Session ASession BSession CSession D
Individual PapersWorkshopIndividual PapersWorkshop
Venue: 0.34Venue: 2.03Venue: 0.24Venue: 2.09
Chair: David AldridgeChair: Marlena Chrostowska
Paul SmalleyHeather MarshallGwenda MynottJo Albin-Clark,
Alicia Blanco Bayo,
Karen Boardman,
Chrystal Franklin   
Victoria Jefferies,
Tu Nguyen, 
Clare Woolhouse 
Seán HenryJane Calcutt

Victoria Jamieson

Caroline Jones
Session A – Individual Papers
Paul Smalley, EHU – Evaluating the impact of a residential subject knowledge summer school as an impactful form of CPD for teachers

This paper will outline an innovative approach to Teacher CPD which is offered by the Edge Hill RE Summer School. It will firstly outline the variety of activities that occur during the week and compare this with what the literature suggests are the markers of quality professional development. Drawing upon rich data from participants it will evaluate the impact that such a week has on teacher confidence and performance. It will suggest that this form of CPD is highly effective and potentially offers a model for other subject areas and providers.

Dr Seán Henry, EHU – Up Schitt’s Creek?: Comedy as a slantwise pedagogical encounter with queerness

Pedagogical approaches to learning about LGBTQI+ themes and experiences remain a largely under-studied topic in teacher education. In response to this gap, the purpose of this paper is to offer reflections on the pedagogical value of comedy for exploring such themes and experiences in teacher education, focusing especially on the situational comedy (sitcom) Schitt’s Creek. We suggest that the sitcom offers teacher education an opportunity for ‘slantwise’ pedagogical encounters with LGBTQI+ themes and experiences, i.e., non-affronting encounters that resist damage-centred narratives of LGBTQI+ people and are open to multiple queer futures.

In exploring how the sitcom offers teacher educators and student teachers these kinds of encounters, I provide a reading of three episodes of Schitt’s Creek through a ‘queer utopian’ lens. I accompany this analysis with prompts for teacher educators to use in discussing these episodes in the teacher education classroom.

The piece concludes with some thoughts on the significance of comedy for exploring the relationship between affect, education, and social justice more generally.

Dr Victoria Jamieson, EHU – “What’s the point in this assignment and how is writing this going to help me get a job?”: Finding Space for a Richly Transformative Learning Experience within Initial Teacher Education.

This working paper explores the role of the lecturer in the context of initial teacher education (ITE).

As a starting point, I offer an illustration from my own teaching practice, in which a student posed the question, ‘What’s the point in this assignment and how is writing this going to help me get a job?’ This vignette is a starting point to explore what might have led to my subsequent closing down of the question, rather than seeing it as an opportunity to open up a dialogic inquiry around the module’s value – ironically, a module on ‘values in education’.

From here, I problematise some of the dominant discourses within Higher Education, those around employability, student outcomes, and ‘knowledge’ that is privileged, which I go on to suggest hinder the lecturer’s capacities to facilitate a richly transformative learning journey. The firm framing, I argue, of what counts as a quality education (Ofsted, 2023) poses the danger that new teachers enter the profession and perpetuate the hierarchy of intellectual capacity, in which they develop a ‘mother tongue’ for children’s education by hearing and retaining, imitating, and repeating, as a process that may constrain future teachers from understanding, or seeing the whole child.

I consider if, where, and how we might find space for risk, uncertainty, and unfinishedness in the midst of the demands of the ITE framework. Specifically, I explore the possibilities of Socratic questioning in resisting the traditional hierarchy of intellectual capacity, and one where student teachers are encouraged to see the beginnings of their own ability to facilitate one’s own learning and move towards intellectual emancipation (Biesta, 2018).

Session B – Workshop
Dr Heather Marshall, EHU – Embracing Diversity and Equity in Education: A Workshop on Implementing an Anti-Racism Framework in Teacher Training

This workshop is designed to introduce educators and trainers to the innovative anti-racism framework developed for Initial Teacher Education/Training. The framework, informed by a comprehensive global literature review, addresses the critical need for racial equity in education. Participants will explore effective strategies and pedagogies for mitigating racial inequities and fostering sustainable, inclusive educational practices.

The workshop aims to equip current and future teachers and those involved with ITE with the skills and awareness necessary to teach in diverse, multicultural environments, emphasising the importance of racial literacy and the challenges of institutional racism in education. It is hoped that this transformative journey is a step towards creating an equitable and inclusive educational landscape.


· Case Study Analysis (participants analyse the case studies, identify the issues, and propose strategies to address them using the framework.)

· Curriculum Audit (Identify areas where the curriculum could be more inclusive and suggest modifications or additions.)

· Action Planning (creating a personal or institutional action plan to promote racial equity.)

· Community Mapping Activity (to identify local resources and stakeholders that support racial equity in education.)

Anti-racism framework for Initial Teacher Education/Training: Global Literature Review

Session C – Individual Papers
Dr Gwenda Mynott, Liverpool John Moores University – Questioning the ideal of the good student: a qualitative study into how business students view their own learning

This paper will present an investigation into the ideal of the good student and the value attributed to independent learning. The notion of independent learning and the good student is one of the bedrocks of higher education and as such little has been written that questions the underlying assumptions about their worthiness (Leathwood, 2006). Instead, most of the research in this area looks at how we can support students to become good, independent and successful learners. My research aims to illuminate the student view of what a good learner is.

The sample group in my study was undergraduate business students; business students are frequently thought of as being career focused and outcome driven to the detriment of their development as independent learners (Jabbar et al, 2018). My findings form the basis of my argument that the idealised norm of the good student, who is independent in their learning and whose engagement and success is measurable, is unrealistic and therefore problematic. How the participants talked about what learning and success means to them was nuanced and frequently about emotion rather than grades. This contrasted with how the participants felt that lecturers measured learning and success which was far more bluntly via grades and attendance data.

My study is significant in that it calls into question some of the everyday assumptions that permeate much of higher education and provides a basis for seeing students and their learning differently. This has implications for policy, practice and research.

Jabbar, A., Analoui, B., Kong, K., & Mirza, M. (2018). Consumerisation in UK higher education business schools: higher fees, greater stress and debatable outcomes. Higher Education, 76(1), 85-100. doi:10.1007/s10734-017-0196-z
Leathwood, C. (2006). Gender, equity and the discourse of the independent learner in higher education. Higher Education, 52(4), 611-633.

Dr Jane Calcutt, EHU – Supporting Social and Emotional Development of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Trainees: a democratic evaluation of seminar pedagogy

This case study explored student and tutor views on social and emotional skills in the preparation of future primary school teachers within a university in the north-west of England. Positioned as democratic evaluation, participants were asked to identify seminar contexts and activities they deemed successful, current barriers to social and emotional learning, and recommend changes in future content and delivery. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken that included questions on aspects of motivation, communication, and confidence, as these were concepts identified from a review of the literature. Interviews took place online and were video recorded to generate transcriptions.

While initial themes were identified via a deductive approach, inductive analysis then illustrated patterns and trends within these categories. Responses highlighted particular issues in programme structure, content, assessment and tutor variance. Students and tutors raised concerns related to a saturated curriculum, perceived irrelevance of some content and subsequent impact on engagement. Motivation was viewed as the primary factor for creating a culture where social and emotional development can flourish.

On the basis of these findings, adaptations are proposed for curriculum design and tutor effectiveness with an emphasis on andragogy as an adult learner-centred approach. Suggestions are offered for future faculty and potential sector-wide initiatives, including revised module structures and content, teacher educator professional development, and alternatives ways of engaging both students and staff in programme evaluation.

Caroline Jones, Manchester Met University – Under increasing pressure in the wake of covid-19: a systematic literature review of the factors affecting UK undergraduates with consideration of engagement, belonging, alienation and resilience

This presentation will focus upon the results of the recent publication ‘Under increasing pressure in the wake of covid-19: a systematic literature review of the factors affecting UK undergraduates with consideration of engagement, belonging, alienation and resilience’. In addition, time will be factored in at the end for questions and answers. For further information regarding this study, the abstract can be found below;


This literature review systematically analyses publications and articles up to mid-2023 related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the field of HE, specifically identifying pressures that students are experiencing. The aim of the review was to identify insights into the tensions faced by students in HE following their experiences of educational interruptions due to COVID-19.

Additionally, this review explored the literature relating to the personal, professional, academic and societal pressures experienced by HE students. Student engagement, sense of belonging, alienation and resilience in a post-pandemic context was also examined. Results suggest that the effects of COVID-19 have increased pressure on HE students in multifaceted and interconnecting ways. Post-pandemic, students’ mental health and wellbeing is significantly reducing resilience. Issues facing the cohort of students currently at school will filter on into HE if not actioned. Therefore, Government and HEIs need to address the macro, meso and micro after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To do this, further focussed research is needed into post-pandemic HEI support systems and practical pedagogical strategies. HEIs could examine the effects of stress and anxiety resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and could apply conceptual tools and educational theories to influence future strategies to increase students’ resilience, engagement, sense of belonging and thus academic resilience.

Session D – Workshop
Dr Jo Albin-Clark et al, EHU – Knowing and doing children’s rights: How do rights agendas become entangled and embodied in higher education pedagogy and curriculum? Members of the CARE research network

In this workshop we narrate how children’s rights shape, produce and trouble higher education pedagogy and curriculum as tutors, researchers and postgraduate students. According to international treaties, children are viewed as citizens with rights (OHCHR, 1989). Yet, the rights of children can be marginalised, tokenistic and sometimes absent. For student teachers, they can find rights agendas have little reach in contemporary classrooms.

Here, we foreground knowledge of child rights as a matter of social and educational justice. These influences will be viewed through multiples lenses, such as how child rights shape scholarship, pedagogy and professional practice.

First, the tutors outline how rights agendas entangle with their academic identity through putting theory to work in research praxis and research network activity. Second, students describe how finding rights narratives become embodied and what connections and disjunctions surface between theory and practice. By illuminating how the marginalisation of rights agendas are resisted, we turn to notice what such subversions do.

The workshop will be creative in nature, and welcome participants to reflect on their own embodiments of child rights agendas through practical activities. In sharing and telling personalised stories, we ponder the affectivities of resistance practices that create the potential for rights agendas to flourish. With different lenses, we offer ideas for future higher education policy, research and practice based on lived and sensed experiences. From there, we offer future provocations for the critical place of rights in educational agendas that can foreground the view of a child as a competent and participatory member of society.


Albin-Clark, J. & Archer, N., 2023. Playing social justice: How do early childhood teachers enact the right to play through resistance and subversion? 5 (2), pp. 1–22. Available from:

Boardman, K., 2022. Where are the children’s voices and choices in educational settings’ early reading policies? A reflection on early reading provision for under-threes. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 30(1), pp.131-146.

Blanco-Bayo, A., 2020. “It doesn’t matter because I love you”. A case study examining the interpretation of Behaviour Classification Tables and Positive Behaviour Support models. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 25(2), pp.155-168.

Cassidy, C., Wall, K., Robinson, C., Arnott, L., Beaton, M., & Hall, E., 2022. Bridging the theory and practice of eliciting the voices of young children: findings from the Look Who’s Talking project. [online]. 30 (1), pp. 32–47. Available from:

Lilja, M., & Vinthagen, S. 2018. Dispersed resistance: Unpacking the spectrum and properties of glaring and everyday resistance. Journal of Political Power, 11(2), 211-229. doi:10.1080/2158379X.2018.1478642

Murray, J., Smith, K., & Swadener, B., 2019. The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Rights. Taylor and Francis. Available from:

Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, (OHCHR), 1989. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Available from:

Robinson, C., 2021. Lost in translation: the reality of implementing children’s right to be heard. pp. 29–39.

Roberts-Holmes, G. & Moss, P., 2021. Neoliberalism and early childhood education: Markets, imaginaries and governance. Routledge.

Souto-Manning, M., 2017. Is play a privilege or a right? And what’s our responsibility? On the role of play for equity in early childhood education. 187 (5–6), 785–787. Available from:

Woolhouse, C. 2019. Conducting photo methodologies with children: framing ethical concerns