The Outcome of a (hard) Working Conference
The working conference on Engagement in Young Children is since long over. What was the outcome of the days? 
 "I am very happy with the conference", says CHILD's research leader Mats Granlund.

 "We had 80 very motivated and 'engaged' (ha ha) researchers from 15 countries participating on location and in addition 430 people have viewed the morning key note presentations on the Jönköping University You Tube channel."

The conference on participation and engagement in young children in need of special support, focused primarily on the preschool-aged children's most influential environments outside the family, and was held at Jönköping University 16-17 November 2017.

 "Concerning the research outcome we had very intense discussions in the afternoons about how to conceptualize, measure and intervene with engagement in preschool, family and health care", Granlund continues.

The discussions not only occurred in the formal conference days, but also on two days before the formal conference and on the Saturday that followed. 

 "We discussed the need to understand the link between the more focused construct engagement in activities here and now and the wider construct involvement that also include perceptions and attitudes outside the here and now situation.
Regarding measuring engagement we had very intense discussions about how different data collection methods such as physiological indicators, self- and proxy reports, observations and interviews could be combined in research studies. The discussions about interventions focused primarily on how professionals in preschool/school, habilitation services and parents can be supervised in how to facilitate children’s engagement in everyday activities in a more efficient way."
Hard work has lead to real results and coming collaborations in the near future. Several international research projects are being planned.
 "Another continuation concerns research projects that involves international key note presenters related to studying characteristics of preschool environments, measuring engagement of physiological level, teaching students in nursing how to engage patients in caring encounters, engaging teachers and families in providing support in school to children treated for brain tumors and developing measures to survey participation in everyday activities for children with mild intellectual disabilities living in poverty settings.
For all these projects dates have been set for continuing collaboration within the next six months with researchers from China, Taiwan, Portugal, South Africa, UK, USA and Australia."

CHILD has received many positive reactions and thank yous from conference  participants. The researchers enjoyed meeting with eachother and enrichened each others work. Many will now stay in touch.

How is all this for an outcome?

/Cecilia Allegrind
The conference was arranged by CHILD, the Swedish Institute for Disability Research and the Center for Disability and Development Research. The conference was funded by the Swedish Research Council

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