CLS organised four workshops in local schools last week as part of ESRC’s Social Science Week.
Four groups of 10 to 11-year-olds were introduced to the notion of birth cohort studies and were presented with some of the data that was collected from members of the 1958 cohort when they were the same age. The children were asked to answer some of the same questions put to the 1958 cohort members back in 1969 so that their answers could be compared. When 1958 cohort members were aged 11 they were asked to write essays in which they imagined their lives at 25. In advance of last week’s workshops the participants were asked to write essays on the same subject, so that during the sessions it was possible to highlight some of the ways in which their aspirations differed, or indeed were similar to the aspirations of 11-year-olds back in 1969. Finally, in order to help with developing the questionnaire for the next sweep of the Millennium Cohort Study, which will take place when cohort members are aged 11, the children were also asked for their advice on the key issues facing today’s 11-year-olds.