audience. On the basis of round-table discussions, everyone looked for inspiring practices and policy recommendations. KeKi combined this input into a summary report that was distributed to the general public, various educational authorities and the competent government bodies. The report (only available in Dutch) contains a series of recommendations:

  • Anchor empirically based scientific research results into decisive policies that reflect the perspective of children and adolescents
  • Create space to implement inspiring practices and make existing rules open to discussion, taking the following preconditions into account:
    • always place the child and the young person in a central position
    • create space for dialogue and strengthen each actor in dialogue competences
    • we need to continously work, to make interreligious and diversity work
    • use the educational principles in the field of 'philosophy' as an inspiration instead of a dogmatic one
    • try connecting the worlds of children and young people

Media and children's rights - 2016

In 2016, two researchers were on stage at the Royal Library in Brussels to share their insights on children and young people and the use of digital media. The studies by Marjon Schols (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and Hadewijch Vanwynsberghe (iMinds/Mediawijs) offer a refreshing view of the actorship and participation (opportunities) of children and young people. Whereas in many studies attention is paid to risks and insecurity and is mainly controlled by a protection reflex, we looked into skills, digital literacy, tips for 'educators'... 

Under the guidance of experts, we translated the most important research results into our own work context:

- Digital skills, Erika COENE (Family Association vzw) and Veronique DE LEENER (Maks vzw) 

- Digital Storytelling, Hari SACRÉ, cultural worker/researcher (Piano factory citylab - University College Ghent) 

- Building resilience among children and young people, Dr. Sofie VANDONINCK (Institute for Media Studies, KU Leuven) 

- Educational support, Dr. Hadewijch VANWYNSBERGHE / Thomas DEWEER (UM4P asbl) 

As a result of this Research on Stage, we also issued a policy advisory report on our own initiative about digital media and children's rights. (only available in Dutch) Based on scientific findings, the assumed general consensus of the child in need of protection is challenged. The policy advisory report gives rise to 11 policy recommendations. 

Youthcare and juvenile justice - 2015

Six researchers from three universities put their research on stage. They discussed different problems or debates in the field of youth care and juvenile justice. Their recommendations were targeted at the gouvernement and the practice. We debated about 6 different topics in working groups:

  • How can we hear the children and youngsters in juvenile court?
  • How can we adapt our social practice to fundamental rights?
  • How do we handle personal files, now and in the future?
  • Do we have to separate the approaches towards children with a problematic situation in their home from those who commited a criminal act?
  • Does our current practice of judging young people in front of an adult criminal court correspond with children's rights?

The event took place in Brussels on October 8th, 2015. All background materials (abstracts of the researchs, the reports of the debating groups and the analysis) can be consulted on our Flemish page

Suicide among children and adolescents - 2014

The first Research on Stage presented a project on suicide among children and adolescents, prepared by the Unit for Suicide Research of Ghent University, and commissioned by the Flemish Child Helpline ‘Awel’. The event took place in Brussels on October 9th, 2014. All background materials (including the research report, the presentations, records of the different roundtables and an umbrella summary report) can be consulted on our Flemish webpage. The RoSt photo album is accessible via the KeKi facebook page.