Dina El Odessy is a DPhil student in the University of Oxford, her current doctoral research focuses on the relationship between pedagogic practices, cultural values and educational principles espoused and enacted in community schools in Egypt.

Her research also explores the potential of critical pedagogy in empowering school stakeholders by attempting to discover if community schools have the potential to become sites of praxis in which reflexive action is executed on a collective basis. It is expected that the study may provide new insights into the potential of community schools to provide self-governing learning spaces as well as explain their role in enacting critical pedagogies, along with the challenges that these approaches face in the Egyptian context. In addition, the study attempts to address an existent research gap on alternative models of community schooling, and it is expected to be the first to conceptualize the role of community schools in the analytical framework of holistic critical pedagogy.

Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Dina has earned an MA in Education from University College London (UCL) and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Alexandria University. She believes in the interconnected and multi-disciplinary nature of knowledge, and accordingly has been pursuing different learning opportunities in positive psychology, brain-based learning, postcolonialism, educational leadership, conflict resolution, history and cultural studies.

Dina has also been recently working as the Deputy Director of Alexandria International Schools in Egypt, as well as a freelance writer, and educational entrepreneur. She hopes to become a happiness activist, aiming at bringing about small ripples of change through intermittently running lectures and workshops on well-being, the science of happiness and holistic development.

Research Interests
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Community schools
  • Equity and empowerment
  • Holistic education
  • Alternative education
  • Islamic education
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Informal learning
  • Political education
Title of Thesis

Emergent Critical Pedagogies in Community Schools in Egypt: A Multi-sited Ethnography


MA thesis: The Paradox of Change: A Comparative Study of Education in Ancient and Islamic Egypt in Relation to the Holistic Approach

Hearts in Exile: A New Historical Reading of Elias Khoury’s Gate of the Sun 

Conference Papers

Islamic Holistic Philosophy, September 2017, ‘One World’: Logical and Ethical Implications of Holism” Conference, University of Exeter