Education for Social Justice

This theme provides a supportive, yet critical forum for individuals interested in interrogating concepts around inclusion, social justice and inequality.

Informed by an interdisciplinary group of academics, this group offers a critical and intellectual forum for individuals to interrogate their own personal and professional understandings of inclusion, equality, social justice and the lives of those in disconnected populations.

The theme also offers support and guidance in taking forward research and knowledge exchange activities including bidding for projects, submitting and presenting papers at conferences and preparing for publications. The theme is open to all. Drawing together colleagues both experienced and those new to research and knowledge exchange with a diverse range of professional and methodological interests. Theme areas of interest include: special educational needs, equality, poverty, inclusion and inclusive education, ethnicity, social class, gender and sexuality.  

Theme Leaders

Ralph Leighton, Andrew Peterson, Alison Body, and Claire Hughes.

Parental Views on Higher Education and Barriers to Support

A recently awarded research project housed within the inclusion theme exploring parental views on higher education and perceived barriers in relation to supporting their children to apply to higher education.This qualitative research project involves working closely with parents across Kent to explore their views on higher education for their children. The project is designed to result in the production of a number of user friendly products for the local community.

For further information, contact Ruth Rogers

Promoting inclusive education in Malawi

The project is in partnership with Power International, a UK-based charity which aims to advance the well-being of disabled people in Africa and Asia, and NAD (Norwegian Association for the Disabled). It is World Bank funded and supported by FEDOMA (Federation of Disabled People’s Organisations of Malawi) and the Malawian Ministry of Education.The consortium has conducted a situation analysis in three pilot districts with the aim of determining how many disabled children are currently being educated in mainstream schools, their range of needs and how the education system can best support them. This type of sustainable capacity building project is important for setting the standard in the region and developing our reputation in Sub-Saharan Africa as a deliverer of education projects promoting inclusive practices for children with disabilities in mainstream schools across the wider region.

For further information contact Petra Engelbrecht or Peter Grimes.

Evaluation of the Parent Gym Programme

This was a three-month mixed-methods study which evaluated the changes in parenting and child behaviour after parents had been through the Parent Gym programme. The research explored parents’ expectations and the related and unanticipated outcomes of attending the programme.

Download full versions of the qualitative and quantitative reports.

For further information contact Patricia Driscoll or Claire Tupling.

Faculty of Education Blog

With the aid of a successful £9000 KE bid, Graham Birrell led a project to start a Faculty of Education Blog, which was launched in April 2013. Since launch the blog has had over 30,000 hits and has already demonstrated significant impact; for example, we were approached by a nationally read teaching magazine to write an article for every issue.

For further information contact Graham Birrell.             

Dover Bronze Age Boat Project

A European Union funded, €1.8m Dover Bronze Age Boat Project with partners in France and Belgium. This involved promoting educational, historical and inter-cultural understanding in the countries involved.

For further information contact Graham Birrell.

Inquiry into School Exclusions, Office of the Children’s Commissioner

In October 2011, Canterbury Christ Church University was commissioned by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner to undertake research to contribute to a wide-scale Inquiry into Secondary School Exclusions. The remit for the research was to work with a selection of school staff and others involved in decision-making in secondary school exclusions to identify the decision-making process for exclusions in typical cases; to identify the key decision points in this process, and the factors influencing decisions. Research was carried out in 14 schools across the South East, including Kent, London and Hertfordshire.

For further information contact Alison Ekins, Simon Ellis, or Sue Soan.

PhD and EdDs completed, in development and areas of expertise


Dr Alison Ekins: Doctorate in Education on issues around developing inclusive practices in schools

Dr Petra Engelbrecht: Equity in inclusive education, development of inclusive schools

Dr Simon Hayhoe: Phd on blindness and the arts

Dr James Ma: PhD looking at reading the word and the world: a child in the interplay of her contexts in the reading of dual-language storybooks with her mother

Dr John-Paul Riordan: PhD looking at how experienced science teachers promote conceptual change, examining how instructional strategies, learning methods (Darden, 1991) and conceptual change interrelate
Dr Ruth Rogers: PhD using post-structuralism and critical discourse analysis to explore the problematisation of unemployment and ‘the unemployed’ in official discourse

Dr Sue Soan: Qualitative case study analysis of the education provision for Looked After Children who have experienced early life abuse or neglect

Dr Yvonne Stewart: PhD looking at the internationalisation of higher education, and the ideologies and values that drive and underpin it

Dr Claire Tupling: PhD looking at the ways in which ICTs are employed in attempts to address the digital divide via primary schools


Andy Bloor: PhD looking at children who are deemed to exhibit extreme behaviour, the manner in which such a label is attributed and the support that the child, school and parent receive

Graham Birrell: EdD looking at the effects of neoliberalism on education

Georgina Gosden: EdD on the inclusion pathway looking at issues around social disadvantage




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Last edited: 08/01/2018 14:04:00