Seminars and Events

All events are held at 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY unless otherwise stated.

All are welcome to those indicated as ‘public seminars’ in parentheses after the title. These are held on Monday evenings and there is no need to book. If you are coming from outside the Department and would like to attend any of the other seminars or events, please contact the convener(s) beforehand.
Click on the title of the event for further information.

Evidence-informed educational practice for children in care

Webinar hosted by the Rees Centre

10 February 2015 16:30 - 16:30

Conveners: Alun Rees and Lucy Wawrzyniak, Visiting Research Fellows, the Rees Centre.

For further information see the Rees Centre events page

FELL/Child Learning Research Groups seminar

Elizabeth Nye, Department of Social Policy and Intervention

04 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Kathy Sylva, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

'The community got angry. You cannot argue with the community': understanding 'mob justice' in post-apartheid South Africa

Sarah Jane Cooper-Knock, Lecturer in International Development, University of Edinburgh

05 March 2015 12:30 - 14:00
Seminar Room B

Convener: Dr Susan James Relly
Abstract:  Policing and security is a popular topic of conversation in South Africa, but it is also an emotive and sensitive one. In this seminar, I'll be exploring the challenges of conducting interviews on everyday policing, and how I tackled  them. To do so, I'll be drawing on my research on 'mob justice' in the township of KwaMashu, South Africa: one of the most popularised but under-research elements of everyday policing and justice in the country.

Environmental risk and promoting factors of educational achievement amongst black South African youth: an educational resilience approach

Rocio Herrero Romero, Department of Social Policy and Intervention

09 March 2015 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Professor Steve Strand, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Dr James Hall, Quantitative Methods Hub

Automatic translation in bilingual processing (Public Seminar)

Walter Van Heuven, University of Nottingham

09 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Xin Wang, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Teaching as moral injury: the ethics of educational injustice

Professor Meira Levinson, Harvard University

10 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (Oxford branch) and Religion, Philosophy and Education Forum joint seminar programme
Please email if you have any inquiries.

Abstract: Consider a case study of school personnel who must decide whether to expel a fourteen year-old student for bringing marijuana onto campus. The case enables us to explore a class of ethical dilemmas in which educators are obligated to take action that fulfills the demands of justice, but have to do so under conditions in which no just action is possible because of contextual and school-based injustices. Under such circumstances, educators suffer moral injury: the trauma of perpetrating significant moral wrong against others despite one’s wholehearted desire and responsibility to do otherwise. Educators often try to avoid moral injury in intrinsically unjust contexts by engaging in loyal subversion, using their voice to protest systemic injustices, or exiting the school setting altogether. No approach, however, enables educators adequately to fulfill their obligation to enact justice and hence to escape moral injury. Although it is educators who suffer the moral injury, it is society that owes them moral repair—most importantly, by restructuring educational and other social systems so as to mitigate injustice. In assuming these obligations, society must also collaborate with experienced educators who have insights to cut through what otherwise appear to be intractable normative challenges. As a methodological point, case studies of dilemmas of justice may enable philosophers, educators, and members of the general public to engage in grounded reflection as a means of achieving phronetic equilibrium, thus further reducing moral injury and enhancing educators’ capacities to enact justice in schools.

About the speaker: Meira Levinson is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, following eight years as an eighth grade teacher in the Atlanta and Boston Public Schools.  She is the author of No Citizen Left Behind (Harvard University Press, 2012), which has won awards from the National Council for the Social Studies, American Educational Studies Association, American Political Science Association, and North American Society for Social Philosophy.  Her other publications include The Demands of Liberal Education, the coauthored Democracy at Risk, the co-edited Making Civics Count, and over 30 scholarly and popular articles and book chapters. Levinson earned a DPhil in political theory from Nuffield College, Oxford, and her BA in philosophy from Yale University.  She is spending this year at Nuffield College as a Guggenheim Fellow, writing case studies, articles, and a book about dilemmas of justice in schools.  The project is intended to give educators tools for making just decisions in their own practice, and also to push political theorists to develop theories of justice that are robust enough to address complex school-based dilemmas.  This project, like her previous research, reflects Levinson’s commitment to achieving productive cross-fertilization—without loss of rigor—among scholarship, policy, and practice.

OSAT Reading Group

11 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Wells, G (2011) Integrating CHAT and action research Mind, Culture, and Activity Volume 18, Issue 2, 2011 Special Issue: Cultural-Historical Activity Theory and Action Research, pp 161-180

FELL/Child Learning Research Groups seminar

Professor Margaret Harris and Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi, Oxford Brookes University

11 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Kathy Sylva, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

Ethics and methods in exploring children’s lives: experiences from Young Lives

Professor Virginia Morrow, Department of International Development

12 March 2015 12:30 - 14:00
Seminar Room B

Convener: Dr Susan James Relly, Director of Doctoral Studies

Ginny joined Young Lives ( in January 2011 as Deputy Director. Her research focuses on children’s work in developed and developing countries, sociological approaches to the study of childhood and children’s rights, the ethics of social research with children, children’s understandings of family, and children and ‘social capital’. She has published extensively, and has been a member of numerous Advisory Groups and Research Ethics Committees. She has been co-editor of Childhood: A Journal of Global Child Research since 2006.

Educational processes: theoretical and conceptual models

Network on Intrapersonal Research in Education (NIRE): A seminar series

19 March 2015 10:00 - 16:00

What is educational neuroscience? (public seminar)

Professor Dorothy Bishop, Department of Experimental Psychology

27 April 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Victoria Murphy, Applied Linguistics Research Group

The comprehensive school (Die Gesamtschule) - the anatomy and pathology of secondary school reform in Germany and Austria

Karl Heinz Gruber, University of Vienna

18 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Ian Menter, Teacher Education and Professional Learning research group

Economic returns to A level mathematics

Professor Andrew Noyes and Dr Mike Adkins, University of Nottingham

19 May 2015 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Jenni Ingram, Mathematics Education Research Group

In 1999, Peter Dolton and Anna Vignoles first published their econometric analysis of the 1958 National Child Development Study which showed that A level mathematics was unique in having a wage premium of 7-10% at age 33, for that sample of the population.  In our Nuffield-funded project, Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation, we have replicated the original research and then repeated the analysis with the later 1970 British Cohort Study, using Bayesian modelling and multiple imputation techniques.  In this session we will present the findings from this analysis to show that there appears to  be a sustained ‘return’ to A level mathematics over time, although why this might be is not entirely clear.  Secondly, we present an analysis of how the original research has been taken up by policymakers and what Stephen Ball and Sonia Exley term policy interlockers.  Thirdly, we will set out how this work package fits into the wider project and how the findings raise further questions and new avenues of inquiry.

Creating opportunity for digital participation: Integrating computer science in the primary curriculum

Dr Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Georgia State University

27 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Focusing on design thinking and integrated curriculum design, this research talk will describe an investigation of how to integrate computer science and online literacies into primary classroom settings. Primary computer science is one way to invite learners as digital participants. The study described here will demonstrate how one school is changing curriculum to encourage digital participation. Theories about participatory digital practices, constructionism, and empowering/emancipatory education offer teachers a foothold for curricular innovation. However, new theories about how to engage learners (and teachers) in meaningful and meaning-making digital practices continue to develop as teachers take up and use these theories in the contexts of schools and learning.

About the speaker:
Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University in the US. Her research focuses on digital literacies, early literacy development, and teacher development.

Higher education expansion and social mobility: Is this the UK government's vision?

Dr Susan James, Deputy director of SKOPE

01 June 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Alis Oancea, Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) research group

Mathematics Education Reading Group

11 June 2015 15:00 - 16:30
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Gabriel Stylianides, Mathematics Education Research Group (MERG)


Concepts and mastery in learning and teaching mathematics

Dr Alf Coles, University of Bristol

11 June 2015 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Jenni Ingram, Mathematics Education Research Group

Abstract:  In this session, Alf will consider the question of how we come to acquire mastery over mathematical concepts. Two sources of evidence converge to bring into question the orthodoxy that learning mathematics entails a movement from concrete to abstract. The first is recent neuroscience research into the origins of number sense and the previously unacknowledged role of ordinality (see the work of Ian Lyons). The second source comes from reflection on three of the great mathematics educators of the twentieth century, Caleb Gattegno, Vasily Davydov and Bob Davis. All three authors developed mathematics curricula (shown to be highly effective) in which mathematical symbolism arose out of action and relationship, not as a referrent for concrete objects. Alf will work with the group actively on these ideas and the direct implications for the classroom. There will be space for feedback and discussion of issues.

The rediscovery of teaching: in search of a progressive argument

Professor Gert Biesta, University of Luxembourg and Brunel University

15 June 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Rebecca Enyon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group