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Equality and diversity in education

New research project with the British Council to explore its approach to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)

Funding £40,000

Project outline

Researchers from Middlesex University and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) will visit British Council staff in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Kenya and the UK who are working to promote workplace diversity. Through an ethnographic and narrative approach they will capture British Council staff’s lived experiences of, and responses to, EDI-related challenges which they have encountered in their contexts; and provide an analysis of the state of current EDI policy and agendas in these selected countries. The study will develop thought-provoking and functional learning aids such as story-telling and exemplars for managing difficult scenarios.

“This research project should lead to close co-operation with the British Council in EDI areas and confirm the importance of this aspect of the University's strategy in this area and its recognition outside the University. As a university, we are positioning ourselves as leaders of EDI research, which we are very proud of. This exciting research study will provide the University with a sound international perspective on an issue we are addressing at a local level.”  Paul Gibbs and Kate Maguire

Project team

  • Professor Paul Gibbs, Director of Education Research, is heading up the research team
  • Associate Professor Kate Maguire, Head of Research Degrees at the Institute for Work Based Learning, will be leading on the field work.
  • The team is supported by Professor Alison Scott-Baumann, from SOAS, and Dr Alex Elwick of the Education Department

Working with schools to promote democracy in response to the Prevent policy

Funding: £8,775

Project outline

The Prevent policy is mired in controversy and has been criticised by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights as potentially doing more harm than good by marginalising and stigmatising young Muslims. As such the policy presents a challenge to schools to find a positive response which acknowledges the drive to challenge extremism whilst respecting the principle of equality. Middlesex University has partnered with the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT) for two related projects:

Building Resilience is a teacher-led curriculum development project funded by the Home Office and Middlesex University has published an evaluation of its impact.

The Deliberative Classroom is a DfE funded project to develop teaching resources for key stage 3 to promote discussion of values such as freedom, equality and democracy. The handbook for teachers and classroom resources for debates are being written by Middlesex staff with colleagues from ACT and the ESU.

Project team

Gender and Education Association 2017 International Conference

Funding: £59,250

Project outline

The GEA Conference has long provided an important home for established and aspiring feminist researchers to foreground and share deep commitments and passions to addressing gender inequity across all educational contexts and spheres. The Association and the Gender & Education Journal share an overt and proud commitment to feminist modes of publishing, theorising, praxis and activism.  The Association, journal and annual conferences collectively provide a key global platform for a wide network of international scholars to (continue) to inform theoretically, methodologically and empirically cutting edge debates about gender, education and culture.

The 11th GEA conference intends to build upon this tradition to create space and opportunities for a range of feminist scholars, working at disciplinary interstices, to share innovative interventions that push at generating understandings about impact - upon research practice, pedagogy, policy and activism. Crucially, the conference also intends to inspire and support emerging gender scholars and to act as an international collaborative resource for those fighting gendered inequality in multiple ways in local contexts.

Feminist research makes a crucially important contribution to developing diverse and collaborative ways to understand gender, feminism(s), sexual identities, education and embodied experiences. The conference will open up opportunities for generative, generating and generational feminist research – so that past, present and future feminist theorisations and practices of education research might coalesce. There is much to be gained from affirmatively relating across time and space – to continue to contemplate what feminist research is possible of, and what it does best: unsettle, intervene and insist upon demonstrable impacts for greater gender equity in educational policy, practical pedagogies and within communities.

Project team

Professor Jayne Osgood is Chair of the Conference Organising Committee, supported by a cross-disciplinary team from across Middlesex University including:

The committee also includes Dr Fin Cullen (St Mary’s), Dr Alya Khan (LondonMet) and Dr Zinnia Mivarwalla (UEL)

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