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A six-year study on understanding children’s perspectives

The Foundation of Greater Montréal is funding a six-year action research project that is focused on understanding children’s perspectives. The research will create a better understanding of the relationships between children and their environment over time.

This participatory project includes setting up expression tools to allow young participants to share their points of view on their communities and childhoods.

A longitudinal study

The Foundation of Greater Montréal (FGM) helps individuals, families and organisations to get involved and support their community by creating funds for selected causes in all sectors. On November 20th, Universal Children’s Day, FGM announced that it is funding ‘Grandir avec la ville (2018-2024): une étude longitudinale sur le quotidien des enfants du Grand Montréal’. An action research project that will follow 150 students from different neighbourhoods for six years, from grade 6 to grade 11. During the span of the study, regular meetings and workshops will be held with youth from Montréal.

The research is being led by Juan Torres and Natasha Blanchet-Cohen, respectively of Université de Montréal and Concordia University. Juan Torres research focuses on urban design, particularly the environmental determinant of children’s daily mobility and youth participation in design planning of their living environments. While Natasha Blanchet Cohen research seeks to shed light on how environmental education can be a springboard for promoting youths’ contributions to their own development and society’s social fabric.

In their shared study, the aim is to understand how the living environment affects children as they enter adolescence. It also seeks to encourage children’s independence by helping the participants express themselves and understand the importance of sharing their points of view. The data and stories collected will be published in a variety of formats and media, including a unique Web platform.

Yvan Gauthier, FGM’s president and CEO said, “this is a very important project because it adds new dimensions to recent portraits of children in our community. The longitudinal study design selected for Grandir avec la ville will shed light on the transition children go through in adolescence.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist and the Community Manager of Child in the City.

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