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Literacy Lab

Literacy Lab

Collaborative research practices, to understand and improve children and young people's literacy experiences and outcomes

The Writing Lives of Children and Young People

2023 – 2027


Children and young people write for different reasons: to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings, feel empowered, be creative, create fictional worlds for others, support personally important causes/issues, develop and share their imagination, and/or support their wellbeing.  However, these benefits only accrue when children and young people feel motivated to write and engage in writing practices that resonate with them.


However, many children and young people are not engaged writers.  For example, a recent National Literacy Trust Annual Literacy Survey (based on >70,000 children and young people aged 5-18), found that only 20.5% chose to write daily in their free time (Clark et al, 2022).  This provides a strong rationale for improving our understanding of why children and young people do, and do not, choose to write, and how we can enhance children and young people’s writing motivation and practices.


This project is funded by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences/ESRC, University of Edinburgh and National Literacy Trust.  For more information about the project, please contact Ross Young: 


Project Team:

PhD Researcher: Ross Young, University of Edinburgh

First Supervisor: Dr Sarah McGeown, University of Edinburgh

Second Supervisor: Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold, University of Glasgow

In collaboration with: Dr Christina Clark, National Literacy Trust


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