Dr. Caroline Hart

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Caroline is a member of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, in the School of Education, and she is also a member of the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth within the University of Sheffield. She has a range of active research interests related to the roles of education and health in human development. She is an inter-disciplinary researcher and her conceptual work has been principally concerned with notions of aspiration, capabilities, well-being and social justice.

Caroline’s recent empirical work has focused on UK higher education policies, educational practices in schools and post-16 education, centred around the nature of transition and holistic notions of development. Theoretically, Caroline’s research builds on Amartya Sen’s capability approach, Social Quality Theory and the sociological thinking of Pierre Bourdieu. Caroline has recently been leading a group of international colleagues to complete a new edited volume on agency and participation in childhood and youth. This work reflects Caroline’s concern with thinking about the promotion of human development both inside and beyond formal educational institutions.

Current research

Child Poverty and Human Development
Caroline is an international partner on a 3-year research project led by the University of Salzburg to examine social justice and child poverty. The project is funded by the FWF – Austrian Science Fund and will run from April 1, 2014 until March 31, 2017. For further details of the team and project activities visit the website www.uni-salzburg.at/zea/childpoverty.

The Social Contexts of Food Practices in Primary Schools
Caroline is principal investigator on this project researching school food policy and practices in primary schools in the context of the national School Food Plan (2013) and wider education initiatives to promote educational engagement, attainment and child health. See www.schoolfoodplan.com for details of the national context for this project.


Professional roles

Caroline has worked as an international consultant to the UNDP on education, youth and development, being involved recently in work related to the 2014 Human Development Report for Panama (see the executive summary of the final report, ‘The Future is Now: Early Childhood, Youth and the Formation of Skills for Life’ athttp://www.pa.undp.org/content/dam/panama/docs/documentos/undp_pa_indhpma_ingles.pdf ). She has also recently advised on research evaluation work for Crianca Esperanca in Brazil, http://www.unesco.org/new/en/brasilia/social-and-human-sciences/youth/crianca-esperanca-programme/ .

Full profile and publications