Staff Achievements

Safe Teaching Spaces and Sensitive Topics – MSc CAMH Team Finalise their Research

Lauren Young, Lauren McAllister and Luke WardLauren Young, Lauren McAllister and Luke Ward from the MSc Child and Adolescent Mental Health team are finalising the findings of their funded research project exploring felt safety in the classroom.

A participatory project was conducted with staff and students within FHES, using focus groups to explore how staff and students managed difficult/sensitive topics in the classroom and what can be done to support difficult dialogues within higher education. A qualitative analysis was conducted with the support of two hired postgraduate Research Assistants and themes for the students and the staff were identified.

Within the student focus groups, there were lots of discussions around the need to talk about sensitive topics, but that this needed to be managed by the lecturer to ensure that all voices were heard and considered. Students also explored the importance of group relationships in building that safe space, with these relationships a foundation for openness, disclosure and to challenge difficult dialogues. Conversely, staff explored the lack of training and support to navigate sensitive topics.

In July a toolkit was created with two of the students who participated in the focus groups, and will be used in the context of some staff training in December.

To find out more about the CAMH team, follow them on Twitter: @UoNCAMH

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