THE LINKING NETWORK – RESEARCHER IN RESIDENCE Dr Lindsey Cameron
We are delighted that Dr Lindsey Cameron, Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department, Kent University is Researcher in Residence with us at The Linking Network and is providing us with research insights into our work.
Dr Cameron is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and is an expert in the development of prejudice and stereotyping in children. She has twenty years of experience in the design and evaluation of prejudice-reduction interventions for use in schools, with particular expertise in inter-group contact theory. She has attracted funding for her research from the Big Lottery, Oxfam, Economic and Social Research Council, DfID, NHS.
She is passionate about bringing psychology to the wider world and achieves this through organising public engagement events, collaborations with national charities such as One Globe Kids and People United, as well as through action research with local schools. She is currently running a project on bullying in schools with the British Orthodontic Society and leads the annual Identity and Belonging educational challenges conference in partnership with the Kent Educational Psychology Service. The theme for this year’s event is Young People and Social Media.
More information on Dr Cameron and her research can be found here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/psychology/people/cameronl/
In August 2020, Dr Cameron published the following report on the impact of our work: The Impact of the Linking Network: Gathering perspectives of schools and linking facilitators.
Role of Researcher in Residence
As Researcher in Residence, Dr Cameron helps embed evidence-based practice and robust research methodology in the organisation and develop the research capabilities of members of staff.
In summary, Dr Cameron will work with The Linking Network identify critical points at which research can be used to evaluate the impact of key activities, develop and share methods of evaluation, and create research resources, deliver presentations or training and provide guidance and knowledge as and when required. The Residency could also lead to externally funded research projects or joint academic publications and other revenue generation activities such as training or consultancy.
As Researcher in Residence, Dr Cameron will also develop further the link between the University of Kent and the Linking Network, providing access to resources such as voluntary student researchers, hosting joint events on campus and accessing expert advice from University on external funding opportunities.
‘The positive effect of the Linking Network is clear to see; several overarching and important themes emerged, all of which underline the important impact School Linking has on schools and communities, but also provide further evidence to support the particular method for linking that TLN use; a lot of [children] haven’t got that opportunity to mix with children from different races, different backgrounds, so many different religions, so it just opened up for a wealth of different conversation… it’s invaluable really.’
‘The Linking Network facilitates the linking process by providing the necessary resources and much of it already being pre-planned, obviously, there’s enormous strength and ease of doing this as part of a network with pre created resources, it takes a lot of the work… it’s been very well thought through.’
1. Research Underpinning the Linking Process (Click title)
Over 70 years of research into Contact Theory reveals that simply creating contact between different groups alone is not enough to reduce prejudices. Certain key conditions are vital if contact is to have its intended effect.
2. The Psychology of Schools Linking: Creating Effective Contact (PPt – click title)
This PPt looks at what we, as School Linking teachers, must do to ensure the impact of inter-group contact is as effective and as positive as possible.
3. Contact Hypothesis, an introduction: extended version webinar here,
In these webinars Lindsay Cameron explains the essence of Contact Theory and how it has been used to develop the structure of the School Linking Programme. By guaranteeing certain optimal conditions are met, teachers involved in School Linking are ensuring maximum positive impact of the contact (be it direct or indirect).
The information explained in the extended version above is summarized into a shorter webinar here and is also available in PPt and PDF formats. Contact Hypothesis, an introduction: lightning version webinar here, PPT here and pdf here
In this webinar Lindsay Cameron explains what factors can contribute to negative experiences when engaging in inter-group contact, how to minimize these and counter-act them. Some of these factors are anxiety, views or experiences of others and the media.
5. Indirect Contact: An Introduction
In the last 20 years Contact theory research has moved its focus to look at indirect forms of contact and how effective these various types of contact are in reducing prejudices. Indirect contact simply means contact that is not actually face-to-face and covers things from simply reading books / watching films with characters from other “groups” or hearing positive stories of inter-group friendships to actual video calls with your link class. Indirect forms of contact help children to become “contact ready” by increasing “confidence in contact” and establishing a sense of positivity for future contact. This is especially helpful in the current situation where direct contact is not an option and informs us of strategies that can have impact.
6. Intergenerational Contact: An Introduction
Here Dr Lindsay Cameron looks at the stereotyping effecting older people, ageism and why it is beneficial to create forms of inter-generational contact to challenge these prejudices in young people. She examines the preparation required, the types of activities that are successful and how schools can build on this contact in various ways.
This University of Kent course focuses on classical findings and contemporary questions around gender stereotyping, using a variety of resources, bite-sized lecture recordings, academic papers, practical strategies and press coverage of research work. Discover what gender stereotypes are, why they are important and how to challenge them and the role played by parents, peers and the media in their development.
8. Intergroup contact & children’s intergroup attitudes: The role of parents -click here
A webinar looking at the role of parents in cultivating confidence in contact and positive intergroup attitudes emphasising the bi-directional impact of families on children and children on their families.
A powerpoint looking at the impact of indirect contact.