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Children's author Michael Rosen has inspired the next generation of people working with children at Sheffield Hallam University.

The much-loved novelist and poet, famed for books and poetry including We're going on a bear hunt, Barking for Bagels and Chocolate Cake, was the keynote speaker at Sheffield Hallam University's Children's Conference.

The one-day conference - Writing Childhoods: Questioning who writes, shapes and informs the experience and understanding of childhood - was held for more than 150 students and staff across subjects in education, healthcare and humanities which are related to childhood.

Hosted at Sheffield Hallam's Sheffield Institute of Education, this year's conference explored the diverse ways in which childhood is 'written': from books that shape childhood, to how childhood is written by policymakers and ultimately to how children write their own childhood.

In his speech, the former Children's Laureate spoke about his own childhood, education and upbringing, brought to life through the reading of several of his poems. 

Mr Rosen said: "It was wonderful to be in this educational setting to talk about children and childhood rather than work units and assessments.

"It has always been my feeling that education is a two-way process and it is very important to understand who these human beings that we're teaching actually are, so it was great to be able to talk about that side of the equation at the Children's Conference."

Michael Rosen at children

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Professor Sam Twiselton, director of Sheffield Institute of Education, said: "The Children's Conference provided a fantastic opportunity for students and practitioners to come together to share and critique their knowledge of the diverse notions of childhood and application of research into the lives of children.

"To hear the informed thoughts of Michael Rosen was highly entertaining but also instructive, and will undoubtedly provide our students with even more inspiration as they think about their own working practices with children as they begin their careers."

For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email