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Mr Stephen Paul Harrison

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Programme Leader - Childhood and Youth (undergraduate)
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • stephen.harrison

Professional biography

My professional background is in informal and community education, working with children, young people and adults in a wide variety of settings. I have worked as a Youth Worker in Bristol, London and Hong Kong and a Play Worker in Bristol and London (working with children through Save the Children on an all day visit scheme in Holloway Prison and with children from Gypsy and Traveler backgrounds via the London Gypsy Traveler Project). I have also worked extensively within the fled of Drug Education and harm minimisation.

Since 1997 I have bee predominantly involved in the the field of professional education teaching and managing Undergraduate programmers leading to qualifications in Youth and Community Work across the UK and Ireland.


Research interests

My research interests centre around Work with Young People, 'informal learning', 'professional formation' and  'identity and the social dimension of learning'.


I have recently contibute as a central team memeber to the NP3 research project:



Teaching interests

I am Programme Lead for Childhood and youth Studies (Undergraduate) which includes:

Q23 BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies 

Q55 BA (Hons) Youth Work

I also co-chair E102: Introduction to childhood studies and child psychology.


External collaborations

I have been the Lead academic consultant for the Open university on the filming of 'Old School with the Hairy Bikers'. form ore information click




Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)CentreFaculty of Education and Language Studies


Jenny Simpson

Learning from people: the training method bringing service users and social workers together

Jenny Simpson, Head of Social Work (England), as well as students and staff at the OU are involved in an exciting development in relation to social work education. Mend the Gap is a model for the effective involvement of people who are at the receiving end of services, together with those who provide professional support. Read more about Mend the Gap here

18th April 2018
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