Research Events


Research Seminar Programme, 2020/21

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

Please email to book or if you have any queries.

‘Why education is not just about innovating’ 8th December 12 noon

Prof Bianca Thoilliez, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain

Tuesday 8th December at 12 noon

Please email


We live in a time of the imperative of innovation, of change, of transformation for the school and its professionals.

Photo of Prof Bianca Thoilliez

Prof Bianca Thoilliez

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).

‘Argumentation at the Interface of Science and RE’ 12th January 12 noon

Photo of Prof Erduran

Prof Sibel Erduran

Prof Sibel Erduran, University of Oxford

Tuesday 12th  January  12-1 pm.


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).


Past Seminars

Research Seminar Programme, 2020/21

‘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.


12:45-1:00pm – Refreshments

1:00-1:40pm – Seminar

1:40-2:00pm – Q&A

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

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

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

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


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 2020

CANCELLED 12th Annual Conference on Education Research (ACRE)

13-15th July, 2020 (including Doctoral Day for postgraduate presenters)

To view details of our 2019 conference, see the conference pages. To join our mailing list about the event, please contact the ACRE team via

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