New participatory research from Department receives funding boost

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Category: News

A new research project on educational injustice led by the Department will receive a segment of £32,000 seed funding to support participatory research, in which researchers, members of the public and practitioners work together. 

The project, led by Dr Alice Willatt and Dr Claire Stewart-Hall in collaboration with two schools based in the city of Bristol and Studio Susegad, will pilot participatory methods for the co-generation of a ‘people’s history’ of educational injustice. 

The pilot was developed from the Repair-Ed project (led by Professor Arathi Sriprakash), which examines past and present structural inequalities in schools and opens dialogue on repair. Through creative workshop processes the pilot will explore former pupils’ memories of schooling and significant places around their school neighbourhoods. Collaborating with Studio Susegad artists and cultural producers, the participants will create maps of their experiences by working with storytelling, metaphor, and poetry. The memory maps created will then be become part of the Repair-Ed People’s History of Schooling archive, opening intergenerational dialogue on educational injustices between past and present school pupils. 

Dr Alice Willatt explains: “By co-creating new participatory methods and materials that foreground the lived experiences, diverse voices, and agency of former pupils, including those who have first-hand experiences of racial and class-based educational injustices, we will be able to generate much deeper, collaborative place-based insights than traditional, oral history and interview methods would allow.” 

Dr Claire Stewart-Hall said: “This funding enables us to work in a participatory way with very different communities in Bristol and create space to try out different methods to encourage people to tell their stories of schooling in Bristol schools.” 

The project will receive £4,000 out of the £32,00 awarded to support important new participatory research activities across the Social Sciences and Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford.