Session ASession BSession CSession D
Individual PapersIndividual PapersIndividual PapersIndividual Papers
Venue: 0.34Venue: 0.30Venue: 0.24Venue: 0.18
Chair: Francis FarrellChair: Naomi HodgsonChair: Vicky JamiesonChair: Marlena Chrostowska
Ben BroadhurstDelta WrightRavshonbek OjotanovJo Albin Clark,
Nick Lomax,
Seán Henry
Chiara ColomboNina SmithJacqueline Leigh,
Karen Connor 
Amanda Fulford,
David Aldridge
Lauren CliffordAlicia Blanco-Bayo,
Maria Reraki,
Annabel Yale
Bianca Thoilliez
Session A – Individual Papers (PGR)
Ben Broadhurst, EHU – Betwixt and between identities: how LGBTQ+ pre-service teachers’ navigate their identities whilst on teaching placement. 

The existing research on LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Queer+) teachers and pre-service teachers focuses on experiences of discrimination, victimisation, and harassment. The aim of the research being conducted is to explore the experiences and identities of LGBTQ+ pre-service teachers. As existing research focuses on teachers’ experiences rather than pre-service teachers and no studies have been sourced that have specifically investigated participants’ teaching placement experiences.

The research is drawing on Meyer’s Minority Stress and Mizzi’s Heteroprofessionalism. Meyer (2003) Minority stress theory model has been used broadly by psychologists to explain individuals who identify from a minority group within society, and this may impact their mental health effects. The model can therefore be particularly valuable for understanding LGBTQ+ pre-service teachers and the ‘stressors’ they are exposed to. Moreover, Mizzi’s Heteroprofessionalism, provides an understanding of the discourse LGBTQ+ pre-service teachers may be exposed to when trying to negotiate their professional identity. As often pre-service teachers must engage in professional behaviours which operate on professional values, and which are often ill-defined in educational settings which thus has the potential for the marginalisation of LGBTQ+ pre-service teachers.

Furthermore, the research will be using a narrative methodology to explore the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ pre-service teachers during their teaching placements and will use open-ended interviews to elicit participants’ experiences on placement. Once the data has been collected, it will have to be analysed through Braun and Clark six stage thematic analysis.

MEYER, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129, (5), 674-697.
MIZZI, D. (2013). The Challenges Faced By Science Teacheby When Teaching outside Their Specific Science Specialism. Acta Didactica Naocensia, 6, 44-46.

Chiara Colombo, EHU – Deficit based language discourse in education policy and practice: the crafting of race and class injustice in East Lancashire secondary schools

A body of recent work (e.g. Cushing 2023; Cushing & Snell 2022) has exposed how racist and classist discourses about language are actively written into education policy in England. These policies frame the language practices of marginalised children as deficient and sub-standard when compared against their white, middle-class counterparts, positioning them as in need of emergency remediation if they are to achieve success in school.

This proposed research seeks to critically explore the affective dimensions of such policies, tracing how they get translated/enacted into practice, and what this means for the lived experiences of racialised, low-income children. It does so by visiting schools in the East Lancashire’s cities and towns such as Blackburn, which is one of the most economically deprived and racially diverse parts of England. Blackburn has long been a site of mass immigration and racial tensions, yet it is woefully undocumented in academic work.

Through interviews, archival work, policy analysis and community engagement, this research will explore issues pertaining to linguistic and racial identity, neoliberal policy pressures, and the role of discourses about language in the crafting of social (in)justice.

Lauren Clifford, EHU – Co-creating meaningful school-based research with schools, for schools, and why this feels different.

From a research perspective, novel ways of working with schools when addressing whole school physical activity are needed. The Higher Education Institution partnership between Edge Hill University and Together an Active Future (Sport England’s Local Delivery Pilot for Pennine Lancashire) has allowed us to engage with school staff in a different way and is structured on having an embedded researcher (outsider) who works closely with the Active Schools lead (alongsider) and the middle leader (insider). Middle leaders are schoolteachers who have undertaken a skills development opportunity that invests in their personal and professional development, whilst supporting them to lead positive change across their own school. This structure (outsider-alongsider-insider) has been central to the planning, delivery, and dissemination of meaningful child-level research outputs within a whole-system approach to physical activity.

By working alongside middle leaders, the research team has experienced a higher response in return of consent and participation in the research and has enabled distributed and collective leadership whereby middle leaders are administrating some of the research themselves. The impact of doing things differently has led to meaningful outputs that schools are able to digest and use to continue making improvements to their school, as well as developing a social network of teachers who are committed to working with researchers to contribute to the evidence base. Outputs include 24-hour movement behaviours, mental health outcomes, motor competence, physical literacy, and cognitive function. Schools are complex, dynamic systems which require a different approach to embedding physical activity across the school day

The findings also reveal that schools, navigating the current policy environment combined with long CAMHS waiting lists, can inadvertently exacerbate the distress of pupils already grappling with mental ill health. The backlog in CAMHS referrals further burdens teachers, who must support pupils’ deteriorating mental health, without appropriate qualifications or guidance.

Session B – Individual Papers (PGR)
Delta Wright, EHU – Crisis-Informed Pedagogies for Tertiary STEM Education: The Role of the 6Ps Crisis Management Framework

This working paper presents the conceptual 6P’s crisis management framework (CMF); developed to be an effective tool to continue tertiary STEM education in Jamaican community colleges in times of public health and environmental crises. 6Ps consists of People, Pedagogy, Practicalities, Preparedness, Policy and Progression – aspects that need to be considered in the unique context of higher education when a crisis strikes.

Existing crisis management models prioritise crisis prevention. This 6Ps CMF, specific to education, has crisis prevention potential, but is focused on alleviating the effects of an ongoing crisis on teaching and learning. Drawing on stakeholder theory, I aim to illustrate how the 6Ps CMF prioritises the identification and development of crisis-informed pedagogies that are relevant and attentive to the unique needs of STEM educators and learners.

During the 2020-2022 COVID-19 lockdown, the Jamaican government mandated the use of emergency remote teaching (ERT), a type of crisis pedagogy. However, this had significant implications on STEM education, bringing the practical aspects to a halt. Jamaican community colleges were not equipped to facilitate ERT because of a lack of online systems prior to the COVID-19 lockdown leading to an improvisation of STEM education continuity.

As crisis frequencies are increasing with a risk factor of “inevitable”, there is an urgent need to find solutions for STEM education continuity now and in the future. The 6Ps CMF, offers that solution for educators to plan and select appropriate STEM pedagogies to continue the practical aspects of STEM education in times of crises and beyond.

Adarkwah M, Agyemang E. (2022) Forgotten frontline workers in higher education: Aiding Ghana in the COVID-19 recovery process. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C. 127: 103-202.

Bacon K L, Peacock J. (2021). Sudden challenges in teaching ecology and aligned disciplines during a global pandemic: Reflections on the rapid move online and perspectives on moving forward. Ecol Evol. 11: 35513558.

DeCoito I and Estaiteyeh M. (2022) Transitioning to Online Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic: an Exploration of STEM Teachers’ Views, Successes and Challenges. Journal of Science Education and Technology. 31: 340-356.

Nina Smith, EHU – Girls, Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention in Schools

The mental health of school-aged adolescents has emerged as a pressing concern, particularly with the rise in self-harm and suicidal behaviour post-pandemic. Schools have been identified by government policy as a setting to intervene in the green paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’ (2017) and in the new Suicide Prevention Strategy for England: 2023 – 2028. This research article explores the unintended consequences of schools shouldering this responsibility while simultaneously contending with the pressure to enhance academic performance. The impact on particularly ‘at-risk’ pupils, who are already known to self-harm and exhibit suicidal behaviour, is explored alongside the challenges teachers face when teaching these pupils.

This study, conducted through in-depth qualitative interviews with both pupils and a mental health lead and teacher, sheds light on the unintended consequences of current policy vagueness and insufficient mental health training. As a result, there is inconsistent and sometimes inappropriate delivery of mental health content, which heightens pupils’ distress and diminishes teachers’ job satisfaction. The findings suggest that the trust and relationships between pupils and teachers are eroded due to inadequate mental health knowledge and lack of teacher time, negatively impacting both parties’ mental health. Moreover, the study highlights the hierarchy of priorities in schools, where education takes precedence over mental health, creating frustration among teachers and resentment among pupils.
The findings also reveal that schools, navigating the current policy environment combined with long CAMHS waiting lists, can inadvertently exacerbate the distress of pupils already grappling with mental ill health. The backlog in CAMHS referrals further burdens teachers, who must support pupils’ deteriorating mental health, without appropriate qualifications or guidance.

The findings also reveal that schools, navigating the current policy environment combined with long CAMHS waiting lists, can inadvertently exacerbate the distress of pupils already grappling with mental ill health. The backlog in CAMHS referrals further burdens teachers, who must support pupils’ deteriorating mental health, without appropriate qualifications or guidance.
This study sheds light on the complexities and challenges inherent in the current school-based mental health policy landscape, offering valuable and unique insights from both pupils and teachers, including the newly created role of ‘mental-health lead’. Recommendations include the priority of the voices of young people with lived experience of mental ill health, improved mental health training for educators, and ring-fenced funding for schools to employ mental health professionals. It also highlights the potential for international comparative analysis to discover innovation and good practice from overseas as the lead researcher is now undertaking a Churchill Fellowship to discover practical and policy insights from Australia and the USA.

Session C – Individual Papers
Dr Ravshonbek Ojotanov, Queen Mary, University of London – Fostering student metacognition using compulsory formative assessments

I will present and discuss results of my ongoing study of using formative assessments to cultivate self-regulated learning among undergraduate students enrolled on an undergraduate economics course for non-business students. It is the first endeavour into learning economics for most of the students on the course. Certain students encounter difficulties in assimilating the course content, particularly finding quantitative elements to be more demanding and challenging to understand and internalise. This may lead to poor engagement with the learning and teaching materials consequently achieving lower than average results in assessments. In my presentation, I will discuss my ongoing experimentation with formative assessments to develop metacognitive skills that enable the students to become self-regulated learners and improve their performance.


Educators strive to achieve a pivotal objective: nurturing students into autonomous learners capable of orchestrating, overseeing, assessing, and adapting their own learning methodologies. This pursuit revolves around cultivating metacognitive abilities within students. Metacognition, colloquially put, entails ‘thinking about thinking’. Prevailing research underscores the notion that students endowed with robust metacognitive skills outperform their counterparts who are deficient in such skills (Stanton et al., 2021).

Many students do not have metacognition skills when they begin their courses. So, how do we help students develop metacognitive skills? There are various methods instructors can implement in their courses to help foster students’ cognitive skills.
Instructors can guide students in the refinement of learning strategies by incorporating skill-enhancing annotations, activities, and educational materials into the curriculum. A pragmatic and effective approach involves engaging students in explicit discussions about metacognitive strategies at different junctures throughout the course. However, the efficacy of this method remains uncertain, as the responsibility lies with students to heed the instructors’ guidance.

Formative assessments

One approach that helped me promote metacognitive skills among my students is the use of formative assessments. Formative assessments are a great way to develop students into self-regulating learners (Zhao, 2019). When integrated into course content as an ongoing compulsory process, formative assessments can promote metacognitive behaviours among students. This approach enriches and improves student experience and encourages students to enhance their awareness of own thinking and learning. Functioning as a diagnostic instrument for both the instructors and students, formative assessment is indispensable in advancing self-regulated learning behaviours.
In my presentation and discussion, I will show supporting evidence (learning analytics and student feedback) on the effectiveness of using formative assessments for developing metacognitive skills among students.

Stanton, J., Sebesta, A. & Dunlosky, J. (2021) Fostering Metacognition to Support Student Learning and Performance. CBE—Life Sciences Education. 20:fe3, 1–7.
Zhao, Q. (2019) Study and Practice of Formative Assessment Based on Metacognitive Strategy. Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research. 82, pp. 45-48.

Professor Jacqueline Leigh, Dr Karen Connor, EHU – Using Experience Based Co-Design to Promote Learner Support and Sense of Belongingness

Recognised is how the nursing and midwifery professions are extremely challenging, rewarding, and unique, requiring undergraduate students to develop a diverse range of skills and attributes, including being able to work independently and as part of a multi-professional team ( Knight et al., (2023) . Putting our students first, ensuring that they feel a sense of belonging and have an identity is important to all academics in our school. But also, it is important that academic and administration staff feel a sense of belonging to Edge Hill University, to those teams that they work within and to students that they support.

The Nursing & Midwifery Senior Leadership Team have identified and clarified six School strategic functions that are being operationalised through the delivery of our unique Whole School Improvement Project (WSiP):

  1. Academic Planning, Organization, & Quality Assurance
  2. Pre-Registration programme design, delivery, teaching, learning & assessment
  3. Student Recruitment, Retention, Progression, Completion & Employability
  4. Student Experience (Engagement & Voice)
  5. Staff experience, development, and retention
  6. Research, Scholarship, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships & Research Informed Teaching

This presentation will demonstrate how the application of Experience-Based Co-Design(EBCD) ( Twamlkey et al., (2023) , an innovative educational research methodology can help us to capture and understand students and staff perceived experiences of the six functional aspects of WSIP and to co-design improvements/enhancements that that are promoting student and staff sense of belonging and identity. Enhancements include staff and student partnerships to our curricula and extra/wider curricula activity.

Key words
Educational Research Methodology , Pedagogic evaluation, student/staff experience, Experience Based Co-Design (EBCD), Service Improvement


Knight, K. H., Wright, K., Whaley, V., Roberts, D., Monks, R., Borwell, J., Garrow, A., Leigh, J., Kenny, A. & Bailey-McHale, R., (2023) , Learning the rules of the game: how health and social care students learn to learn, In: British Journal of Nursing. 32 (9): 404-406
Twamley, J., Monks, R. & Beaver, K., (2023) Using experience-based co-design to prioritise areas for improvement for patients recovering from critical illness, Intensive & Critical Care Nursing. 76: 103390

Dr Alicia Blanco-Bayo, Dr Maria Reraki, Dr Annabel Yale, EHU –  “What does it mean to have an Early Years ethos for the Tik Tok generation?” ​A Spaniard, a Greek and a Psychologist tell​ their stories of care as Higher Education lecturers.

In this paper, we explore three unique and diverse experiences to start a ‘dialogue’ about our perspectives of care as lecturers in a non-teaching Early Years (EY) degree. We delve into Marchant’s (1999) description of education as a process where the educator engages in a loving relationship with the learners. Moreover, we explore how care is present in the emotional exchanges between lecturers and students and becomes the thread that binds us and sustains us as all; lecturers and students (Anderson et al., 2020). In this process, the theoretical framework builds on the notion of care as an intense relational process (Bulat Silva, 2020; Cameron & Moss, 2007) that challenges the value of emotional exchanges between lecturers and students (Gibbs, 2017) on an EY non-teaching degree.

Through a reflexive lens, we use case studies (Hadinata and Farlow Mendrofa, 2021) to examine our own reality as HE lecturers preparing EY practitioners guided by an interpretative paradigm (Denicolo, Long & Bradley-Cole, 2016). We endeavour to discuss and handle sensitive issues carefully and phrase them prudently so that vulnerabilities are considered and protected. Based on our current planning and thinking, our dialogue will shed light on the concept of care and how this influences and has been influenced by current student populations living through social media.

We aim to develop a framework that challenges the perception of care in HE as a non-emotional process and redefines what it means to have an EY ethos. By considering the influence social media has on the current HE generation (generation Z – Khlaif & Salha, 2021) we intend to re-contextualise the notion of care in HE.

Keywords: Ethos, care, love, Early Years, Higher education.

Session D – Individual Papers
Dr Jo Albin Clark, Nick Lomax, Dr Seán Henry, EHU – Queering supervision:  What does it mean to supervise educational research with queer, creative and playful approaches to methodology and method?

Our paper presents our experiences as tutor and student of supervision dialogues from a master’s level research project that nurtured dialogic and relational approaches. From a basis of putting queer methodologies and methods to work, we approach research praxis as a challenge to normative subjects and subjectivities that include gendered identities (Browne and Nash, 2016).

This means that our supervision dialogues went through a process of queering, in that many discussions looped back to question, trouble and explore with our own personal histories and experiences. It also brought some thought-provoking discussions on what generating and creating data means when the ideas we thought with were continually re-stabilising, on the move and in a state of becoming. In particular we problematise what might be described as normative methods of data generation such as interviews. From here we ponder what it means to repurpose research tools and processes in light of queer methodologies and bring creative and playful approaches to thinking with meanings and theorisations (Burnard et al 2022).

What is interesting to note is how queer methodologies has led us to question the nature of supervision as a heteronormative and paternalist practice. From this position we offer some insights into what attitudes and dispositions were helpful in queering supervision and find that some affective moments had resonances (Ardiles et al. 2023). With affective moments related to relationalities, atmospheres and identities we illustrate our argument with three small vignettes from our supervisory dialogues to put forward the benefits and rich potentialities of queering research processes.

Ardiles, T., Bravo González, P. and González Weil, C. (2023) ‘Decolonising master’s supervision by queering/enfletando the process: opening decolonial cracks through fleta reflexivity’, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 44(8), pp. 1321–1340. doi: 10.1080/01425692.2023.2240527.

Burnard, P., Mackinlay, E., Rousell, D. and Dragovic, T., 2022. Doing rebellious research: in and beyond the academy (Vol. 23). Brill.

Browne, K. and Nash, C.J., 2016. Queer methods and methodologies: Intersecting queer theories and social science research. Taylor & Francis.

Professor Amanda Fulford, Professor David Aldridge, EHU – Transforming Doctoral Education in the Academy: The Enabling and Endangering Aspects of Artificial Intelligence

`Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer the preserve of a few with interest in large language models and machine-based learning; it has passed into our everyday parlance and, furthermore, is fundamentally reshaping the higher education landscape. Evidence suggests, and education professionals report, that AI generated content is already having a significant impact on academic text production which calls into question the nature of knowledge creation in the academy.

It is clear that AI has huge potential in terms of supporting scholars with routine tasks related to their research, empowering them to engage in more innovative ways such that their research has wider impact. The affordances of AI could help support increased productivity, transform the research journey, and potentially lead to higher quality outputs. Yet at the same time there are significant concerns. The ethical use of AI systems, and their responsible use as part of the research process, is a fast-paced and growing field of enquiry. In this paper we reflect on a further question in an (as yet) under-researched, yet vital area of the Academy’s work: How is AI impacting on doctoral training for researchers in a higher education? How can universities continue to cultivate creative, critical, autonomous, and ethical researchers who at the same time embrace the transformative technology that AI offers?The paper will initially report on a larger project that engages with the ‘moral panic’ around AI by explaining that AI technology has been able to establish itself so swiftly on the educational scene because educational practices and institutions have already become to an extent ‘artificially intelligent’, so the problems and questions being addressed in those institutions are ones to which AI naturally presents as an answer. The outcomes that are feared to result from embedding AI – lack of creativity, plagiarism, reproduction of information without deep understanding, etc. – are already deeply embedded in higher education, even at the level of doctoral research. The teaching of research methods on doctoral training courses in social sciences, as exemplified by an examination of some of the classic textbooks, is a case in point. Information about ‘methodology’, ‘paradigms’, ‘ontological and epistemological assumptions’ and so on are reproduced without deep understanding by processes of memetic transfer, procedural approaches to undertaking research, and non-specialist teaching; to such an extent that the ‘ontology and epistemology’ section of most empirical research theses could be written more efficiently by AI technology, would be more intelligible, and would save everyone a lot of time and bother. Or they could be abandoned altogether.

Following this, the paper will argue that while the advent of AI has led universities to adopt pragmatic policies with regard to the use of generative tools such as ChatGTP and Microsoft Copilot for use with undergraduates, the use of such tools within the postgraduate research community has been less well documented, and regulated. They attempt to lay out some of the principles governing what might constitute the ethical use of AI in doctoral education, and consider further the changing modes of doctoral education that might be needed in the future where AI plays an increasingly significant role and explore what this means for the idea of the academic supervisor.

Professor Bianca Thoilliez, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid – The Digital Age and the Impossible Joke. Some Higher Education Implications 

In the age of digital communication, our interactions have become increasingly mediated by screens, leading to profound changes in how we express ourselves. One aspect of this transformation is the way in which irony and humour are navigated in our conversations, both online and offline. This presentation delves into the concept of “The Impossible Joke,” examining how digital media have robotized our communication to the extent that traditional forms of irony and humour are rendered ineffective.

As digital communication pervades various aspects of our lives, specifically our life in Higher Education institutions, from casual chats to formal meetings, the rigid codes inherent in written communication transcend screens and shape our interactions in unexpected ways. Building upon previous analyses of ironic forms of sarcasm, satire, and wit (Thoilliez, 2024), this presentation seeks to explore the literature concerned with the implications of the impossibility of joking about political issues and in Higher Education contexts.

Drawing on works by scholars such as Bonete (2023), Gerchunoff (2019), Lijtmaer (2019), and Soto (2021, 2022), I plan to investigate how the inability to engage in humor impacts communal life, the continuity of democracy, and educational practices in our universities.