Although all of our work is driven by a desire to have a direct impact on children’s lives, not all of it is designed with an immediate practical intent. We find it necessary to carry out research because we often identify gaps in our understanding that impact the quality of children’s lives. We can’t always know in advance how, or where, our findings might impact policy or practice.We use the term “ecology” to refer broadly to the study of the relationship of children to their environment in all of its complexity, including the natural social, and built dimensions. This necessarily also involves us in the consideration of political and economic forces on children’s lives and an openness to incorporating theory and methods from all relevant disciplines of the social and environmental sciences.
Examples of past research include a study of how children’s out of school lives have changed over one generation in one small New England town (Revisiting Childhood); how parents struggle to manage children’s safety in their homes; and children’s changing use of the environment in New York City.