PLAYTrack Bootcamp

"What´s going on in there?" - Means and challenges of doing research with and about kids

2018.02.07 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 24 Apr
Time 09:00 17:00
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312, 8000 Aarhus C

This bootcamp is organised with means and interests of the IMC project PLAYTrack, funded by the LEGO foundation and dedicated to developing, using and disseminating methods to study Play and Playfulness. 

As if it would not be hard enough to investigate these topics in adults, they by definition bear a special interest in children - with kids being the actual experts in Play and Playfulness. The event is therefore the first in a planned series dedicated to expose the challenges as well as some tested solutions of studying this specific participant group (with a focus on primary school age). 

In accordance with the IMC´s strong focus on interdisciplinarity and mixed methods it will bring together four researchers of very different background to present their very own work and engage in most interesting discussions about how a science of play in general might best take place. 

Speakers that accepted the invitations so far are:

  • Katherine McAucliffe, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College , studying the development and evolution of cooperation in humans, with a special focus on how children acquire and enforce fairness norms by means of lab experiments mostly. Katherine has vast experience with how to translate experimental designs created for adults to studying kids and what challenges might still occur in the process.
  • Michelle Aldama, PhD student at Portland State University under supervision of William Parnell, using visual crowd sourcing documentation techniques, inspired by the methods of ReggioChildren, to study reuse engagements of educators, parents and kids.
  • Helle Marie Skovbjerg, Professor of Play at Kolding Design School, studying how to design for play and play moods using means of interview, observation and product evaluation. 


The bootcamps, as started in 2016, continue as events directed to an interdisciplinary (and not exclusively academic) public willing to invest a full day (9 am – 5 pm) to acquire fundamental knowledge about the respective topic. The talks therefore are planned to start on a basic level, though quickly leading up to state of the art research of the speakers. A shared panel discussion at the end is thought to allow comparisons and combinations of the different approaches. Participation is limited to 40 participants max. and registration is acquired (SEE LINK ABOVE). Please note that we would like participants to join for the FULL day (not only for single talks) to allow the progress described. Lunch and coffee is provided by the IMC.  

Contact: Assistant Professor Katrin Heimann