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Dr Dimitra Hartas

Job Title
Associate Professor Reader
Education Studies
024 76 522657
Research Interests

My research interests include parental involvement with children's learning and the socio-economic milieu within which families operate; participation and voice in young people with disability; and children's language and literacy difficulties, including children with hearing impairment, and their rights in the context of disability.

My research focuses on child development and wellbeing from an ecological perspective to examine young children's language, literacy and social competence by accounting for factors that are proximal and distal to their life. Through analyses of national, longitudinal datasets (such as the Millennium Cohort Study, Understanding Society), I have examined the role of social class on parenting and children's academic and social outcomes, and contributed to debates on the extent to which parenting is a key determinant in shaping children's life chances and social mobility.

I am particularly interested in examining children's and young people's language, literacy and social behaviour through the lens of inequality and by tracing the influence of social class on reproducing the achievement gap between poor and wealthier children. I am also interested in examining parents' internal resources and the structures that surround their life, as well as families' cultural and human capital, and how they contribute to their parenting and to their children's learning, educational aspirations and well-being.


A recent paper titled Young people's educational aspirations: psychosocial factors and the home environment, published at the Journal of Youth Studies has attracted publicity My research has provided evidence to a recent House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry on has Adverse Childhood Experiences.


I teach and conduct research in the areas of Special Educational Needs and Disability, Parenting and Educational Research Methods at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. After obtaining my PhD from the University of Illinois in Chicago, I worked at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA) with a focus on disability provision for disadvantaged children with a wide range of developmental and learning difficulties. Over the years, I have developed distance learning courses in Foundation and Advanced Research Methods in Education and have worked on various research projects focusing on Special Educational Needs and Disability, young people's participation and voice and supporting teachers to develop as reflective practitioners as part of the Creative Partnerships. My most recent project is funded by Erasmus Plus and focuses on young people with hearing impairment and the systems of support within their families and schools.

Title Funder Award start Award end
Development of Innovation in Play-Based Learning and Teaching Activities for Disadvantaged Students - ERASMUS+ European Commission 01 Sep 2016 01 Mar 2019
From Theory to Practice: Capacity Building in Special Education Schools Concerning Health and Hearing Care (ERASMUS+ 2015) EU 01 Sep 2015 31 Dec 2017
Evaluation of impact of DCSF investment in initiatives designed to improve teacher workforce skills in relation to SEN and disabilities Department for Children, Schools and Families 30 Dec 2008 31 Mar 2011
Young People as Co-researchers Beauchamp College 01 Apr 2008 30 Apr 2008
Research Mentoring at Schools Creative Partnerships Coventry 01 Sep 2007 31 Mar 2008
Nagty - evaluation of the summer - school programme 2005 - 2008 National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth 01 Jul 2005 31 Mar 2008
Closing The Gap Warwickshire County Council 01 Sep 2007 31 Dec 2007
Closing The Gap Warwickshire County Council 01 Sep 2007 31 Dec 2007
Evaluation of the National Academy of Gifted and Talented Youth Entrepreneurship Programme. National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth 01 Sep 2004 31 Jul 2006
Evaluation of PGCE Plus Gatsby Charitable Foundation 14 Jan 2004 13 Jan 2005
Nagty evaluation of the second multi - site summer school programme 2004. National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth 01 Jul 2004 30 Nov 2004
Nagty Evaluation of the first multi-site summer school programme 2003. National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth 01 Jul 2003 30 Nov 2003


Publicity for my study 'Young people's educational aspirations: psychosocial factors and the home environment':

The Times: Pushy parents

Science Daily: Further studies aspirations

Parent Herald: Childrens future education aspirations

The Loop: Encouraging further education

The Times: More time with parents promotes further education Science and Technology

Western Daily Press

Essential Kids

Teen Vogue