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"Trans Inclusion in Education" (REA Scholarship - Education)

The PhD will explore strategies for the development of awareness, and practices of inclusion, of trans and non-binary issues and identities in education.

Number of places

1

Funding

Home fee, Stipend

Opens

17 January 2018

Deadline

23 March 2018

Duration

3 years

Eligibility

The candidate should have a first or second class Honours degree (minimum 2.1) and/or a Masters degree in a closely related discipline.

International students are welcome to apply but must pay the difference between the EU and the International fee each year.

Project Details

The PhD will explore strategies for the development of awareness, and practices of inclusion, of trans and non-binary issues and identities in education. Despite increased research and policy attention, trans awareness in primary and secondary education remains at a preliminary stage. Likewise, alongside the continued work of trans scholars and activists, Trans Studies is largely absent from UK universities, trans invisibility prevails in curricula of most subjects, and trans inclusive pedagogies are in need of development. While there has been increased policy and research attention to LGBT educational equalities in the UK in recent years, the ‘T’ of LGBT is often subsumed within the acronym, and trans struggles are subject to sustained and virulent backlash. In order to challenge both entrenched transphobic prejudices and normative essentialising understandings of gender as binary among teachers, pupils, and in wider social context, an array of practical strategies for change are needed to help educational fields become meaningfully inclusive of trans children, students, and staff.

Indicative Research Questions and Aims:

As transgender rights both gain traction and are contested within inter/national equalities policy agendas, the two interrelated questions for educationalists are how to make space for trans studies and trans issues in educational contexts and how to negotiate educational inclusion for trans children, students, teachers, and staff. The primary objective of this PhD is to further understanding of trans inclusion in education, with a strategic focus on initial teacher education (ITE). This objective leads to further aims, to be developed by the successful candidate, for instance:

  • Generate evidence on and understanding of contemporary awareness of trans issues across different education systems and within curricula, particularly among students undertaking their initial teacher education and/or training.
  • Understand current approaches to trans inclusion in primary and secondary education, and explore the challenges and obstacles that trans educators and pupils encounter.
  • Develop new knowledge and analysis to inform policy and practice for trans inclusive ITE, classrooms, and curricula.

The research will likely draw on and develop theories of gender, trans studies, queer theoretical, and trans-feminist approaches, enabling the analysis and findings to be attentive to the social structures, power relationships, and tensions in discourses and practices of ‘inclusion’ that interact with initial teacher education and classroom practice. Likewise, the research will likely draw on theories of intersectionality, and an understanding of the relationship been trans educational inclusion and how class, race, and gender structure educational inclusions and exclusions. Trans studies scholars have criticized research ‘on’ trans people for marginalizing and appropriating lived knowledges and experiences, and reinforcing oppressions. Mindful of this, as well as tensions between a liberal politics of ‘inclusion’ and transformative struggles for social change and social justice, the research will develop qualitative methodologies informed by the ethics of trans, queer, and trans-feminist epistemologies, and will be attentive to the politics of knowledge production.

For further details or to discuss your application please contact the supervisors.

Funding Details

Home/EU Tuition Fees, plus Stipend starting at £14,917 p.a. (October 2018).  International students are welcome to apply but must pay the difference between the EU and the International fee each year.

How to apply

All candidates must apply online.

In the "Programme Name" field, pleases select “PhD Education”

In the "Funding" section, please write ‘REA Scholarship’.

You should upload the following documents with your application:

  • A short research proposal of no more than 1000 words that provides an overview of the research context and proposed research design.
  • CV
  • Covering letter describing in detail your interest in and suitability for undertaking this project
  • Degree transcripts (this may be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
  • Two academic references