Session ASession BSession CSession DSession E
Individual PapersIndividual PapersIndividual PapersIndividual PapersWorkshop
Venue: 1.47Venue: 1.40Venue: 1.31Venue: 1.30Venue: 2.09
Chair: Vicky JamiesonChair: Maria RerakiChair: Glenn MillingtonChair: Naomi Hodgson
Jo Albin-ClarkSteve ClarkMegan DavisMarlena
Amee Yostrakul
Jane Bartholomew
Virginia Kay
Clare Woolhouse
Peter Hick Francis Farrell Keisha Ann Stewart
Victoria Jeffries
Jo Albin-Clark
Christine LewisVicky Duckworth
Session A – Individual papers
Dr Jo Albin Clark, EHU – Data-ghost 👻 dialogues: Playing and questioning future directions with hauntology and posthuman theories in educational research-creation.


In this experimental research-creation paper, I put to work 3D digital artworks to imagine dialogues between myself and my 👻 data-ghosts that question the direction of early childhood educational research methodologies that work with posthuman and hauntological theories. By conceptualising 👻 data-ghosts as unpredictable kinds of haunting data that irritate and disrupt over and through time, I unfold the vulnerabilities of ethical-responsibility where the spectral is embraced. Because posthuman and hauntological theories have a small and growing scholarship in early childhood that move away from the humancentric as starting points for enquiry, it is useful to pose questions that might guide its future.

Through using arts-based practices, I visualise 👻 data-ghosts to ponder what or who might be absent (or present, or just not here yet) to trouble the social justice issues bound up with being and becoming response-able education researchers working without methodological roadmaps. Through this paper I imagine the kinds of answers my 👻 data-ghosts might give to ethical conundrums that research practice throws in my path:

What do hauntings want of research?

How do posthuman and hauntology relate?

Why do hauntings bring our attention to ethical response-ability beyond the human in research praxis?

Where do hauntings take us in imagining the future ghost(s) of data(s) yet to come?

What can dialogue with our 👻 data-ghosts do to interrupt research and take alternative pathways that work with educational justice and early childhood research?


Albin-Clark, J. (2022). Becoming haunted by a data-ghost in early childhood education documentation practices. Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry, 14(1), 35-54. doi:
Albin-Clark, J. (2023). Documenting data-ghosts: Visualising non-human life and death through what is undocumented in early childhood education. Journal of Posthumanism, 3(1), 59-71. doi:
Berger, I., Ashton, E., Lehrer, J., & Pighini, M. (2022). Slowing, Desiring, Haunting, Hospicing, and Longing for Change: Thinking with Snails in Canadian Early Childhood Education and Care. In Education, 28(1), 6-20. 10.37119/ojs2022.v28i1b.658
Bjartveit, C. (2023). “Seeing” nana: Haunting portraits and playful historical thinking in the early childhood education classroom. Journal of Applied Hermeneutics.1-16. doi:10.11575/jah.v2023i2023.77982
Bone, J. (2019). Ghosts of the material world in early childhood education: Furniture matters. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 20(2), 133-145. doi:10.1177/1463949117749599
Furman, C. E. (2022). Welcoming entanglements with ghosts: Re-turning, re-membering, and facing the incalculable in teacher education. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 23(3), 253-264. 10.1177/1463949122111721

Virginia Kay and Dr Clare Woolhouse, EHU – Employing visual methodologies to explore children’s perspectives: the ‘Visualising Opportunities: Inclusion for Children, Education and Society’


This presentation will offer a critical discussion of an ongoing research project which utilises visual methodologies to explore perspectives, particularly those of children and young people, regarding children’s rights, experiences, and voices.
This project has been ongoing since 2013 and has involved a number of children who have produced and annotated photographs to communicate their thoughts and perspectives around a number of topics, such as inclusion, exclusion, transition, and teaching styles. These photos were ‘cartoonised’ to make them anonymous and were then shared with other children and teachers within school workshops and, in some instances, with the general public in an exhibition at TATE Liverpool in June 2018. Since 2021 we have been working with a number of schools to develop bespoke resources which can be used by practitioners to explore children’s concerns and worries, which is so vital given the elevated rates of mental health difficulties post-pandemic.

Our intention in undertaking this work is to facilitate active engagement from individuals of all ages within the community so that their ‘voices’, perspectives and experiences might be acknowledged and shared in respectful ways. In presenting our work to date, we hope to offer innovative opportunities for discourse by encouraging the often-unheard views and experiences of children and young people, their teachers and parents. The presentation will share some of our materials and findings in a way which can then be used by academics with their own students and practitioners with their pupils.

Victoria Jefferies and Dr Jo Albin Clark, EHU – Do we do what we do because it’s what we’ve always done? The role of Higher Education in challenging normative discourses in Early Childhood Education and Care


The majority of ECEC practitioners have never participated in HE and yet I argue that HE and ECEC are highly complementary, with HE playing a vital role in advocating for the UNCRC rights of young children. I will present a reflexive account of how my MA in Early Years Education is helping me rethink my vision for childhood, in the format of Q&A with my MA tutor. This will recognise that education is always political and involves making continual decisions about practice. The normative discourses and assumptions that are so prevalent in the field can only be challenged where there is space to consider alternatives.

HE enables the critique of the established research base promoted by regulatory bodies, resisting when necessary in order to promote the best interests of children. Bridging the HE context with a MA in EY Education and a pedagogical leadership role in a large PVI nursery, I have the privilege of shaping the curriculum design and working with a team of skilled and early career practitioners. Sharing the thought-provoking questions from the MA course is rekindling the fire our EY professionals have, promoting professional development and a strong sense of community within our team, all of which is vital in an industry facing a recruitment and retention crisis.

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:
CAMERON, C. and MOSS, P., 2020. Transforming Early Childhood in England. 1st ed. London: UCL Press
GIAMMINUTI, S., CAGLIARI, P., GIUDICI, C. and STROZZI, P., 2024. The Role of the Pedagogista in Reggio Emilia. 1st ed. Milton: Routledge
LEAFGREN, S., 2018. The disobedient professional: Applying a nomadic imagination toward radical non-compliance. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. 19 (2), pp. 187-198. Available from:
MOSS, P., 2018. Alternative Narratives in Early Childhood. 1st ed. United Kingdom: Routledge
WOOD, E., 2020. Learning, development and the early childhood curriculum: A critical discourse analysis of the Early Years Foundation Stage in England. Journal of Early Childhood Research : ECR. 18 (3), pp. 321-336. Available from:

Session B – Individual papers
Steve Clark, EHU – Exploring experiences of the parents of children with emotional barriers to school attendance (EBSA): A study of up to five families in the Northwest of England.


I am a final year student on Edge Hill’s MA Education (Leadership). My dissertation research aims to record and evaluate the lived experiences of the parents of children experiencing Emotionally Based Barriers to School Attendance (EBSA). I hope to capture how parents experience working with professionals and how this has affected educational and wellbeing outcomes for their child. It is hoped that the research findings will lead to greater empathy for families and bring greater awareness of how professionals can work more collaboratively with parents to ensure the best outcomes for children.

Research Questions:

• What barriers do parents of EBSA children experience within the SEND and education system and how does this affect their family’s wellbeing?
• How can a better understanding of parental experiences help local authorities improve their EBSA strategy and improve educational and wellbeing outcomes for children?

I will present my initial evaluation of the data collected via a questionnaire completed by parent nationally and semi structured interviews of up to 5 parents in the North West of England.

Professor Peter Hick, EHU – Beyond special educational needs: imagining more inclusive futures


The thirtieth anniversary of the 1994 Salamanca Statement, which marked widespread international governmental endorsement of the principles of inclusive education, represents an opportune moment for both re-imagining that early vision and for interrogating current meanings of inclusion. In a global context of post-pandemic austerity, conflict, forced migration and environmental crisis, how can the enduring challenges and contradictions faced by movements for more inclusive and socially just education, best be understood and addressed?

In the context of the UK, the notion of ‘special educational needs’ was proposed by the Warnock Commission in 1978 as an alternative to the post-war categories of handicap, for example ‘subnormality’. Yet forty-five years later, the education system is clearly in crisis for children and young people identified with special educational needs; and their families. The Secretary of State for Education, Gillian recently characterised the situation as ‘lose, lose, lose’ (TES, October 2023) with the Treasury concerned by rapidly increasing government expenditure; local authorities’ frequently over-spending their High Needs Budgets; schools and teachers often struggling to cope with increasing demands. Whilst often it is children and their families who pay the price for a failing system.

This paper considers how far, and how best, inclusive education can meaningfully be reframed as part of an ongoing struggle for equity in education and for social justice more broadly. Can we dispense with the measurement of special educational needs, for purposes of the rationing of resources? How might support for children’s learning be re-imagined in a more inclusive system?

Salamanca Statement, 1994, Centre for Studies of Inclusive Education (
Keegan: ‘Fortune’ spent on ‘lose-lose’ SEND situation, TES, 19/10/23 (

Session C – Individual papers
Megan Davis, EHU – Shaping Tomorrow by Understanding Yesterday: The current issues within Holocaust Education in England.


The primary objective of this study is to critically examine the contemporary issues surrounding Holocaust education in England. Utilising a thematic analysis approach, insights derived from interviews with key stakeholders, including a former Secretary of State for Education, a leading Holocaust historian, a generational Holocaust survivor and trainee teacher and a parent who is established within the educational field, provided a personal insight to the key challenges and arguments within Holocaust education.

Each semi-structured interview provided a personal and unique viewpoint relating to contemporary issues. Emerging from psychological field of attitudes, this research encompasses ideals from Bem’s (1967) theory of self-perception to analyse findings. The premise of the theory relates to the ideology that a person’s own view of themselves and their role within society, impacts their attitudes and perceptions, therefore in relation to Holocaust education, each participants relationship with the topic, may influence their attitude and ultimately their positionality will impress their responses to the questions.

Manifesting from the interviews, insights into the multifaceted issues encircling Holocaust education in England consist of the politicisation of the principle of Holocaust education, the curriculum itself and the issue of living memory fading deeper into the past. Furthermore, this research strived to evaluate these key issues and to assess the extent of their impact within the everyday classroom. Therefore, this research evaluates the current issues as well as providing informed guidance for future practice.

BEM, D. J. 1967. Self-perception: An alternative interpretation of cognitive dissonance phenomena. Psychological review. 74(3) pp. 183 [online]. Available at:,74(3)%2C%20183. Accessed: 31st March 2024

Dr Francis Farrell, EHU – ‘That politics thing,’ young citizens’ reflections on post Brexit identity and belonging


On the 23rd of June 2016 the British electorate voted to leave the European Union with a slim majority of 52% voting to leave and 48% voting to remain. According to YouGov, 75% of 18–24-year-olds voted to remain in the European Union. The referendum campaign was marked by a spike in hate crimes, most of which were directed at racial and religious minorities, drawing from anti-Muslim and anti-refugee discourse.

This paper offers an analysis of qualitative group interview data collected from young people aged 14-24, based in schools and youth groups located in the North West of England. The interviews were designed to collect data on their views of British identity and the intersections of race and religion in the aftermath of Brexit. The fearful and divisive effects of Brexit were reflected in many of the young peoples’ narratives; however, a dominant theme of the interviews was a desire for dialogue, connection, intercultural mixing, and expressions of multicultural conviviality that pointed to other ways of being beyond the polarizing incitements of Brexit.

Drawing from developments in education theory adopting Spinozist concepts of relationality, transindividuality and ontologies of cooperation, (Balibar, 1997; de Freitas et al, 2017; Dahlbeck, 2018, 2021) this paper aims to how the young peoples’ narratives provide the basis for forms of moral and civic education that offer greater educative, ethical and ontological possibilities than agonistic approaches or governmental requirements focussed on imposing shared values.


Balibar, E, 1997, Spinoza: from individuality to transindividuality. Delft: Eburon
De Freitas, E. Sellar, S. and Jensen, L. B. (eds), 2017, Special Issue: thinking with Spinoza about education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 50(9): 1-4
Dahlbeck, J. 2017, Spinoza and Education: Freedom, understanding and empowerment. Abingdon: Routledge
Dahlbeck, J. 2021, Spinoza: Fiction and Manipulation in Civic Education. Singapore. Springer.

Dr Christine Lewis, EHU – Edge Hill’s Ethel Snowden; exploring the narratives of her life 1881-1907.


Ethel (Annakin) Snowden (1881-1951) was a Socialist, a campaigner for women’s suffrage, for temperance, and a lifelong believer in pacifism. A member of the Fabian Society, the Independent Labour Party, and The Women’s Peace Crusade, she gained a reputation for being a powerful and passionate speaker, her “inspirational style” was referred to as “sparkling with epigram, bright with humour and satire, and sympathetic with pathos and feeling” (Cross p.68). A woman of beauty and grace as well a strong opinion, Ethel Snowden’s lectures could arouse feelings of admiration, and empower audiences through her conviction.

Given these qualities and talents we may ask why Ethel Snowden is largely absent from contemporary publications and why her influence seems fundamentally ignored by history. Perhaps the status and reputation of her husband, Philip Snowden (later Viscount Snowden) MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer in the first Labour Government (1924), overshadowed her own importance.

Attempting to redress Ethel Snowden’s significance to women’s socialist history, this paper seeks to explore her formative years, including her time at Edge Hill College, Liverpool from 1900-02, where she trained to become a teacher. The events and personalities she encountered in her formative years and whilst at Edge Hill College would influentially frame her world.

Session D – Individual papers
Dr Marlena Chrostowska and Dr Amee Yostrakul, EHU – Preparing undergraduate students for employability: a literature review on the role of students in the process of the development of their employability capabilities


This paper presents a review of published literature on student agency and their employability capabilities. This review provides background information and it highlights the importance of our small scale empirical study on student role in the development of their employability skills.

Student employability has been the focus of the UK national policy for decades (Cheng et al., 2021). More recently, the role of HEIs in the development of employability skills in students has been highlighted by the publication of new expectations for student outcomes through the introduction of the Office for Students ‘B3 Conditions of Registrations’ (OfS, 2020). The Office for Student’s (OfS) regulatory framework requires that universities must deliver successful outcomes for all their students. Graduate employment is one of the student outcomes being measured.

However, an initial literature review highlights that there is a limited focus on students’ role in the process of developing their employability skills (Yostrakul, 2021). Therefore, there is a need to further understand employability and in particular from the perspective of the students who are the key actors in obtaining graduate employment outcomes. This literature review and subsequent empirical research will help scholars and policy makers to understand the students’ perceptions of their role in the teaching and learning process. This will lead to enhanced student experience.

The empirical research which is planned to take place as part of this project will involve the participation of first year students completing education and business degrees in a post-1992 university located in the North-west of England.

Cheng, M., Adekola, O., Albia, J. and Cai, S. (2021) Employability in higher education: a review of key stakeholders’ perspectives. Employability in Higher Education. 16(1), 16-31
Office for Students (2020) Registration with the OfS: Conditions of Registration. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12th June 2023]
Yostrakul, A., (2021). How can student-staff partnership in curriculum design impact upon learning experience and engagement? Educational Futures, 12(1), pp.92-115

Keisha Ann Stewart, EHU – The Politics of Storytelling


Narratives play a significant role in human social and cultural life. They swirl around us as we enact and navigate plots of self-identity, family, community; simultaneously renegotiating the wider world (Shaw, Kelly and Semler, 2013). Narratives possess the power to uphold or thwart cultures and subcultures, influence and shape our identity, and construct reality at the societal level (Watson and Watson, 2012). They reveal the powerful and powerless through the storyteller, the space the stories occupy, the methods used to share the tales and the number of times they are told. Narratives can empower and malign, they can humanise and demonise.

This investigation explores the persistent deficit master narrative of the Black Caribbean community in Britain particularly the underachievement of Black Caribbean male students, a matter of concern for policymakers since the 1950s (Demie, Mclean and Lambeth, 2017). This paper will explore the politics of storytelling, the space narratives occupy, the shapes they assume and the possible effects of the master narrative on Black Caribbean male students’ academic achievements.

I will use Critical Race Theory (CRT) and narrative inquiry to better understand the politics underpinning the master narrative about the disenfranchised, the motives of those in power who shape and voice the version of their narrative, the counter narratives that have been silenced and marginalised, and what might be done to allow the disempowered the space to share their stories and forge their identities.

Demie, F., McLean, C. and Lambeth (London, England). 2017. “Black Caribbean underachievement in schools in England”. Schools Research and Statistics Unit. London: Schools Research and Statistics Unit, Lambeth Education and Learning.
Shaw, J., Kelly, P. and Semler, L. E. (eds). 2013. Storytelling: critical and creative approaches. New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Watson, T.J., and Watson, D. H. 2012. ‘Narratives in society, organizations and individual identities: An ethnographic study of pubs, identity work and the pursuit of ‘the real’. Human Relations 65(6) 683–704

Professor Vicky Duckworth, EHU – Social Justice research methodologies: sharing stories for social justice within and beyond the classroom walls


This paper will draw on my research and practitioner trajectory to explore the power of sharing stories as a catalyst for validation, empowerment and hope. Indeed, the stories we tell are tied to identity, they link to our history, our present and our future. Exchanging stories is not an inconsequential activity, the ripple created reaches beyond the rise and fall of our words.

Teachers, researchers and activists are increasingly drawing on the practice of collecting, archiving, and sharing stories to progress social justice.

Drawing on examples, this session will explore how printed and digital storytelling is an empowering methodology, especially when curating and disseminating life stories of marginalized groups.

Session E – Workshop
Dr Jane Bartholomew, Nottingham Trent University – Play the ‘Pedagogy Action Card’ game – examine teaching practice to enhance student participation


This practical workshop invites educators and other participants to challenge their current teaching practice by exploring ways in which today’s students respond and react to differing learning situations in Higher Education.

For context, the existing neo-liberal drivers where external pressures determine how we measure ‘student success’, together with students’ status now being perceived as customers (Zepke, 2018), are both impact factors affecting how students decide to ‘engage’ in their learning at this level (Bryson, 2020). The Pedagogy Action Card (PAC) Game arose from my doctoral findings (Bartholomew, 2022) that highlighted pedagogy as one of the fundamental factors impacting to what extent today’s students engage with their studies (Coates, 2005; Kuh, 2003).

The Pedagogy Action Card (PAC) game invites a playful, intuitive, reflective approach where pedagogic choices that positively affect how students become immersed in their learning experiences are considered (Norman, 2004; Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). The PAC game therefore gives participants time to question and critically examine existing preconceptions around what motivates and engages students as they experience their learning journey in Higher Education.

Workshop’s aims:

  • To encourage educators to work collaboratively to challenge and reflect upon their current teaching practice by playing the ‘Pedagogy Action Card game’.
  • To invite participants to examine the factors that impact students’ levels of engagement and motivation as they experience Higher Education.
  • To enable participants to develop their own take home ‘Pedagogy Action Card’ that captures their own actions that will assist the continual enhancement of their learning and teaching practice.

List of references:
Bartholomew, J. (2022) How do Students, Lecturers and Managers in Higher Education understand ‘Student Engagement’ and factors impacting Undergraduate Students’ Motivation and Autonomy? The Thesis, Document Five, Professional Doctorate in Education. Available at: