Students in a classroom

All welcome! Come and join in the conversation. Seminar Series - Wednesdays 16:30-18:00

Historians don't set out to change people's lives : how is social justice understood through the lens of impact


Slides for Historians don't set out to change people's lives

Delivering the seminar : 

Dr Sharon McCulloch, University of Central Lancashire and Lancaster University

Dario Banegas, University of Strathclyde


This talk explores the perspectives of academics in English universities on the concept of social justice as it relates to the impact of their research. Interviews with academics in 3 disciplines revealed that their understandings of what ‘impact’ meant and how it related to social justice was shaped not only by their personal values but also by the values of their discipline and their universities’ research evaluation policies. Academics’ views on social justice were framed in diverse ways, from financial accountability to civic duty, and as both an individual and collective endeavour.


Sharon McCulloch is a senior lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire and an associate lecturer at Lancaster University. Her research interests lie in academic literacies as they pertain to both students and professional writers in higher education. She has published articles on student writing, specifically on voice and engagement with source material, and on professional writing, including the role of networked learning and the effects of research evaluation on academics’ writing practices.

Dr Sharon McCulloch

Photo of Dr Sharon McCulloch


Children’s rights and right’s education in the context of early years and school settings

Delivering the seminar : 

Professor Carol Robinson, Edge Hill University

Professor Kate Wall, University of Strathclyde


This presentation will focus on children’s rights and how human rights education can be embedded within early years and school settings. It will look critically at the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (UN, 1989) and explore how the construction of the UNCRC has impacted on the rights that apply to children across the world today. Consideration will also be given to factors which have shaped understandings around children’s human rights education and to the essential characteristics of effective human rights education within early years and school settings.


Carol Robinson is a Professor of Children’s Rights at Edge Hill University. Her research interests combine theoretical and empirical work focusing on the voices, experiences, rights and empowerment of children and young people. A major focus of Carol’s work has been around developing insights into issues relating to children’s Human Rights Education (HRE). The external recognition of her expertise in this area is evidenced by national and international invitations to present lectures and keynote addresses; examine doctoral theses; join journal editorial boards; and act as peer reviewer for conferences abstracts for the Children’s Rights network of the European Conference on Educational Research.

Professor Carol Robinson

Photo of Carol Robinson

Inclusive Pedagogy Mapping Project for ITE in Scotland

Delivering the seminar : 

Dianne Cantali, Dundee University

Professor Lani Florian, Edinburgh University

Dr Archie Graham, University of Aberdeen


Following the development of the National Framework for Inclusion (STEC, 2009 and updated 2014), the Scottish Universities Inclusion Group have been working to articulate and deliver consistent approaches to the promotion of inclusive pedagogy across initial teacher education courses in Scotland. A collaborative research project, supported by the Scottish Council of Deans, took place in the academic session 2018/19 to identify and map inclusive pedagogy across Scotland’s universities initial teacher education programmes.

We used The Council of Europe’s ‘Tool to Upgrade Teacher Education Practices for Inclusive Education’ (Hollenweger, Pantic and Florian, 2015) to map inclusive teacher education practice and to identify and record how the principled approaches of the Framework for Inclusion are evident in initial teacher education across Scotland. The tool uses an activity model that can be applied to examine the activities that are taking place on our courses, and the intended outcomes.

Mapping using the tool has taken place with qualitative data being collected through audits of programme materials, and some institutions also carried out interviews and surveys with lecturers and students. The findings suggest that while there are some instances where inclusive pedagogy and inclusive education are taught explicitly; for much of the initial teacher education courses, inclusive pedagogy is implicitly present and underpins much of the teaching, learning and assessment which takes place both in university-based learning and placement-based learning.

Conclusions and findings, which will support the further development of initial teacher education courses in Scotland, will be discussed.

Hollenweger, J., Pantic, N. & Florian, L. (2015). Tool to Upgrade Teacher Education Practices for Inclusive Education. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Retrieved from 

Scottish Teacher Education Committee (STEC). (2014). National Framework for Inclusion Revised. Retrieved from
the World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality. Salamanca, Spain, 7-10 June.

Dianne Cantali  Professor Lani Florian Dr Archie Graham 
Dianne Cantali Professor Lani Florian Dr Archie Graham


Why teach science : the answer's obvious isn't it?

Delivering the seminar : 

Dr Jane Essex, University of Strathclyde

Dr Morag Findlay, University of Strathclyde


There is a plethora of evidence on the benefits associated with the study of science, both for individuals and societies. However, the discourse rests on the assumption that science education is a homogeneous offering and that all learners undergo very equivalent experiences.  The fact that there is such commonality of provision is very convenient for stakeholders, most notably exam boards who can focus on the examinable content of the common curriculum. We will also explore the diverse and, in some cases, mutually contradictory purposes behind this front of unity and consider alternative ways of educating tomorrow’s citizens about science. The issues and opportunities associated with the current format of science education will be illustrated by an analysis of selected strands of the Curriculum for Excellence.



Multicultural education and diversity training in relation to wider continuing professional development: Prevent and fundamental British values

Delivering the seminar : 

Dr Richard Race, Roehampton University 

Dr Saima Salehjee, University of Strathclyde


The first conclusion from Race's (2015) research into Multiculturalism and Education focused on the need for diversity training of teachers and lecturers to wider Continuing Professional Development (CPD) within the profession at all levels. This presentation will highlight possibilities by examining different policy examples to see how increased understandings of cultural diversity can change professional practice, making it more equitable. By examining Prevent (HO: 2015; HO: 2019a; 2019b; 2019c; Thomas et al, 2016) and how it can be taught, as well as Fundamental British Values (DfE, 2014; Lander and Vincent, 2019), the author will highlight a more inclusive engagement with complex issues. This practice is shaping a developing partnership between the author with the Metropolitan Police which highlights the importance of this practical approach for all public sector workers. The issues concern not only what is taught and how it is taught, but what as significantly is not taught in schools, universities and the wider public sector (Race, 2018; Cohen and Gosh, 2019: HO: 2019a; HO: 2019b). This raises the notion of 'Pedagogies of Discomfort' (Boler, 1999; Zembylas, 2015; Vincent: 2019: 107-121: Race, 2020) which needs to be explored to address the fluid complexity of cultural diversity alongside its potential for teaching and learning. This presentation ultimately highlights the vital link between professional practice and education research which all school teachers need within wider CPD.


Dr Richard Race is Senior Lecturer in Education in the School of Education at Roehampton University and Visiting Professor in Education at Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. He is author of the monograph Multiculturalism and Education (Bloomsbury, London, 2015) and is currently writing the third edition of this book with The Open University Press. He has also edited Advancing Multicultural Dialogues in Education (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2015) and is also contracted as editor to produce Evolving Dialogues in Multicultural Education with The Open University Press. E mail:

Dr Richard Race

Photograph of Dr Richard Race


'Successful' South Asian women in the UK : perspectives across generations

Delivering the seminar : 

Dr Geeta Ludhra, Brunel University London

Churnjeet Mahn, University of Strathclyde


This seminar draws on my Doctoral study which explored the cultural identities and experiences of academically 'successful' British South Asian girls, aged between 16-18 years (Ludhra, 2015). My participants here were from West London state secondary schools, and of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim religious backgrounds. I used Black feminist thinking to inform my analysis, and an intersectional lens. A narrative approach was used to explore how these girls configured their cultural identities, during a critical stage in their lives, before entering university.
The girls' narratives revealed how 'culture' (a contested term) was discussed with high weighting in relation to the importance of a good education, which they all narrated as an instrumental key to unlocking doors for their aspirational futures. The girls' identities move beyond media discourses that stereotype them as passive and lacking a voice, as they demonstrated agency and high aspirations for 'having it all' – they performed the ‘supergirl’ discourse within their respective cultural contexts. They understood the importance of being resilient to succeed in life, and engaged in extra-curricular activities to help them stand out as well-rounded students, alongside their academic identities.
Five years on, and I am following-up my research question. Having just secured a book contract, this time I explore British South Asian women’s experiences through an intergenerational intersectional lens. In this new study, I include adolescent girls, those studying for their A levels, and move across to grandmothers who have faced a different set of challenges and life experiences. I ask the open-ended question: What does it mean to be a ‘successful’ British South Asian woman today, within the context of your lived experiences?
In this seminar, I share extracts of my autobiographical journey into this study, focussing on how the notion of being and becoming ‘successful’ is narrated in complex and different ways for South-Asian women. These woman all have ‘fire in their belly’, shaped through cultural and gendered experiences, available choices and privileges (or lack of), and that desire to succeed in ways that previous generations couldn’t.

Dr Geeta Ludhra

Photograph of Dr Geeta Ludhra