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Past event

Applying Social Theory to Educational Research in the new, pandemic normal

Covid-19 has recalibrated academic experiences of their work, cultures and institutions, and enabled the entangled relationship between theory and practice to be rethought. The purpose of this mini-conference was to give practitioners space to discuss how Covid-19 has changed our definitions, theorising and practices of our educational research, in relation to social theory.

In this online mini-conference, objectives were as follows:

  1. To explore the social theories that are currently being effectively applied to educational research in the new pandemic normal.
  2. To create a space in which participants can report their own work in progress, and get formative feedback.
  3. To plan for future workshops that demonstrate how social theory is being applied to educational research, with a specific focus upon methodology and analysis, and dissemination and public engagement.

As we move through the pandemic, towards a new normal for experiencing learning, teaching, and researching, we are considering the idea and potential futures for social theory in its application to educational research. Here we might consider how the pandemic has affected the relationship between social theory and: first, our identities, bodies and psychologies as researchers; second, our research practices and cultures; third, the structures of the institutions in which we work/research; and fourth, how we negotiate and implement our values in our research.

In this, we wish to push beyond where our bodies, emotions, values are currently situated in the pandemic, to reimagine the relationship between social theory and educational research. How might we reimagine this work beyond Covid-19, in order to understand how we navigate future crises, or those crises that are already with us, in terms of climate, ecosystems, austerity and so on? What might social theory contribute to our understanding of educational research for social justice grounded in intercommunal, intersectional and intergenerational perspectives?

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Profile picture of Cristina Costa
Cristina Costa, Dr

Assistant Professor at Durham University

Cristina Costa is Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Durham University. She has a strong interest in educational and digital practices and inequalities. She particularly interested in exploring the intersection of education and...

Profile picture of Denise Mifsud
Denise Mifsud, Dr

Associate Professor in Educational Leadership, Management & Governance at University of Bath

Dr Denise Mifsud is Associate Professor in Educational Leadership, Management and Governance at the University of Bath. She has many years of practitioner experience in education settings in both teaching and top-level leadership roles within the...

Profile picture of Richard Hall
Richard Hall, Professor

Professor of Education and Technology at De Montfort University

Richard Hall is Professor of Education and Technology at De Montfort University. A National Teaching Fellow, Richard directs the research and evaluation work of the Decolonising DMU project. He is the author of The Hopeless University:...