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Upcoming event

Exploring issues in English, Education, and Social Justice: current trends in research and practice

Kindly supported by the: The Institute for Research in Education at The University of Bedfordshire and NATE [The National Association for the Teaching of English]

This interdisciplinary, one-day conference aims to explore the relationships – the possible conflicts and complements – between English (understood here as a wide-ranging set of practices and subject-areas), education (broadly conceived), and social justice.  Key note speakers will be Dr Velda Elliott, University of Oxford and Dr John Yandell, University of London.

English continues to be considered the most important school subject but also to attract endless contention about its content and future direction. It has often been a space for exploration of ethics, identities and cultural value through the study of literature, media and language.

English is experiencing a decline in popularity at ‘A’ level and degree level, this is one factor in an increasing shortage of English teachers. Recent research suggests considerable dissatisfaction amongst English teachers about the current ‘state’ of English, the corrosive effect of high stakes testing and the reduction in teacher autonomy and levels of choice over texts and themes. Another major concern is the reduction in diversity being increasingly felt in a highly prescribed curriculum.

However, at a time of change post Covid, and with the increasing likelihood of a change in political direction, there is considerable hope that English may be given much greater opportunity to recover its emancipatory potential to contribute to social justice education.

We encourage submissions from individuals and small groups at any and every career-stage, working in education, academia, and any other relevant field. University, college, and school students are welcome to submit proposals, or to attend as delegates. Student-teacher (and/or similar) collaborations are encouraged. As well as topics related to English, submissions are encouraged on Education more generally, such as :-

  • Social justice and diversity
  • Developing inclusive schools and environments
  • Education for sustainability and climate change
  • The post covid world for teachers and students
  • Social media and emergent identities

Deadline for submissions: 27th April 2023
Decisions confirmed: 12th May 2023

Submit an abstract

Draft programme:

09:30 Registration, tea and coffee
10:00 Keynote Lecture
Dr Velda Elliott, University of Oxford
10:45 Parallel sessions
11:45 Tea and coffee break
12:15 Parallel sessions
13:15 Lunch
13:45 Parallel sessions
14:45 Tea and coffee break
15:15 Keynote Lecture
Dr John Yandell, University College London
16:00 Concluding remarks
16:30 Event close

Keynote Speakers

Profile picture of Victoria Elliott
Victoria Elliott, Dr

University of Oxford

Velda Elliott is Associate Professor of English and Literacy Education at the University of Oxford. She is the author of Knowledge in English: Canon, Curriculum & Cultural Literacy (2020) which won the UKLA Academic Book Award 2022. Her work is...