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Department of Education

Abigail Branford

Postdoctoral Researcher

College Affiliation: Jesus College

Abigail’s research explores the role of education in personal development and how this can be supported by policy, pedagogy, curricula and professional development. In particular she focuses on citizenship education, history education as well as relationships and sex education as vehicles for awareness and dialogue about difficult social issues. She takes a comprehensive approach by seeking to understand learners’ experiences, the dynamics of the learning environment and the processes of curriculum development. She also explores the relationship between research and curricula as part of a broader interest in meaningful research dissemination and publication practices.

Abigail has taught social sciences and humanities to secondary students, undergraduates and postgraduates and has also facilitated training sessions for in-service teachers. She previously led a gender-based violence prevention initiative in schools.

She holds postgraduate degrees in Post-Conflict and Transitional Justice (University of Cape Town), in Education, Globalisation and International Development (University of Cambridge) and in African Studies (University of Oxford). She is a Rhodes Scholar, Mandela-Magdalene Scholar and Mandela-Rhodes Scholar.




GCSE History, Policy Reform and Student Development: How students and teachers navigate the thematic study “Empires, Migration and the People”


‘Teaching Migration, Belonging, and Empire in Secondary Schools: evaluation of a teacher professional development program’, (2019) History Educators International Research Network Conference, Lead author: Dr Jason Todd, University of Vienna, Austria.

‘The Problems and Prospects of Teaching South Africa’s Recent History: Teachers’ Perspectives’, (2018) Sustainability, peace and education – Exploring promise and practice: BAICE 20th Anniversary Symposium, University of Bristol, England.

‘New Generations, Old Wounds: Learning History at Home and School in Northern Ireland’, (2018) European Social Science and History Conference,
Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

‘The Methodological Challenges of Investigating the Role of History Teaching in Peacebuilding’, (2017), Present Past: Time, Memory, and the Negotiation of Historical Justice Conference, Columbia University, United States of America.

‘Teaching South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’, (2017) European Conference on African Studies, Universität Basel, Switzerland.


Abigail Branford, ‘”I’m not Catholic and I’m not Protestant”: Identity, individualisation and challenges for history education in Northern Ireland’, History Education Research Journal, 18 (2), 2021.

Babatunde Williams, Ba Linh Le, Abigail Branford, Lena Wagner, ‘Domestic Abuse In The Pandemic & Building Supportive Workplaces’, Report for Frontline100, 2021.

David Mills, Abigail Branford, Kelsey Inouye, Natasha Robinson & Patricia Kingori, “Fake” Journals and the Fragility of Authenticity: Citation Indexes, “Predatory” Publishing, and the African Research Ecosystem’, Journal of African Cultural Studies, 33 (3), 2021.

Abigail Branford, ‘Transitions, Truth-Telling and Teaching History’, Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal, Vol. 4, 2017.


GCSE History, Policy Reform and Student Development: How students and teachers navigate the thematic study “Empires, Migration and the People”

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