Victoria Jamieson

Name: Victoria Jamieson
Department: Primary and Childhood Education
Current position: GTA
Location: Ormskirk Main Campus, Faculty of Education

PhD Thesis Abstract

The magnitude of economic disadvantage, poverty, and social inequality suggests that the issue of social justice demands our attention now, more than ever. Discourses around social justice within education are often premised on a pragmatic agenda; placing emphasis on changing the individual, rather than addressing structural social inequalities. Education is increasingly dominated by global priorities, namely: economic and intellectual concerns with an emphasis on the self; this perpetuates the notion that individual merit and success amounts to the “good life”. I call for an awakening to the current framework for education, which I argue detracts our attention from ethical, political, and sociological concerns, by directing the gaze towards the competitive intellectual virtues. Drawing on Biesta (2016), I suggest that there is the need for education to open up the space to think about what it is to live with, and respond responsibly to the Other in relation to social justice. I consider the possibilities of community of philosophical inquiry (CoPI) with children and young people to open up a discourse to rethink relations to the Other – learning from the Other, not about the Other. Within my thesis I explore three key themes: the risk and exposure of the self, and to the Other central to social justice; an attentiveness to the Other and issues of social injustice; and transformation of the self, concerning how one comes to see the Other in relation to social justice. I draw on a range of philosophical thinkers including Emmanuel Levinas, Iris Murdoch and Jan Masschelein; with Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain connecting these key themes. I suggest that in a turn away from the Self, and through a knowing of and an encounter with the realities of social justice, one comes to better know the experiences of the Other, and this knowledge they hold demands one to exercise the necessary virtue towards the Other.

Teaching Experience

      • PED3016 SEND Minor Specialism Module 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021

      • CYP2002 Children’s Development through the Primary Curriculum 2019-2020, 2020-2021




  • Conference paper: ‘Carving Out a Space within Education for Children and Young People to Become More Attentive the Other in Relation to Social Justice’. Philosophy of Education PGR Conference ‘Education and the Future’, September 2020.

  • Conference presentation: ‘Exploring Conceptions of Social Justice with Young People: Using Philosophical Inquiry as a Method’. Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Annual Conference (postponed: March 2020).

  • Conference presentation: ‘Negotiating a Methodological Labyrinth: Transcending the Traditional Boundaries of Philosophical and Qualitative Research’. PGR Symposium Edge Hill University, February 2020.

Further information

PGCTHE & Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Co-Founder Philosophy of Education Reading Network

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