Research Events


Research Seminar Programme

Following COVID 19, our seminar programme for the foreseeable future will be delivered online via Teams. All seminars are free, and students, staff and members of the public are welcome to attend.

Please register online or if you have any queries email [email protected]

Our seminars this year are recorded where possible, and can be viewed online following the session.

28th Oct 12 noon Prof Reza Gholami: Islamophobia and Racism in the Secular University: An Examination of the Muslim Student Awarding Gap

This paper engages with a dominant model of Islamophobia which gives race and racism primacy. It argues that such an approach is parochial, conceptually narrow and practically ineffective. I take as my case the UK’s Muslim student awarding gap – Muslims are currently the worst performing religious group at UK universities. Existing work explains this problem in terms of racism/Islamophobia. These factors are correctly identified, but a lack of analytical precision around race and religion has led strategies to fall back on ‘standard’ and largely ineffective ideas.

I argue that racial and religious disadvantage must be understood separately, though intersectionally, through Critical Race Theory and the concept of ‘religification’. Such an analysis sheds light on how institutional approaches to race and religion play a key role in the structuration and perpetuation of educational disadvantage for Muslim students. It also paves the way for more effective strategies for eradicating the awarding gap.

Photo of Prof Reza Gholami

Prof Reza Gholami

Reza Gholami is a Reader in Sociology of education at the University of Birmingham where he is also the Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE). His research interests are Islamophobia and racism in education as well as community-based forms of education. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Senior Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Education. He earned his PhD in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS, University of London, where he also conducted postdoctoral research funded by the AHRC working with diverse youth and community organisations in London to improve educational and citizenship outcomes for young people. Currently, he is leading an ESRC-funded project working with non-formal educators in Birmingham to develop innovative educational materials to foster intercommunal learning.

Reza is the author of numerous books and articles in his field including co-editing the book Education and Extremisms: Re-Thinking Liberal Pedagogies in the Contemporary World (Routledge 2018). He also regularly appears in national and international media, including featuring in the BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘The Corrections’ about the Birmingham ‘Trojan Horse’ affair.

8th Nov 4pm Dr Naomi Hodgson: Culture and Upbringing Studies, towards a philosophical-pedagogical account of raising children

Critical academic interest in parents and parenting has accelerated in the last twenty years as a policy focus on learning, across all aspects of our lives, and early intervention in young children’s lives, in view of risk prevention and optimising outcomes, has raised questions about the scientised, instrumentalised way in which parents are understood in late neoliberalism. Such work has offered important insights into the governance of parents and families and the forms of subjectivity and parent-child relations this engenders, characterised as an intensive ‘parenting culture’.
Our research has contributed to a closer focus on parents and families as pedagogical sites of interest in educational philosophy. We specifically seek to draw attention to what the ‘parenting’ account of raising children leaves out of the picture by
• developing an account of the parent as a pedagogical figure
• elaborating accounts of the cultural, anthropological, and existential aspects of upbringing
• analysing the ways in which the figure of parent is constituted through wider discourses and practices, e.g. of digitisation and securitisation.

In this presentation, after briefly outlining the ‘parenting’ account of raising children, I will discuss three areas in particular that we, in collaboration with other colleagues, have explored:
• Upbringing and the parent as a pedagogical figure
• Digitisation and securitisation
• Presentations of raising children in film.

Photo of Dr Naomi Hodgson

Dr Naomi Hodgson

Naomi Hodgson is Associate Professor of Education Studies at Liverpool Hope University, UK, and Guest Professor at KU Leuven, Belgium. Her research focuses on the relationship between education, governance, and subjectivity, particularly the way in which learning shapes how we are asked to understand ourselves as citizens and as parents. She is leading a research project to support the development and evaluation of Everton Football Club’s Lifelong Learning Strategy, and is Treasurer and Trustee of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB). Her most recent publications include Manifesto for a Post-Critical Pedagogy, with Joris Vlieghe and Piotr Zamojski (Punctum Books, 2018), and Philosophical Presentations of Raising Children: The Grammar of Upbringing, with Dr Stefan Ramaekers (Palgrave 2019).


POSTPONED 27th Jan 12 noon Prof Halleli Pinson: The role of education in the age of global migration: challenges and possibilities

The world now faces the prospect of having over 50 million migrant children, many of whom have had disrupted, little to no education. The education that such ‘children without a state’ (Bhabha, 2011) receive is sometimes of poor quality, and unfit for the task of ensuring they can develop sustainable independent lives or achieve a sense of security, or belonging in society. In high-income countries, such as the UK, most migrant children have access to schooling, whether mainstreamed or enrolled into induction programmes. However, the right to an education – especially a quality education –  for many child migrants (whether they have been forced, or their parents chose, to move country) is endangered not least because of their crossings of time, space and the legal status normally associated with the  ‘learner citizen’ (Arnot 2009).  What they share is that they are ‘not-yet-citizens’ or ‘non-citizens’ (Pinson et al. 2010) or even ‘never to be citizens. At least until a decade ago, the assumption was that at some point migrant children could become citizens and thus needed to be integrated through the education system. Hence teachers have put considerable effort into achieving inclusion of such children in school (e.g. Devine 2014; Pinson et al., 2010; Welply 2022). Such children, at least when crossing into the educational space of schooling, were considered ‘learner citizens’.

However, the complex reality of the temporary and circulatory nature of global migration today and the tightening of migration policy and the possibility to settle in a host country, requires us to rethink what is meant by the ‘the right to education’ and how this right relates to children’s liminality in time and space. Schools become the one social space where such youth should be safe. Yet are schools always safe spaces and, once educated, can migrant youth cope with the contradiction of being educated as citizens but existing in a permanent state of vulnerability? In this talk I will invite you to think how education, often one of the only human rights left to such youth, addresses the temporality and the liminality of their existence in hostile settings. Who is responsible for the delivery of such a right and what is the moral obligation of states to help migrant youth achieve an ‘imaginable future’ (Dryden Petersen 2019)? How can education contribute to the long-term stability of a globally transient young generation?


Photo of Prof Halleli PinsonHalleli Pinson  (BA, TAU; MPhil, PhD, Cambridge University) is an associate professor at the Department of Education, Ben-Gurion University. Pinson is a political sociologist of education, she has published extensively on citizenship education in conflict-ridden societies, neo-liberal policies in the context of minority education, and education and forced migration, especially on educational policies and school practices in relation to the integration of asylum-seeking children. She is the co-author of Education, Asylum and the ‘Non-Citizen’ Child, and a co-editor of Citizenship, Education and Social Conflict. Pinson now runs (together with Dympna Devine and Nihad Buner) The Routledge Series on Education and Migration and she is editing the Edward Elgar Handbook on Education and Migration (forthcoming, 2022). Pinson is also a member of the editorial boards of the BJSE and Race Ethnicity and Education. Since March 2021 she is Ben-Gurion University advisor for gender equity.

15th Feb 12 noon Dr Elizabeth Done & Eleanor Warnes: Mainstream teachers’ concerns about inclusive education for children with SEND in England under pre-pandemic conditions

Dr Elizabeth J. Done and Eleanor Warnes will present and discuss research in which Sharma and Desai’s (2002) seminal ‘Concerns about Integrated Education (CIE) Scale’ was adapted for contemporary use by replacing ‘integrated’ with ‘inclusive’, and ‘disability’ with ‘Special Educational Needs and / or Disability (SEND)’ to produce a novel ‘Concerns about Inclusive Education Scale’. It was found that the highest level of concern was around resources, specifically, funding for specialist and support staff, resources, and appropriate infrastructure. Qualitative data analysis suggested that children with SEND risk being perceived as an onerous adjunct to an already stressful regular teaching role. Few respondents mentioned national performance monitoring and accountability regimes in this context and, instead, viewed additional paraprofessional and external support as self-evident solutions to excessive workloads, neglecting the implications for equity in education. These findings do not rest easily with current guidance on teachers’ responsibilities but are indicative of the pressures on schools prior to the CV-19 pandemic and the gradual drift away from earlier aspirations around ‘inclusive education’.

Further reading: Warnes, E., Done, E.J. and Knowler, H. (2021), Mainstream teachers’ concerns about inclusive education for children with special educational needs and disability in England under pre-pandemic conditions. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs.

Photo of Dr Elizabeth Done

Dr Elizabeth Done

Elizabeth J. Done lectures in the University of Plymouth’s Institute of Education where she specialises in inclusion, poststructuralist theory and critical analysis and supervises doctoral students researching inclusion-related topics.  Elizabeth is also an Honorary Research Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at Exeter University and engaged in research around school exclusion. Elizabeth has published in international journals including, Journal of Education Policy, Gender & Education, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, International Journal of Inclusive Education, Journal of Research of Special Educational Needs and Support for Learning. She has previously taught on postgraduate programmes in northeast Africa.

Dr Eleanor Warnes (Photo)

Eleanor Warnes is the Head of Student Wellbeing and Support at Plymouth Marjon University. She has 20 years’ experience working with children and young adults as an educator in the UK and abroad and as a social prescriber in the NHS. She gained a Master’s in Education Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) from the University of Exeter’s Graduate School of Education in 2020 with research into inclusive education (IE) for children with SEND. She is part of a collaborative research team investigating exclusionary school practices and is studying for a BACP Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Her research interests include SEND, obstacles to inclusion and wellbeing and mental health of students.

24th March 4pm Prof Amélie Lemieux: Reading Research in Literature Classrooms : Porosity, Materialities, Narrative Storyworlds

Photo of Prof Amelie Lamieux

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent worldwide sanitary crisis, research on reading has highlighted the need to focus on literacy, expecially through the development of digital literacy skills, to reduce the digital divide, foster equity in education, and provide access to cultural capital (UNESCO, 2021). Consequent with these findings, a shift in reading research and literacy studies has been identified in turning from reading skills (can one read) to reading methods (how one reads) and critical reading (true vs. false information). This shift has been accentuated due to remote emergency learning, and has contributed to changing adolescents’ literacy practices at home and in schools (Buchholz, DeHart & Moorman, 2020). In light of these changes, this SSHRC-funded presentation reports on empirical findings from a study conducted in L1 literature classrooms in Quebec, where 11th-grade adolescents were asked to engage with digital poetry and artwork in order to generate their own. This study, conducted in the midst of the pandemic, will offer relational considerations for literacy research and literature education in high school classrooms.

This research is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Grant (SSHRC), led by Amélie Lemieux (PI), Georgina Barton (Co-PI), David Lewkowich (Co-PI), and Boyd White (Collaborator).


Buchholz, B.A., DeHart, J., Moorman, G. (2020). Digital Citizenship During a Global Pandemic: Moving Beyond Digital Literacy. Journal of Adult & Adolescent Literacy, 64(1), 11-17.

UNESCO (2021). 2021 International Literacy Day put literacy and digital skills at the heart of COVID-19 recovery.

Prof Amélie Lemieux is an assistant professor (reading, French literature teaching, and literacy) at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Education. Her research focuses on mapping methodologies to elucidate adolescents’ reading and production processes. Her work has been published and co-published in such journals as: Language Arts, Professional Development in Education, Discourse, British Journal of Educational Technology, Education & Didactique, amongst others and in addition to two books released at Peter Lang New York. She earned her doctorate from McGill University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Brock University’s Centre for Research in Multiliteracies with Jennifer Rowsell.


6th April  12 noon Dr Anna Liddle: “Your School Needs You to Wear a Poppy” Exclusions and inclusions in school war remembrance

Abstract: Due to the recent centenary of World War One there has been an increased interest in how war is commemorated in English schools. In this seminar I will draw upon an in-depth case study of a diverse school in northern England to analyse how remembrance is performed within the space of the school. I identify a ‘Red Poppy Remembrance Discourse’ (RPRD) which reproduces a white, militarised, nationalistic approach to remembrance. Overall, I suggest that remembrance practices of this type normalise war and are symptomatic of what Galtung refers to as ‘cultural violence’.

Photo of Dr Anna Liddle

Dr Anna Liddle

Dr Anna Liddle graduated from Leeds Beckett University in 2019 with her PhD entitled How Schools Teach About Peace and War During the WWI Centenary Period. She has since worked on other research projects including The Deliberative Classroom about how young people discuss controversial issues in the classroom. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher on a project at the University of Leeds called Speaking Citizens about how young people express themselves as citizens and the communicative barriers they face. She is also an associate lecturer in the Department of Education at the University of York.

RESCHEDULED 27th April 4pm Dr Scott Clarke: Teachers’ Awareness of and Attitude to Research, School Culture, and Student Achievement

GTA Graduation Celebration Seminar

In England, there is a contentious drive pushing schools, and teachers within those schools, to provide research-informed practice. Proponents of research-informed education propose that educational research should be communicated to schools where it can be read by teachers and incorporated into their practice to improve teaching quality and subsequently student achievement.. Two surveys were distributed across 38 mainstream, state-funded secondary schools; the first was distributed to the person responsible for teachers’ CPD in each participating school to identify the extent to which that institution is working towards developing the dimensions of a research-informed. The second survey was distributed to teachers across all participating schools to identify: a) their awareness of well-established educational research findings, b) their perceptions of the usefulness of educational research findings for guiding teaching practice, and c) steps taken at an individual level to maintain currency with educational research.

Analyses revealed that most schools place substantial importance on developing a research-informed culture but are more reserved in implementations to reach that goal. Generally, teachers’ ability to identify well-established educational research findings is similar to that expected by chance. No statistical relationship was identified between school research-informed culture, teachers’ awareness of well-established educational research findings, and student achievement.

photo of Dr Scott Clarke

Scott Clarke’s academic career began in Psychology where he completed undergraduate and postgraduate study. Scott then completed a PGCE Further Education & Training and MA Education before embarking on a PhD Education programme at Edge Hill University. Scott’s research interests lie in the promises and limitations of research-informed education. his PhD, Scott has been recently appointed Teacher Education Programme Leader at the City of Liverpool College.

10th May 4pm Dr Michelle Jayman: “We’re the experts, start listening to us”: Re-imagining mental wellbeing strategies in schools. 

Giving children a voice is purportedly a key tenet of education policy, practice and research. Nonetheless, ensuring that voice is meaningfully included and responded to in the spaces that children occupy remains a challenge. The pivotal role of schools in supporting pupils’ mental wellbeing is well-documented and educational settings are considered to be the ideal context for preventative approaches and early intervention.

While the new relationships and health curriculum in England puts schools firmly in the spotlight, school staff feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to manage this heavy responsibility amid growing concerns for their own wellbeing. This talk considers how child-to-child and child-to-adult collaboration, co-creation and social action can be harnessed to design authentic, child-centred approaches to support mental wellbeing which benefit the whole school community.

Dr Michelle Jayman is Lecturer in Psychology, University of Roehampton.Photo of Dr Michelle Jayman  She is a Co-Convenor for the BERA Mental Health, Wellbeing and Education Special Interest Group and a Champion for the BPS Education Section.  She is passionate about promoting and supporting mental wellbeing in education. Her research interests include children’s socio-emotional development and interventions to support wellbeing and improve learner outcomes.


Past Seminars

Research Seminar Programme, 2020/21

Our seminars for 20/21 were delivered online. To access seminar recordings go to Figshare.

From the Bradford riots to Black Lives Matter: reflections on fundamental British values, Dr Ümit Yildiz


Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer, mass anti-racist demonstrations spread from the streets of the USA to Britain. The removal of the statue of slave trader Colston in Bristol by Black Lives Matter protesters was a reminder to the British public that the roots of racism on both sides of the Atlantic lie in the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism. This grassroots struggle has boosted the existing movement to decolonise education in the UK. “However, this task is more complex than removing statues, as the remnants of colonialist views are so entrenched within the education system that they can seem innocuous. The promotion of fundamental British values (FBVs) is an example of this.

Photo of Ümit Yildiz

Dr Ümit Yildiz

Although the notion of FBVs first appeared in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition government’s revised Prevent strategy in 2011, the seeds of its definition were sown after the summer of ‘race’ riots in northern towns in 2001 and the September 11 attacks in the USA. The Prevent strategy stated that FBVs are ‘democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’. In 2012, the Teachers’ Standards included these values and required all teachers ‘not to undermine fundamental British values’. In November 2014, the Coalition government produced guidelines on promoting ‘fundamental British values’. In September 2015, the newly elected Conservative government transformed this guidance to a full duty, as defined in Section 26 of the new Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. Since the introduction of FBVs in the educational sphere school managements, educators, teacher trainers and academics have been interpreting this policy and the related values. These interpretations have been varied; some highlighted its importance, some criticised its muddled meaning and some raised the question: if teachers do not promote these values what should they be replaced with? I will challenge these interpretations from an anti-racist and anti-imperialist stand point and offer an alternative perspective on the notion of FBVs. I will consider the ontology of the notion of FBVs and analyse why it is defined as such, what makes the notion of FBVs problematic and why educators should collectively reject its promotion.


Ümit Kemal Yıldız teaches at the Manchester University Institute of Education. His previous teaching experience includes prison education and the FE sector where he taught for fourteen years and specialised in Citizenship education and training educators in Active Citizenship teaching. His research combines grassroots anti-racist activism with academic research. This is underpinned by the ethos of a transformative radical pedagogy and anti-racist teaching. Ümit recently completed his PhD at Edge Hill FoE.

Twitter: @umity1

Education in the Age of Social Distancing: The idea of the Community University, Prof Jenny Pearce, 7th April

Covid19 has presented humanity with a range of new challenges to add to inequalities, climate change, violence and others. It introduced the term ’social distancing’ as an essential tool to prevent the spread of the virus. The outcome has been deep changes in our social encounters and relationships. Education went ‘online’ for many, exposing digital poverty as an added blight of the digital age. Entertainment, eating out, shopping have all been interrupted. It is not yet clear for how long and what new kinds of socialising will emerge. However, even before Covid19, our human interactions had become profoundly changed by the distancing impacts of the rise of social media, and with it, new scepticism about what is ’true’, alongside digitally fuelled conflict and aggression. Yet, higher education is about evidence, peer review and debate; it provides the analytical tools society needs. Yet, some argue that the sector today is in a new crisis of purpose and identity. The pandemic in fact, accelerated the social distancing that had already begun to (re)shape our social and political relationships, eroding confidence in the meaning of knowledge. While the pandemic may have brought back the importance of ‘expert knowledge’ to life itself, it is not clear that it has generated any better understanding of the value of learning per se., just when we need an intellectually curious, critical, informed and socially connected population more than ever before.

This leads to the topic of this lecture. Building on experiences and research in Latin America, with the Community University which we developed in Bradford and the Learning City which we are launching in Salford on 25 March, the lecture will open up a discussion on how higher education could potentially connect with a population living in digitally and socially distanced Britain.

How can the value of knowledges within the community and within the university be recognised and exchanged in order to bring people closer together in the search for personal development as well as informed and active responses to the multiple challenges ahead?

Recommended pre-reading:

Pearce, Jenny (2017) Bradford’s Community University: from ‘constellation of knowledge’ to liberating the general intellect? In: Hall, Richard and Winn, Joss, (eds.) Mass Intellectuality and Democratic Leadership in Higher Education. Bloomsbury Publishing, London.


Prof Jenny Pearce is a political scientist who specialises in Latin America. She works with anthropological and participatory research methodologies on social change, violence, security, power and participation in the region and beyond. She considers herself a peace scholar, committed to theoretical development of the field of peace, power and violence as well as empirical study.

She has conducted fieldwork since the 1970s in Uruguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Venezuela. Professor Pearce has also developed a body of work around participation and exclusion in the global North, bringing learning from Latin America (South North learning) to the realities of urban conflict and tensions in the de-industrialised north of England.

She set up and directed the International Centre for Participation Studies in Peace Studies (2003 – 2014) and set up a Community University in Bradford with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Joseph Rowntree Foundation funding in 2013. She was Visiting Professor at Edge Hill University between 2016-2019. She continues to work on participation and knowledge exchange with communities in the North of England.

Problematising the Triangle of [Professional] Love, Dr Jools Page,  9th February

In this seminar Jools presented a model of Professional Love to showcase how to appropriately enable early years practitioners to develop their own set of principles, policies and practices; a pedagogy of love which professionals are able to draw upon to respond to the minutiae of the many and varied lived experiences of young children whatever their socio-cultural context.

Dr Jools Page

Dr Jools Page

Jools argued that her Triangle of Love staged model provides continuity of practice while still responding to socio-culturally formed needs and the continually evolving experiences of each child within the context of his or her own family and community; locally, nationally and globally.

The characterisation of Professional Love, Jools proposes does not attempt to apply a universal definition of love [or intimacy or care], into a criteria checklist. Rather, it provides an opportunity for critical reflection and adaptation which takes account of these fleeting, yet crucial exchanges which occur between young children and their professional primary caregivers. Thus, she claims each setting can generate its own phenomenology of Professional Love. In practical terms, she argues this should lead to the creation of policies and procedures which give confidence to caregivers about cuddling young children without fear of reprisal.

Recommended pre-reading: Page, J. (2018) Characterising the principles of Professional Love in early childhood care and education, International Journal of Early Years Education, 26(2), 125-141


Dr Jools Page is a Senior Early Years Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Brighton. Before taking up her academic role, Jools was employed in both early years policy and practice roles. For over three decades she worked closely with young children and their families and it is from these humble beginnings that Jools maintains she first gained her unique insight into the importance of fostering careful, respectful, reciprocal and genuine relationships between infants, toddlers and their key adults in professional early years contexts. Jools is committed to research and practice that places the rights of infants, toddlers and young children at the centre and it is this view of children which inspired her academic research on attachment-based relationships between adults and children under three years in group day care provision. In a life history study, which sought the views of mothers on going back to work when their baby was under a year old, Jools coined the phrase ‘Professional Love’ to explain the attachment-based relationships between infants and their professional adult caregivers. ‘Professional Love’ provided a useful term to debate the discourse on non-familial love at a point in time when love was rarely discussed in professional roles with young children. It is her characterisation of ‘Professional Love’ which is gaining worldwide traction, capturing the interest of contemporary scholars and practitioners alike and which has brought her both national and international recognition.

Argumentation at the Interface of Science and RE

Prof Sibel Erduran, University of Oxford

12th January 12 noon


Argumentation, or the justification of knowledge claims with evidence and reasons, has emerged as a significant educational goal, advocated in international curricula and investigated through school-based research. In the context of science education, there has been a growing body of research on argumentation in the past two decades. However, cross-subject investigations on argumentation is fairly scarce. For instance, although much has been researched about the teaching and learning of the evolution versus intelligent design debate, research and development on argumentation as a pedagogical strategy at the interphase of science and religious education is practically unexplored. The purpose of this presentation is to share some research from the ongoing OARS Project funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. The 3-year project in engaging science and religious education (RE) teachers in a continuous professional development programme about argumentation. Data from the teachers as well as their Key Stage 3 students have been collected to investigate the impact of the programme through qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Findings will be shared which will include how teachers and students interpret argumentation in both science and RE contexts.


Sibel Erduran is Professor of Science Education, Director of Research in the Department of Education and Fellow of St Cross College at University of Oxford. She is also Professor II at University of Oslo, Norway. She serves as the President of the European Science Education Research Association; Editor-in-Chief of Science & Education and an Editor for International Journal of Science. Her work experience includes positions in the USA, Ireland as well as the UK. Her research interests focus on the infusion of epistemic practices of science in science education and she has a keen interest in the professional development of science teachers. Her work on argumentation has received international recognition through awards from NARST and EASE. She is currently working on three funded projects: OARS (Templeton World Charity Foundation), FEDORA (EU Horizon 2020) and SciKids (UAEU). Her recent books published in 2019 are entitled Argumentation in Chemistry Education: Research, Policy and Practice (Royal Society of Chemistry) and Transforming Teacher Education through the Epistemic Core of Chemistry: Empirical Evidence and Practical Strategies (Springer).

Why education is not just about innovating

Prof Bianca Thoilliez, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain

Tuesday 8th December at 12 noon


We live in a time of the imperative of innovation, of change, of transformation for the school and its professionals. Times that some have called a certain “innovaphiliac”. Yes, we educate to help others to prepare for the future, a future that is uncertain and that, therefore, pushes educational activity to be in permanent movement of attention to that unknown future. Education is called to respond, to adapt and to prepare more and better for the future. However, we also educate, we must not forget it, not only to prepare the following generations for the future, but also and above all, as an act of preservation with which to legate an ecological, linguistic, cultural, ethical, scientific, artistic heritage, so the new generation can carve out its own future. This is why, emphasizing among teachers the mandate to “prepare for the future” has two main problems: we deprive education of its conservative dimension and we deprive the new generation of the freedom to define their own future. My intervention will try to analyze these two problems and offer some reasons from which teachers can resist the imperative of innovation in education.


Bianca Thoilliez is Associate Professor at the Department of Pedagogy at Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. In July 2019 she has been appointed Visiting Professor of the Faculty of Education at the Edge Hill University, UK. In August 2018, she was elected Board Member of the International Network of Philosophers of Education (INPE). Since January 2018, she is the editor of the interdisciplinary educational research journal Tendencias Pedagógicas. Between 2013 and 2015 she lectured at the European University of Madrid (associate to Laureate International Universities Network), and has been a visiting researcher in the UK (Institute of Education) and the US (Pennsylvania State University).  From 2013 she has been acting as external consultant of the Spanish Agency of Research. Currently Bianca Thoilliez is working on the following research projects: “#LobbyingTeachers: Theoretical Foundations, Political structures and Social Practices of the Public-Private Relations in the Teaching Activity in Spain” (as principal researcher, reference PID2019-104566RA-I00/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) and “Difference, Tolerance and Censorship in Europe. Freedom of Expression in Contemporary Public Discourse” (as team member, reference SI1/PJI/2019-00442, funded by Madrid Regional Agency of Research).

‘Criminalizing Kids’: A critical response to the increased presence of police in schools

Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury

Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury, University of Manchester

Tuesday 17th November at 4pm


In the context of a racialised moral panic around serious youth violence, recent times have seen a resurgence of calls to increase the presence of police in English schools. As well as a lack of popular and political opposition, there is a lack of critical scholarly consideration of the placement of police in schools. In this presentation, I make a case for the abolition of school-based police officers. I draw upon my research with teachers in Greater Manchester, to argue that a police presence in schools impacts negatively upon learning environments, creates a culture of low expectations, criminalises young people, and feeds a school-to-prison pipeline. Showing that the effects of police in schools are felt unequally along race and class lines, I supplement my arguments by drawing upon a recent report, ‘Decriminalise the Classroom’, which I co-authored as part of the No Police in Schools campaign in Greater Manchester.


Remi Joseph-Salisbury is a Presidential Fellow in Ethnicity and Inequalities at the University of Manchester. He is the author of ‘Black Mixed-Race Men’, and co-editor of ‘The Fire Now: Anti-Racism in Times of Explicit Racial Violence’. He has written widely on race and racism, with a particular focus on racism in education. His forthcoming work, with Dr Laura Connelly, focuses on anti-racist scholar-activism in UK universities and will be published as a book in 2021. Remi is active with a number of anti-racist activist organisations, including the No Police in Schools campaign, and writes regularly for print and online media.

Narrating Trust: On the ‘storied’ nature of faith in institutional and interpersonal relations

Dr. Christina Donovan, Manchester Metropolitan University

Monday 26th October 4pm


The decision to trust or distrust both represent movements towards certainty; a desire to know the future as if it has already passed. In whom we trust, or distrust, speaks to the core of who we are and as such, the act of trusting another represents humanity at its most vulnerable (Möllering, 2006). It is in being certain about the future actions of another that provides an individual with a sense of existential security that allows them to thrive, or existential insecurity that calls upon the individual to act to protect themselves. Sztompka (2019) suggests that to live well alongside each other, there must be a set of core conditions in place: trust, loyalty, reciprocity, solidarity, respect and justice. Trust is foundational amongst these conditions, allowing all others to flourish. He argues that if trust engenders security, leading to the ability to take risks, then distrust can only represent the opposite. For Sztompka, distrust can only lead to what he calls ‘social paralysis’; inevitable isolation (ibid).

This seminar explores the methodological approach used for a recently completed doctoral study, which offers a narrative exploration of an individual’s lived experiences of trust. Key concepts relating to trust will be explored through a case study of staff and students within a Further Education College in the North of England.  Using the Dialogical Narrative Analysis (DNA) approach developed by Frank (2012), a total of ten narrative typologies were identified relating to the broader narrative tropes of ‘Trust’ (Thriving, Unity, Transformation and Optimism) and ‘Distrust’ (Trouble, Struggle, Uncertainty, Powerlessness, Oppression and Self-preservation). The way participants engaged with these tropes informed the construction of their narratives; influencing levels of engagement with the institution through the positionality of self in affiliation with, or against various others. This research posits that an individual’s disposition towards trust is ‘storied’, as storytellers construct their disposition towards trust through the stories they tell about the social and institutional contexts they experience, culminating in a ‘trust history’ that orientates them in future interactions.

Donovan, C. 2019. Taking the ‘leap of faith’? The Narrative Construction of Trust and Distrust in Further Education [unpublished doctoral thesis]. Edge Hill University

Research Seminar Programme, 2019/20

Our seminar series marked the completion of the doctorates of our first group of Graduate Teaching Assistants.

Please see also our Higher Education Research Seminar Series

Dr Gulsah Kutuk

Using Mixed Methods in Educational Research: Reflections on a PhD Study

November 7th –12:45-2pm

Gender stereotyping of academic domains has long been a subject of debate in the field of education. Although vital to academic achievement, a substantial body of research focusing on the impact of gender stereotyping of academic subjects is mainly concerned with females and their underachievement in certain subjects such as maths and science. Conversely, there is little attention to males and their performance in academic fields which are mostly associated with females. This thesis, therefore, aimed to explore the concept of gender stereotyping in respect of males and their performance in foreign language learning which, in some language learning environments, is believed to be a female domain. The research investigated the extent to which any existing gender stereotypes were linked to foreign language learners’ performance via the mediating roles of language self-efficacy and anxiety. A mixed methods approach incorporating self-report questionnaires, interviews and experimental methods was adopted in this research. Study 1 employed a questionnaire design which examined whether there was a link between language learners’ gender stereotyped beliefs about foreign language learning and their self-efficacy, anxiety, and performance. Study 2 took an interview approach with language teachers and learners and explored the extent to which language teachers, as an agent of socialisation, played a role in sustaining or legitimising any existing gender stereotyped beliefs. Finally, Study 3 experimentally investigated the impact of stereotype threat pertaining to learning another language upon male language learners’ performance via their self-efficacy and anxiety. Overall, 1140 Turkish adult learners (509 females, 631 males) studying English as a foreign language at university level and 17 English as a foreign language teachers (7 males, 10 females) were recruited across three studies as well as a preceding pilot study. In this seminar, I will describe my methodological approach in detail and present the overall results gained from the three studies outlined above.

Gulsah recently completed her PhD and became the first graduate teaching assistant to graduate from the Faculty of Education. Her PhD focused on the effects of stereotype threat on foreign language performance through the mediating roles of self-efficacy and language anxiety. She currently works as a research assistant in the Faculty of Education.

Anna Mariguddi

Methodological choices, challenges and contentment

October 16th• 12.45-2.00pm• E20

At this seminar, I will guide colleagues through the various methodological choices I made during my three-year PhD study, which explored perceptions of informal learning within the context of secondary music education. I will present a reflection on the methodological difficulties and break-throughs I had experienced whilst trying to navigate this fundamental but challenging area of my studies.

The PhD research was established within the qualitative interpretative paradigm and my epistemological perspective was inspired by both constructivist and social constructionist perspectives. I was also positioned as both an insider (due to my background as a secondary school teacher and musician) and outsider (due to my HE researcher identity). A two-phased research design was developed, defined by setting and participants. The first phase consisted of semi-structured interviews, and the second more substantial phase was based in case study schools. Methods implemented within the case studies included interviews, observations, document sources, focus groups and self-recorded diaries. A complexity was added to the second phase of the research, where teachers were invited to participate in elements of a co-research approach. How the approach was realised will be discussed at this seminar, along with the perceived gap between expectation and reality experienced.

Data was analysed thematically, and consideration of how this qualitative research can be seen as trustworthy will be presented. The seminar will conclude with a reflection on important ethical considerations made throughout – some which posed difficult dilemmas to be overcome. It is hoped that by presenting the methodological choices, challenges and contentment encountered during my PhD studies, colleagues will engage in dialogue and share their own experiences, as it is believed that much can be learnt from the experience of others.

Anna has worked as a secondary school music teacher and Acting Head of Department prior to joining Edge Hill University. Anna’s PhD research focused upon how the Musical Futures model of informal learning is understood, experienced and implemented in secondary school music lessons. Anna is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Recently published work:

CUMMINS, D., MARIGUDDI, A. and WEIR, S., 2017. ‘It’s not about me’: teaching music in a secondary school. In: T. CAIN and J. CURSLEY, eds. Teaching Music Differently: Case Studies of Inspiring Pedagogies. Oxon: Routledge. pp. 116-130.

Research Seminar Programme, 2018/19

Teachers, Gender and the Feminisation Debate

Prof Marie-Pierre Moreau, Anglia Ruskin University

Tuesday 18th September 2018 • 12.30-2.00pm • E15

Marie-Pierre Moreau is Professor in Education, Department of Education and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University. Her research is at the nexus of education, work and equality issues, with specific reference to gender. She has particular interest in how gender, social class and ethnicity shape people’s lives and in individuals’ discursive construction of equality matters.

A Novel Multi-Sensory Approach to Letter Recognition and Literacy

Patricia Carson, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia

Thursday 1st November 2018 • 12.45-2.00pm • E18

Patricia Carson is working on her Doctor of Education (in Research) at James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. An experienced educator, she has taught in the early years of school in both Australia and Canada. Currently she is a private consultant working with special needs students in Alberta, Canada. Her research interests focus on working with Three Dimensional Visual Thinkers who are having trouble with spelling and reading, as well as exploring whether a novel multi-sensory approach to teaching these skills can be beneficial for these thinkers.

Systematic Synthetic Phonics: A possible cause of pupils’ literacy difficulties

Dr Jonathan Solity, University College London

Tuesday 11th December 2018 • 3.45-5.00pm • E5

Jonathan Solity worked as a teacher in a first school in Bradford, as an educational psychologist in Walsall and for 23 years was an associate professor at the University of Warwick lecturing in educational psychology. He is one of the country’s leading experts on instructional psychology and has written seven books and over 40 articles in refereed journals as well as contributing to edited books. His co-authored book (Teachers in Control: Cracking the Code) on what is now known as ‘fake news’ was reissued by Routledge in June 2018 and the Learning Revolution explained how the principles and teaching methods associated with instructional psychology can be applied to teaching foreign languages. Jonathan is currently an Optima Psychology and Honorary Research Fellow at University College London. Jonathan has received over £1m in funding to conduct research into raising attainments and preventing difficulties in reading, writing, spelling and maths. 

Is the English school curriculum white? British Values curriculum policy and colonial discourses: The case of Geography

Dr Christine Winter, University of Sheffield

Monday 14th January 2019 • 12.45-2.00pm • E22

Christine Winter is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, University of Sheffield, where she co-directs the Centre for Critical Psychology and Education. Her research focuses on the school curriculum with specific interests in curriculum knowledge, politics, policy and practice. She is Deputy Director of the Education, Childhood and Youth Pathway of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership, a post graduate training consortium across seven Northern Universities. She recently published, with China Mills: ‘The Psy-Security-Curriculum ensemble: British Values curriculum policy in English schools’ in Journal of Education Policy.

Using policy-informed evidence in early childhood education:
Bold beginnings, bias and circular discourses

Prof Elizabeth Wood, University of Sheffield

Thursday 7th February 2019 • 3.45-5.00pm • E7

Dr Elizabeth Wood is Professor of Education at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests include play in early childhood, specifically children’s social relationships, how they exercise choice and agency, the meaning of freedom, and the relationship between play and learning. Her recent research looks at how children blend traditional and digital forms of play, and the potential that this offers for developing curriculum and pedagogy. She is also working with Dr Liz Chesworth on a project looking at children’s interests in a multi-diverse setting, and with Dr Louise Kay and colleagues in Australian Catholic University on educational leadership in early childhood. Elizabeth is also interested in policy analysis and critique, the il(logic) of policy discourses, and their power effects.

Decolonizing Pedagogies: Black feminist reflections on race, faith and culture in higher education

Prof Heidi Mirza, Goldsmiths University of London

Friday 29th March 2019 • 12.45-2.00pm • GEO 002

Heidi Safia Mirza is Visiting Professor of Race, Faith and Culture at Goldsmith College, University of London and Emeritus Professor of Equalities Studies in Education at UCL Institute of Education. She is known for her pioneering intersectional research on race, gender and identity in education. She is author of several best-selling books including, ‘Young Female and Black’, which was voted in BERA’s top 40 most influential educational studies in Britain. Her other publications include ‘Black British Feminism, Race Gender and Educational Desire: Why black women succeed and fail’, and ‘Respecting Difference: Race, faith, and culture for teacher educators’. Her most recent co-edited book is ‘Dismantling Race in Higher Education: Racism, whiteness and decolonising the academy’.

Spinning Plates whilst Jumping Through Hoops – Did Barbie Have to Do This?

Dr Sarah Misra, Staffordshire University

Thursday 4th April 2019 • 3.45-5.00pm • B005

Sarah is a Senior Lecturer in Education for Staffordshire University and is passionate about social justice, wellbeing, gender equality and the role of education within these areas.  She has a particular interest in the lived experience of mothers and has a passion for mythology, folklore and feminine spiritual practices. She is the founder of the Staffordshire Red Tent and Motherwork both of which aim to support and empower women of all ages.

COOCS, Campfires and Gonzo Pedagogy: An exploration of the learning landscape when we go barefoot beyond the walls of the institution

Dr Peter Shukie, Blackburn College

Monday 20th May 2019 • 12.45-2.00pm • E7

Dr Peter Shukie is a lecturer in Education Studies at a college-based Higher Education institute in Blackburn. Peter’s work is focussed on creating critical pathways to engage with technology that emphasise praxis, a forging of theory and practice to create purposeful learning and teaching. Peter was the founder of COOCS.CO.UK and works with institutional and community educators to explore ways of teaching & learning beyond familiar and traditional spaces. He was awarded second place in the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Award (2018) and his technology modules were shortlisted for the TES FE Award for Outstanding use of Technology in Learning, Teaching and Assessment (2018); despite winning neither of these awards he remains upbeat about the possibilities of using technology to renew interest and engagement with learning in wide and diverse spaces.

Taking yourself seriously: Arts methodologies for social cohesion

Prof Kate Pahl, Manchester Metropolitan University

Tuesday 11th June 2019 • 3.45-5.00pm • E7

Kate Pahl is Professor of Arts and Literacy at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is currently involved in a number of projects, including a project called ‘Feeling Odd in the World of Education’ (AHRC funded) and a new GCRF/AHRC project called’ Belonging and learning’ exploring the use of arts methods with policy makers and practitioners to look at the experiences of street-connected young people in Uganda, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo. She has written books on literacy in communities and her most recent books have included thinking on co-production and creative methodologies.

Hosted with CLT

Gifted, Talented Exploring and Developing in the 21st Century

Dr Theeraphab Phetmalaikul, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand

23rd July 12:45-2pm Room CE003

To book: email [email protected]

In this presentation, Dr. Hug from Srinkharinwhirot University, Bangkok, will explore the notion of ‘gifted and talented’ children, with particular focus on the Thai context. It is hoped that the audience will share ideas, explore comparisons, and consider  future synergies between our universities.

Research Seminar Programme, 2017/18

To book your place please contact [email protected]

Download the programme abstracts (via eshare)

Professor Pete Dudley, University of Leicester

Why Lesson Study is Professional Learning for Our Time

Thursday 12th October 2017 • 12.45-2.00pm

Dr Reza Gholami, University of Birmingham

Citizenship, Policy and Extremisms of the Mainstream: Educational Responses for the Future

Monday 13th November 2017 • 3.45-5.00pm

Dr Arthur Chapman, Institute of Education, University College London

Changing LUK: Nation and narration in ‘Life in the United Kingdom’

Tuesday 5th December 2017 • 12.45-2.00pm E22

Dr Sadia Habib, Goldsmiths, University of London

The Teaching and Learning of Britishness and Fundamental British Values

Thursday 11th January 2018 • 3.45-5.00pm E5

Dr Pam Alldred, Brunel University London

Contrasting Education, Health and Youth Approaches to Sex Education: What might interprofessional learning be?

Dr Lawrence Foweather, Liverpool John Moores University

Movement skills: Fundamental to physical activity behaviour?

Professor Rachel Holmes, Manchester Metropolitan University

Curious work: Using art and film to understand children differently

Wednesday 2nd May 2018 • 12.45-2.00pm •*ROOM CHANGE* H3

Dr Wendy Symes, University of Birmingham

Tackling test anxiety: a randomised controlled trial of attention bias modification training in GCSE students with test anxiety

Tuesday 12th June 2018 • 12.45-2.00pm E2

Research Seminar Programme, 2016/17

To book your place and for the location of the seminars, please contact [email protected]

Download the programme abstracts.

How do Students and Educators in Higher Education talk about Learning, Learning Difference, and ‘Intelligence’?

Dr Harriet Cameron, University of Sheffield. Thursday 13th October 2016,  4.00-5.00pm , H243

From Little Acorns Mighty Oaks sometimes Grow: How Might we Nurture Them?

Dr Robbie Nicol, University of Edinburgh, Friday 11th November 2016 ,  1.00-2.00pm, LINC S1

Designing and Writing Intellectual Histories in Educational Research

Prof Helen Gunter, University of Manchester, Monday 12th December 2016 , 4.00-5.00pm, H240

Why Lesson Study is Professional Learning for Our Time

Prof Peter Dudley, University of Leicester, Thursday 12th January 2017 , 11-12 ,E17

The Social and Legal Aspects of Cyberbullying among University Students

Prof Helen Cowie, University of Surrey, Friday 10th February 2017 • 1.00-2.00pm,  H020

Authentic Performance Assessment

Prof Richard Kimbell, Goldsmiths University of London, Thursday 16th March 2017, 4.00-5.00pm , H202

Is there a Link between Hearing Difficulties and Dyslexia?

Prof Julia Carroll, Coventry University, Thursday 6th April 2017, 1.00-2.00pm, H201

Leading the Use of Research and Evidence in Schools

Dr Chris Brown, UCL Institute of Education, Friday 12th May 2017, 1.00-2.00pm,  H020

Reading for Pleasure: Positioning, Pedagogy and Participation

Prof Teresa Cremin, Open University, Monday 12th June 2017 , 4.00-5.00pm,  H201

To book your place, please contact [email protected]

Past Events


11th Annual Conference for Research in Education: Beyond the Neoliberal University: Re-Thinking Higher Education

This was the eleventh ACRE event to be held at Edge Hill University, bringing together researchers and educational professionals to consider Higher Education. The conference brought together researchers from diverse universities and settings to consider cross-cutting themes including community relationships with H.E., socially just institutions and questions of widening participation. Fore more information see the 2019 conference pages.

2019 Public Lecture Series

Three leading national and international scholars agreed to take part in a very timely and stimulating and powerful knowledge exchange public lecture series for 2019. We welcomed thoughts, reflections and ideas on the themes and questions raised by this free series of events.

Prof Anna Robinson-Pant

Women, Literacy and Health: a Nepal perspective

31st January 2019 – 12:30-2pm H204

Prof Alan Tuckett

Lifelong Learning in Changing Times

13th February 2019 – 12:30-2pm – Linc S1

Prof Simon McGrath

Skills Development for Human Development

11th April 2019 – 12:30-2pm B002


10th Annual Conference for Research in Education

This was the tenth ACRE event to be held at Edge Hill University, bringing together researchers and educational professionals to debate educational research and its impact. The conference is designed to attract a wide variety of papers and perspectives on interdisciplinary research and practice related to education and care.

Collaborative Action Research Network Conference

CARN was founded in 1976 in order to continue the development work of the Ford Teaching Project in UK primary and secondary schools. Since that time it has grown to become an international network drawing its members from educational, health, social care, commercial, and public services settings.


9th Annual Conference for Research in Education

This was the ninth ACRE event to be held at Edge Hill University, bringing together researchers and educational professionals to debate educational research and its impact. The conference was designed to attract a wide variety of papers and perspectives on interdisciplinary research and practice related to education and care.


ACRE 2022

Annual Conference for Research in Education (ACRE) 14th & 15th July 2022

Transitions and Transformations:

Educational Research in Rapidly Changing Contexts

Join us on our beautiful campus for what promises to be a welcoming and engaging event.

Download the Call for Papers

Submission details

We are inviting abstracts of 250 words; these can be submitted for:

  • Individual papers (20 minutes delivery)Photo of people listening in a work event.
  • Symposia  (3 related papers for a 1 hour session. The overall abstract of up to 750 words should be submitted)
  • Work in progress sessions (informal, 10 minute presentations with supportive feedback and discussion)
  • Digital posters (on a single PowerPoint slide).

Submission deadline: Midnight UK time 22nd April 2022 via


Last updated on Last updated on Was this page helpful? Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Please tell us more: