Education and Childhood Research Group (ECRG) activities

Find out more about our events and guest speakers.

Past events


ECRG Pedagogy Strand Research Showcase, 30 April 2024

This event discussed how research taking place within the School of Education and Childhood at UWE Bristol is directly impacting teaching approaches at home and abroad. Three research projects were showcased:

ECRG Knowledge Exchange Seminar: Being 'inside' the Westminster Bubble, 22 April 2024

Professor Alpesh Maisuria, Professor of Education Policy in Critical Education at UWE Bristol, shared his experience of being an Academic Fellow in the UK Parliament. He gave an overview of the surprising physical architecture of the Westminster village, highlighted the important centres of political power through an interactive tour of the Palace of Westminster, and described some of the quirky traditions and customs that he had experienced. He also reflected on his work with the House of Commons Library as an education specialist, Education Select Committee as a briefing writer for inquiries, and the way that the Fellowship has impacted his thinking about politics and politicians. Professor Maisuria also remarked on the preparations for the looming General Election.

ECRG Seminar with House of Commons education specialists, 2 February 2024

This talk discussed the House of Commons Library’s work on education policy and statistics, how Library researchers work, and the different ways they support MPs. There will be an opportunity to discuss how academic researchers can maximise the potential for impacting this work. Presenters included Nerys Roberts, Senior Library Clerk Education (Schools), Research and Information; and Robert Long, Senior Library Clerk Education (Schools), Research and Information.

ECRG Research Seminar on Paulo Freire, eco-pedagogy, and eco-linguistics, 12 January 2024

Guest speaker: Dr Greg Misiaszek, (Beijing Normal University, China).


Equity in education strand research seminar, 2 October 2023

This research seminar featured Professor Dave Hill (Chief Editor, Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies) and Dr Leena Robertson (Associate Professor of Education, Middlesex University).

  • Professor Dave Hill: Class, `Race’ and inequality - a Marxist social, political and academic autobiography.
  • Dr Leena Robertson: Haunting questions: Why still no multilingual pedagogy in schools? 
Equity in Education conference: How can our education research contribute to the production of more inclusive, diverse, equitable and just communities and societies?, 9 June 2023

In conversation with Dr Verity Jones, Dr Alpesh Maisuria, and Professor Richard Waller, Amy Saleh (UWE Bristol); Lisa Panford (St Mary's University), Postgraduate Research Panel and Q&A, Jamie Whelan, Ella Rees, Dr Sarah Whitehouse and Justin Vafadari (UWE Bristol), Camille London-Miyo (Stephen Lawrence Research Centre), Bristol Decolonizing Network, RESPECT Project Bristol, Dr Ben Knight and Dr Marcus Witt, Luci Gorell-Barnes and Dr Tessa Podpadec (UWE Bristol); Black Educators Book Club: Bristol, and others.

For recordings of each conference session, please contact the Equity in Education Strand Leaders, Malcolm Richards ( and Professor Richard Waller (

ECRG Seminar and Reading Group with Tom Fryer, 9 June 2023

Well-known critical realist scholar, Tom Fryer, was invited to ECRG to spend time with research students and staff who are undertaking, or curious about, critical realist-inspired research. Tom’s work at the Manchester Institute of Education (University of Manchester) has focused on how higher education contributes to social justice, particularly inequalities in graduate outcomes in the UK. But it is his publication, A short guide to ontology and epistemology: why everyone should be a critical realist, which has propelled Tom to be a leading name in critical realist circles. This publication is an important text that opens-up critical realist possibilities for newcomers to methodology and philosophy of science. 

ECRG Pedagogy Seminar - New ways to think about classrooms and teachers: Using theory to inspire research into practice, 5 June 2023

Dr Lindsay Hetherington (University of Exeter) and Dr Mark Hardman (University College London) drew on examples from their research using a 'material-dialogic' theoretical framework to explore practice with teachers and classrooms. 

Regional Climate Teacher Gathering, 30 May 2023

Hosted by the Ministry of Eco Education (Paul Turner) and UWE Bristol (Dr Verity Jones), this event brought people together to take part in climate change action, co-creating teaching materials to educate for sustainability in every subject for every young person.

ECRG Climate Change Primary Education Research Network with Dr Andy Flack, 25 May 2023

Dr Andy Flack shared new research-informed resources to support primary schools in exploring Wild Senses.

ECRG Showcase and Social event, 19 May 2023

This showcase event, held at Design West, was designed for researchers and external partners to come together to network, explore research interests and identify possibilities for collaboration. We welcomed ECRG researchers working on research that will have a positive impact our on community and beyond. This event was a fantastic opportunity to speak with Research Strand Leaders and researchers across these Strands. 

Watch a short video of the Showcase event.

ECRG Climate Change Primary Education Research Network with Dr Ben Williams, 30 March 2023

Dr Ben Williams shared new, research informed resources to support primary schools in exploring microplastics in the home. Malcolm Richards, book shop owner and Senior Lecturer, provided an update on SPARKS - an exciting new sustainability hub that opened in Bristol in May.

ECRG Early Career Network event with Tim Clark: "Becoming a researcher: Insights from early career education and childhood researchers", 18 April 2023

This session focused on research development by featuring a series of talks from UWE Bristol Early Career Researchers who drew on their experiences of some of the key steps in their journeys to becoming active researchers. 

Key themes for the ECRG Early Career Network event were:

  • What’s the value in doing a Doctorate in Education?
  • How can mentoring support your research progress as an Early Career Researcher? 
  • How do you build research collaborations?
  • What’s involved in writing for publication? 
  • How do you find and apply for research funding?


Online seminar: Graduate employment and postgraduate study outcomes for care-experienced students, 23 July 2020

Dr Neil Harrison, Deputy Director of the Rees Centre at the University of Oxford, and Visiting Fellow at UWE Bristol, gave an online seminar talk on Thursday 23 July 2020, where he discussed his new work, "Graduate employment and postgraduate study outcomes for care-experienced students".

Dr Harrison was Associate Professor (Education and Childhood) at UWE Bristol until 2018.

Watch the recording of Dr Harrison's online seminar via Microsoft Stream. To find out more about his work follow Dr Harrison on X (formerly Twitter).

Webinars - How to use DRY: The diary of a water superhero, 21 May 2020

Free online training using the award winning book DRY: The diary of a water superheroDr Verity JonesProfessor Lindsey McEwen and Sarah Whitehouse present sessions for educators and for parents/carers.

The book is based on the conversations and findings of research in five river catchments across the UK drawing on experiences and memories of drought and water scarcity. The findings were woven into a story about a girl in Year 6 who needs to do a school project that sees the ups and downs of engaging in community action.

View or read DRY: The diary of a water superhero.

Webinar: Locked in chat, 5 May 2020

Hosted by Dr Alpesh Maisuria, Associate Professor of Education Policy in Critical Education at UWE Bristol.


'That's not on message': Narrative research, challenging dominant narratives and ethical responsibilities, 18 February 2020

Venue: Room 2S705, UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus

BRIDGE hosted a talk from Professor Pat Sikes (School of Education, University of Sheffield). In this seminar, Professor Sikes told some stories about two auto/biographical narrative research projects she has been involved in which posed unequivocal challenges to dominant narratives with potential consequences for those they were intended to protect.

Miseducation and its consequences: Education and the working classes, 8 January 2020

Venue: Room 2B020, UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus

BRIDGE hosted a talk by Diane Reay, Professor of Education, University of Cambridge on 8 January 2020. This was the first seminar of the BRIDGE Research Group for 2020 and was attended by 50 people. Professor Reay's talk explored the psychic consequences of class inequalities. Drawing on empirical case studies, it described the affective economies of identification and dis-identification that underpin class relationships to education.

The main focus was the psychic landscapes of class, the powerful feelings of anxiety, hope, fear, guilt, desire, disappointment, shame and rejection generated in and through our contemporary neoliberal educational project. In doing so, the case is made that class operates as a powerful psychic force that has negative emotional consequences for all individuals but, in particular, for those from black and white working class backgrounds.

Professor Reay, author of Miseducation, Inequality, Education and the Working Classes, grew up on a council estate, the eldest of eight, and became a Cambridge professor. Here, she talked about inequality in education. Professor Reay's research includes:

  • children's relationships to space and place in the city
  • parental involvement in education and research
  • socially mobile working class young people
  • the impact of assessment on primary school children
  • ESRC-funded projects including children's transitions to secondary schooling, choice of higher education, students' identities and participation as learners, and white, middle class# identities through an exploration of educational choice.

Listen to the audio recording of Professor Reay's talk.


Family Language Policy: Mobility, migration and multilingualism in the UK, 24 September 2019

BRIDGE hosted a presentation from Professor Xiao-Lan Curdt-Christiansen (Professor of Applied Linguistics) and Dr Jing Huang (Research Associate) from the University of Bath. In this talk, they presented an ongoing ESRC-funded project entitled Family Language Policy: A Multi-level Investigation of Multilingual Practices in Transnational Families. The project employs a multi-level, multi-community and multi-family-type design to explore what types of Family Language Policy (FLP) exist in the UK at the national level, how FLP is shaped, established, and implemented at the community level, and how the actual practices are managed at the family level.

The project has a particular focus on families from three ethnolinguistic communities - Chinese, Polish and Somali. Findings from the national-level survey and family-level ethnography will be presented with data examples.

English as an Additional Language Conference 2019, 10 July 2019

UWE Bristol, in partnership with Integra Schools, were pleased to present the English as an Additional Language Conference 2019.

One of the major challenges for students learning English as an additional language is developing a command of the more formal academic language essential for success across the curriculum. Speakers at this conference advocated that securing a whole school approach to teaching academic language is essential and demonstrated how to identify and explicitly teach academic language across all subjects. Our speakers were:

  • Dr Gail Forey
    Language for curriculum learning and disciplinary literacy in secondary school: What to teach and how to teach it?
  • Catharine Driver
    Towards content language integrated learning: Developing language and literacy in STEM subjects.
  • Zara Ali
    A school leader's experience of securing a whole school approach to teaching academic language.
BRIDGE Inaugural Doctoral Success Event, 26 June 2019

We celebrated the doctoral successes of Dr Jane Carter, Dr Juliet Edmond, Dr Ali Rouncefield-Swales and Dr Jacob Bacon. The speakers presented their respective doctoral journeys on the following research topics:

  • Dr Jane Carter
    The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check: Listening to the voices of children and their teachers.
  • Dr Juliet Edmonds
    The beliefs, practices and development of three teachers of Science in the primary school.
  • Dr Ali Roucefield-Swales
    Apprentice to graduate: Narratives of navigating a pathway into and through higher education.
  • Dr Jacob Bacon
    FE Sports Lecturer Professionalism: 'Freedom to play' or 'Do as I say?'
OfS Changing Minds Research Seminar, 7 May 2019

Bristol Inter-disciplinary Group for Education Research (BRIDGE), is pleased to have Dr Jessica Gagnon speak about the HEFCE-funded research project Changing Minds on 7 May 2019.

This presentation explored initial findings from the two-year Office for Students (OfS) funded attainment gap project titled “Changing Mindsets: Reducing stereotype threat and implicit bias as barriers to student success”. The project is focused on addressing unequal student outcomes for two student groups: Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students and socio-economically disadvantaged students. Findings from the project are intended to inform higher education policies and practices to address inequalities in students' experiences and outcomes.

Project Zulu Research Event, 2 April 2019

Project Zulu is a UWE Bristol educational development initiative which works with partner schools in township and rural areas of Kwazul-Natal, South Africa. Collaborations between school communities in South Africa and UWE Bristol staff and students seek ways of enhancing infrastructure, pedagogy and learning opportunities through knowledge exchange, action research and practical support.

The three research projects presented in this seminar have developed over the last three years and are based on such collaborations:

  • Learning difficulties nursing and occupational therapy collaboration at a SEN school by Dr Alex Palombi and Vanessa Parmenter
  • Reading partner intervention at two rural South African primary schools by Dr Jane Carter and Karan Vickers-Hulse
  • ICT project at a rural South African primary school by Dr David Wyatt and Benjamin Knight.
Lunchtime Seminar, 4 March 2019 

For this Lunchtime Seminar, the speakers were Jade Parnell, from the Centre for Appearance Research (UWE Bristol); and Dr Maryam Almohammad and Dr Jane Andrews (Education and Childhood, UWE Bristol). Jade Parnell discussed her doctoral research on "Promoting acceptance of socially stigmatised appearances in young children in primary school".

Dr Maryam Almohammad and Dr Jane Andrews presented on their topic of "Artmaking, materialism, and multilingualism in welcoming environments for EAL learners".

Visit our blog for more information.

Paired Peers Twilight Session, 14 February 2019

Critical perspectives on transitions into, through and beyond university: Learning from the Paired Peers project

Our speaker was Dr Richard Waller (Associate Professor of the Sociology of Education, UWE Bristol). The Paired Peers project was a two part longitudinal study (2010-2103 and 2014-2017) funded by the Leverhulme Trust which followed an initial cohort of 90 undergraduates studying at either of the two universities (University of Bristol; UWE Bristol) in one English city (Bristol). The project matched pairs of students by social class, gender and subject discipline both within and between the two institutions, and followed them from induction to graduation and for several years beyond into their post-university lives and careers.

The presentation was followed by a discussion of the implications of the project's findings for the practice of academics and university professional services staff alike. For more details about the talk, visit our blog.

BRIDGE Education Research Seminar - Technologies to support inclusion and learning: Working with young autistic people, 21 January 2019

Our speakers were Dr Nigel Newbutt (Senior Lecturer/Senior Researcher in Digital Education, UWE Bristol) and Ms Dimitra Magkafa (Doctoral Researcher, UWE Bristol). For more information about the speakers and their talk topics, visit our blog.


Lunchtime Seminar, 13 December 2018

Our speakers for this lunchtime seminar were Laura Manison Shore, PGCE Primary and Early Years Programme Leader and Partnership Manager (UWE Bristol) and Dr Maryam Almohammad, Research Associate (UWE Bristol). For more details visit our blog.

Gender, sexuality, bodies and identity research conference, 4 December 2018

This conference brought together leading researchers from the South West of England and guest speakers from the USA in the field of gender, sexuality, bodies and identity and showcased some of the work of the presenters and the groups, centres and universities they represent. For more information please view our blog.

Panel discussion: UWE Bristol Speaks Up against violence and abuse, 26 November 2018

A new campaign has been launched to help UWE Bristol students speak up and report unacceptable behaviour such as harassment, discrimination and violence. Speak Up has been introduced this term to raise awareness and prevent these types of incidents on campus. In recognition of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November 2018), UWE Bristol hosted a panel discussion to continue conversations around violence and abuse.

Inter-disciplinary twilight session, 19 November 2018

This event brought together researchers across the University to share current research interests to establish inter-disciplinary research connections.

English as an Additional Language and Creativity Conference 2018, 12 July 2018

For more information about this conference, visit our blog.

You may also be interested in