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Research Intelligence

Autumn 2023

Research Intelligence issue 156: Intersectionality: Teaching & learning in UK schools

Intersectionality: Teaching & learning in UK schools

Research Intelligence issue 156

This autumn 2023 issue of Research Intelligence brings together research and reflections regarding the implications of intersectionality on the learning and developmental needs of underprivileged primary and secondary school children. The issue is guest edited by co-convenors of three of BERA’s special interest groups: Saima Salehjee, Race, Ethnicity & Education; John Parkin, Social Justice; and Mabel Encinas, Socio-Cultural & Cultural Historical Activity Theory.

Intersectionality is a useful concept to understand the impact of the multiple inequalities children face in schools and to take action in research, policy and practice with an equity agenda. The concept of intersectionality refers to the interconnected nature of social stratifications such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, religion, dis/ability and sexuality, and how they shape children’s identity, formal learning and everyday lived realities through exclusion and discrimination.

This issue extends the debate on intersectionality, including the lived experiences of the authors and the voices of their participants. It also highlights a variety of inequality-associated concepts and interventions that use intersectionality as a theory and methodology.

Contributions to this issue:

  • John Parkin presents a short extract from his interview with Heidi Safia Mirza about the concept of intersectionality. Listen to the full interview here.
  • Mabel Encinas explores the way in which a cultural-historical approach can be enriched by using intersectional lenses to understand and challenge inequalities in children’s learning and development.
  • Christine Callender and Janet Ramdeo interview Marvin Lynn, one of the most highly cited researchers in the US around educational equity.
  • Liliana Belkin and Afsana Hamidy argue that intersectional analyses may enable more culturally relevant and inclusive educational provision for refugee children when they enter UK schools.
  • Saima Salehjee interviews Khadija Mohammed, a prominent anti-racist activist and multi-award-winning scholar, on the topic of intersectionality, anti-racism and initial teacher education.
  • Diane Warner interviews Denise Miller about her work which lies at the intersection of special educational needs and disabilities and being Black or Asian.
  • Steve Strand presents an intersectional analysis of educational achievement at age 16.
  • Alys Roberts discusses the development and implementation of the new Curriculum for Wales, which aims to represent and serve the identities in Welsh society today.
  • Ama Agyeman examines parental experience of permanent exclusion in the English education system.
  • Sylvia Ikomi writes about the adultification of Black girls in state care and the experience they have in school.
  • Richard Race and Karen Hall explore fundamental British values and Prevent, showing how these can be applied through the subject of drama in initial teacher education.
  • Saima Salehjee and Mike Watts showcase personalised successes in the ‘science lives’ of young Muslim girls in Scotland.

Elsewhere in this issue:

  • We feature programme highlights from the BERA Annual Conference 2023, including our keynote speaker, plenary sessions and ECR Lunchtime Lecture.
  • Nick Johnson presents the outcomes and conclusions of BERA’s major initiative, Education: The State of the Discipline, drawing on the recently released BERA statement.
  • In A view from the United States, R. Martin Reardon discusses political ideology, culture wars and education.
  • Cathy Stroemer and Barbara Ibinarriaga Soltero from the Learned Society of Wales share their experiences of launching and developing the Society’s Early Career Researcher Network.

Guest editors

Profile picture of Mabel Encinas
Mabel Encinas, Dr

Senior Lecturer in Education at London Metropolitan University

Mabel has a strong commitment and passion for equality, diversity, and social inclusion. She is a Senior Lecturer in Education at London Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on creative strategies for learning and teaching, including...

Profile picture of John Parkin
John Parkin, Mr

Academic Employability Consultant at Anglia Ruskin University

John Parkin is an Academic Employability Consultant at Anglia Ruskin University where he works with academics and external partners to embed employability into courses. John Parkin was also a Senior Lecturer Practitioner in Education and a Course...

Profile picture of Saima Salehjee
Saima Salehjee, Dr

Senior Lecturer in Education with STEM specialism at University of Glasgow

Dr Saima Salehjee is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Glasgow. She is responsible for teaching and research work, particularly on Science Education. Saima has received grants to continue her research with underprivileged...