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Dr Victoria Cooper

Profile summary

Professional biography

Victoria Cooper is senior lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at The Open University School of Education, Childhood, Youth & Sport, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. From 2016 - 2019 Victoria was Co-Director of the Children's Research Centre (CRC), set up the first CRC hub (2018) and founded the Centre for Children’s Health and Wellbeing in 2019.  

With extensive experience in education and research Victoria has taught students in further and higher education at vocational, professional development, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. Victoria’s practice experience includes work as an early year’s teacher, lecturer in further and higher education and staff tutor supporting tutor professional development.

​Victoria has extensive experience as an internal and external examiner.

As a member of the Open University Children's Research Centre, Victoria has been involved in research projects with Amnesty International focusing on children's understandings of their rights; Chickenshed Theatre, exploring creative learning in the early years; Hope Support Services, exploring children and young people's experiences living with a loved one who is seriously ill; YSS (Youth Support Services)  exploring children, young people and family experiences when a parent or carer is in prison.

As consutlant Victoria has worked on the following projects:

Becoming-ethical-researcher

ourvoices

BBC Radio 4 series Bringing up Britain 

BBC One - Britain's Fat Fight

Research interests

  • Childhood and youth voice
  • Children and young people’s identity development
  • Childhood and adolescent mental health
  • Qualitative research methodologies – developing participatory, responsive approaches
  • Children and young people's experiences living with a loved one who is seriously ill
  • Children and young people's experiences when a loved one is in prison

Recent funded research and knowledge exchange include:

  • Children, young people and family experiences when a parent/carer is in prison (funded by YSS). Launched at the Houses of Parlimaent (July 2023), discussed in Estimates Debate (July 2023) and Parliamentlive.tv: Report: From arrest to release  
  • Researching children and young people’s views on children’s rights (funded by Amnesty International) Report:  Respresenting Children’s Rights culminaitng in know-your-rights book
  • Exploring creative learning in the early years (Mercers funding)
  • Researching the extent of need for support amongst children and young people living through a family health crisis (funded by Hope Support 2017)Launched at the Houses of Parliament, 27th March 2018. Access the research report:The need for support
  • Researching the integration of human geography into A level Geography with the Field Studies Council. Authoring of resources: Geographical-investigations, a practitioner/student guide GIS

Current Research

Families First Research Project is a two-year study examining the need for and impact of targeted services to support children, young people and their families with a parent/carer in prison or about to be sentenced. Designed by Dr Victoria Cooper, Professor Jane Payler and Dr Stephanie Bennett in collaboration with YSS lead practitioners who deliver the support, this study draws upon a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, including surveys and in-depth interviews. families-affected-parental-imprisonment  

Families First services are part of a multi-agency collaboration in Worcestershire to identify families affected by incarceration of a loved one and to provide a single point of contact and support. The long-term objectives of these services are aimed at maintenance of housing, job and social connections within families, reduction in rates of adult re-offending and to reduce the risk of children and young people entering the youth justice service or being excluded from school.

Teaching interests

Module Team Chair/co-chair in production:

E104 ​Introduction to childhood studies and psychology (Co-chair) 2021/23

E232 Exploring childhood and youth (Co-chair) 2019/20

KE206 Working with children and young people: Making a difference (Co-Chair) 2018/19

EK313 Understanding research with children and young people (2013 - 2014)

BOC Chair and author:

Adolescent Mental Health (2021)

Module Team Chair in presentation:

E104 ​Introduction to childhood studies and psychology (Co-chair) 2023

EK313 Understanding research with children and young people (2015 - 2017)

E807 Children and young people's worlds (2009 - 2011)

ED841 Understanding children’s development and learning (2010-2011)

E124 Supporting Children’s Learning in the Early Years (2008)

Module teams in production:

KE207 Working with children and young people: Making a difference (2023)

E809 Frameworks for Critical Practice (2019)

E808 Children's and young people's worlds (2018)

E102 Introduction to childhood studies and psychology (2015)

E891 Educational Enquiry (2013)

E212 Psychology of childhood and youth (2012)

E210 Extending professional practice in the early years (2010)

EK312 Working with children, young people and families (2009)

Moduel team in presentation:

E219 Childhood (2018-2020)

E212 Psychology of childhood and youth (2012)

E124 Supporting Children’s Learning in the Early Years (2008)

E230 Ways of Knowing: Language, Mathematics and Science in the Early Years (2007)

E111Supporting Learning in Primary Schools (2005-2006)

 

Impact and engagement

Victoria disseminates her knowledge and expertise to engage diverse communities and foster knowledge exchange. Examples of media used to disseminate such knowledge include:

OpenLearn: 

Forgotten families

Supporting student-led research

Do we really listen to children and young people? 

An invisible group: Young people’s experiences of living with a loved one who is seriously ill 

External collaborations

External collaborations

  • Amnesty International UK
  • The Diana Awards
  • Hope Support Services
  • The Field Studies Council
  • UNICEF
  • YSS

University of Finland

University of Vienna 

Nord University, Norway

CLPN

ICPA 

Externally funded projects

Research into extent of need for HOPE Support amongst children and young people (CYP)
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01 Apr 201730 Nov 2017HOPE Hope Support Services

This small scale research and dissemination project aims to raise public, media and stakeholder awareness of the scale of need nationally for Hope Support Services (or similar) and awareness of the work Hope is currently doing with a view to securing funding to carry out further research and extend services. The initial aim would be met through a rapid, indicative research report and launch event within a one-year time-frame.

Publications

Child focused research: Disconnected and disembodied voices (2023-02)
Cooper, Victoria
Childhood, 30(1) (pp. 71-85)


The Complexity of Student-led Research: from Terminology to Practice in a Case Study of Three Countries (2023)
Khanolainen, Daria; Cooper, Victoria; Messer, David and Revyakina, Elena
Oxford Review of Education ((Early Access))


[Book Review] Andrew Holliman, Kieron Sheehy, Overcoming Adversity in Education (2023)
Cooper, Victoria
The Psychology of Education Review, 47(2) (pp. 61-61)


Children and young people living through a serious family illness: structural, interpersonal and personal perspectives (2020-01)
Payler, Jane; Cooper, Victoria and Bennett, Stephanie
Children & Society, 34(1) (pp. 62-77)


Representing children’s rights from discussion through to illustration and interpretation (2019-05-09)
Chamberlain, Liz and Cooper, Victoria
Research Intelligence(139) (pp. 13-14)


Lost in translation: exploring childhood identity using photo-elicitation (2017)
Cooper, Victoria L.
Children's Geographies, 15(6) (pp. 625-637)


Parenting the First Twelve Years: What the Evidence Tells Us (2018-08-30)
Cooper, Victoria L.; Montgomery, Heather and Sheehy, Kieron
ISBN : 978-0241270509 | Publisher : Pelican


Children and young people's wellbeing [KE2016 Books 1 & 2] (2017)
KE206 Module Team, and Cooper, Victoria
Publisher : Open University | Published : Milton Keynes


Young people’s mental health (2023-08-31)
Cooper, Victoria
In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. (pp. 90-106)
ISBN : 9781003358855 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon


Children's bodies (2023-08-31)
Cooper, Victoria and Preece, Vicky
In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. (pp. 43-57)
ISBN : 9781003358855 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon


Adolescents, teenagers, and youth: A time of change (2023-08-31)
Cooper, Victoria; Montgomery, Heather and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi
In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. (pp. 200-217)
ISBN : 9781003358855 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon


Introduction: Understanding children and young people’s lives (2023-08-31)
Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Cooper, Victoria
In: Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds. An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology. (pp. 1-9)
ISBN : 9781003358855 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon


Childhood identities and materiality (2020-08-03)
Cooper, Victoria
In: Cooper, Victoria and Holford, Naomi eds. Exploring childhood and youth (pp. 7-20)
ISBN : 9780367485443 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Beyond talk: Learning from children and young people experiencing a family health crisis (2019-06-21)
Cooper, Victoria; Payler, Jane and Bennett, Stephanie
In: Robb, Martin; Montgomery, Heather and Thompson, Rachel eds. Critical Practice with Children and Young People (2nd edition) (pp. 143-160)
ISBN : 9781447352846 | Publisher : Policy press | Published : Bristol


'I blame the parents': families, experts and the state (2019-06-21)
Montgomery, Heather and Cooper, Victoria
In: Robb, Martin; Montgomery, Heather and Thompson, Rachel eds. Critical Practice with Children and Young People, 2nd Edn (pp. 75-90)
ISBN : 978-1447352822 / 978-1447337195 / 978-1447352846 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol


Listening to children (2017-06-16)
Cooper, Victoria and Kellett, Mary
In: Moyles, Janet; Georgeson, Jan and Payler, Jane eds. Beginning Teaching, Beginning Learning in Early Years and Primary Education
ISBN : 9780335226962 | Publisher : McGraw Hill Education / Open University Press | Published : Milton Keynes


Wellbeing (2017)
Cooper, Victoria and Rixon, Andrew
In: KE2060 Module Team, ed. Children and young people's wellbeing [KE206 Book1]
Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes


Children's developing identity (2014-11-30)
Cooper, Victoria
In: Reed, Michael and Rosie, Walker eds. A Critical Companion to Early Childhood (pp. 281-296)
ISBN : 9781446259269 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London


Education and the impact of schooling (2014)
Cooper, Victoria
In: Farrington-Flint, Lee ed. An introduction to childhood studies and child psychology (pp. 143-164)
Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes


Designing research for different purposes. (2013-12-10)
Cooper, Victoria
In: Clark, Alison; Hammersley, Martyn; Flewitt, Rosie and Robb, Martin eds. Understanding research with children and young people
ISBN : 9781446274927 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London


Ethnographic practitioner research (2011)
Cooper, Victoria and Ellis, Carole
In: Callan, Sue and Reed, Michael eds. Work-based Research in the Early Years: Positioning Yourself as a Researcher (pp. 47-61)
ISBN : 9780857021755 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London


Extending practice: promoting participation and evaluating professional roles (2011)
Whalley, Mary; Cooper, Victoria; Callan, Sue and Drury, Rose
In: Drury, Rose and Paige-Smith, Alice eds. Extending practice: promoting participation and evaluating professional roles (pp. 0-5)
Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes


Supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development. (2011)
Browne, Naima; Paige-Smith, Alice and Cooper, Victoria
In: Drury, Rose and Paige-Smith, Alice eds. Book 1: Extending reflective practice: Leadership, learning and environments. (pp. 135-220)
Publisher : The Open University | Published : Milton Keynes


Distance learning and professional development (2009-10-29)
Cooper, Victoria
In: Reed, Michael and Canning, Natalie eds. Reflective Practice in the Early Years (pp. 143-155)
ISBN : 9781848601628 | Publisher : Sage Publications | Published : London


Children's Identity (2008)
Cooper, V.
In: Collins, J. and Foley, P. eds. Promoting Children's Well-being: Policy and Practice
ISBN : 9781847420596 | Publisher : Policy Press in association with the Open University Press | Published : Bristol, UK


An Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology (2023)
Cooper, Victoria and Tatlow-Golden, Mimi eds.
ISBN : 9781003358855 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, Oxon


Exploring Childhood and Youth (2021)
Cooper, Victoria and Holford, Naomi eds.
ISBN : 9780367485443 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Theory And Empirical Research Of Children And Young People And Digital Food/Health Literacy (2018-05-01)
Cooper, Victoria; Narzisi, Katia; Simons, Joan; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and Twiner, Alison
In : 2nd Digital Health and Wellbeing Conference (1-3 May 2018, Open University, Milton Keynes)


From arrest to release, helping families feel less alone: An evaluation of a Worcestershire pilot support project for families affected by parental imprisonment (2023)
Cooper, Victoria; Payler, Jane; Bennett, Stephanie Jane and Taylor, Lottie
The Open University, Milton Keynes.


Representing children's rights from discussion through to illustration and interpretation (2019-11)
Chamberlain, Liz; Afroze, Jiniya; Cooper, Victoria and Collins, Trevor
The Open University Children’s Research Centre and Amnesty UK International, Milton Keynes.


Providing Hope: Supporting Children and Young People living with a loved one who is seriously ill (2018)
Cooper, Victoria and Payler, Jane
Children and Young People Today, UK.


The need for support: Young people living through a family health crisis (2017)
Bennett, Stephanie; Cooper, Victoria and Payler, Jane
Hope support services, UK.