My primary responsibilities include pursuing individual and collaborative research to better understand children’s own views about health, wellbeing, the environments in which they live, learn, and play (social determinants of health), and explore how communities, systems, and institutions can become more child friendly.
Born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Dr. Scheer holds Master’s degree in Anthropology and a Ph.D. in Sociology – both from Freie Universität Berlin. As a childhood sociologist, Dr. Scheer uses a qualitative and mixed-methods framework to explore and understand children’s own views and voices across a broad range of topics related to children’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. She has conducted extensive research with elementary school-aged children, using participant observation, interviews, and art-based methods to actively engage children in the research process. Her previous research includes an extensive, ethnographic study about children’s experience with punitive disciplinary policies in a large Midwestern school district. Dr. Scheer’s work shows how failure to accommodate children’s own views and voices prevented the disciplinary system from successfully creating environments conducive to learning and contributed to the reproduction of existing disparities along racial and socioeconomic lines. Another study led by Dr. Scheer examined rural children’s views on health, wellbeing, and nutrition. Study findings suggest that to fully understand the pediatric obesity epidemic, more attention needs to be paid to the social and emotional aspects of food and diet. In her current work, Dr. Scheer is leading a large-scale collaborative project designed to transform one of the communities in SIU School of Medicine’s service region into a UNICEF-recognized child friendly city. Dr. Scheer’s other research interests include trauma-informed practices in schools, school-based telehealth, and children’s trust in healthcare and medical providers.
Education & training
- Scheer, A. (2019). “I kinda look unhealthy, but I’m not unhealthy” – Exploring rural children’s perspectives on health, well-being, and nutrition. In Kronenfeld, J.J. (2019) (Ed.). Research in the Sociology of Health Care: Underserved and Socially Disadvantaged Groups and Linkages with Health and Health Care Differentials. Vol. 36. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- Scheer, A.; Prakash, V. (2019). Advancing women’s rights from within: The story of the Alliance for Women in Medicine and Science (AWIMS). In Segal, M. T, Kelly, K. & Demos, V. (2019) (Eds.) Advances in Gender Research: Gender and Practice. Volume 27. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited.
- Scheer, A. (2019). Zero Tolerance and the Impossibilities of Discipline – Findings from the Field. In Caporale, L. (Ed.) Societies Without Borders: Human Rights and the Social Sciences (SWB). Ethnographic and Life Story Methods in Human Rights Research.
- Scheer, A. (2017a). Exploring rural places: Children’s health and well-being in rural communities. CUSS Newsletter. American Sociological Association. Community & Urban Sociology Section, 30 (1), 1, 6-9. http://www.asanet.org/sites/default/files/media/cussnewsletter-fall2017…;
- Scheer, A. (2017b). Maneuvering the stormy waters of ethnography in an inner-city school: Reflections from the field. In I.E. Castro, M. Swauger, & B. Harger (Eds.), Researching Kids and Teens: Methodological Issues, Strategies, and Innovations (59-80), Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 22. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
- Scheer, A. (2011). Designed to control, destined to fail? Disciplinary practices at an inner-city elementary school in the United States. Childhoods Today, 5(2). Retrieved from http://www.childhoodstoday.org/download.php?id=65