The Reparative Futures of Education (REPAIR-ED) research project is awarding two fully-funded doctoral scholarships based within Oxford University’s Department of Education.
The REPAIR-ED project involves working with primary school-communities in the city of Bristol to examine the features and mechanisms of structural inequities in education. The project will use its empirical findings to facilitate dialogues with stakeholders (schools, their communities, policy-actors and the broader public) to explore how reparative justice in education might be conceptualised and enacted. It is motivated by the overarching question: what does reparation in education look like?
More information about the conceptual premise of the REPAIR-ED project can be read in the following (open access) paper: Arathi Sriprakash (2022) Reparations: theorising just futures of education, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.
The focus of the two PhD projects will be on Bristol primary school children’s experiences and conceptualisations of educational injustice and its repair. How do children make sense of past and present injustices in schooling and how do they conceptualise educational justice for future children?
The PhD students will be encouraged to design and conduct an original study addressing this question, following their methodological interests and engagement with existing literature. There is significant scope for creativity and theoretical exploration. For example, perhaps the research could focus on the theme of intergenerational repair – exploring if and how children understand themselves as members of what Annette Baier calls a cross-generational community: ‘a community of beings who look before and after, who interpret the past in light of the present, who see the future as growing out of the past, who see themselves as members of enduring families, nations, cultures, traditions’. What would this intergenerational perspective offer futures of education? Or perhaps the research could focus on the multiple temporalities of structural injustice in education that children navigate, both its immediate and long-run forms – for instance the long histories of racial capitalism that structure children’s experiences in schools as well as the immediate effects of racial exclusion. How do different understandings of reparative redress emerge from such multiple temporalities of educational injustice?
The PhD students will be encouraged to explore creative and collaborative methods such as digital storytelling, sonic geographies, or community arts-based methodologies (to name just a few), in order to explore the affective and embodied dimensions of injustice and to contribute new methodological insights into participatory research with children. The projects will offer a major source of knowledge on children’s theorising of education injustice and its possible redress.
The PhD students will be supervised by Professor Arathi Sriprakash and will work closely with the REPAIR-ED project team. They will also be encouraged to take active part in the lively academic cultures of the Department and University. The PhD students will need to be in a position to spend time in the second year undertaking fieldwork in Bristol as part of the project. An additional supervisor will be named following application based on the focus and/or approach of the work being proposed.
The successful applicants will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the themes of reparation and reparative justice as they relate to the English education system and specifically to primary-school children. Knowledge of social research methods relevant to working with children and/or in education settings is also essential.
The scholarship will fund tuition fees at the Home rate plus a maintenance allowance equivalent to the UKRI doctoral stipend (£18,622 for 2023/2024) for up to three years. Students with overseas fee status should be advised that they would need to fund the remainder of their fees from alternative sources. The Reparative Futures of Education project is funded by the UKRI Frontier Research programme.
How to apply
To apply for the scholarship, you must submit an application to study for a DPhil in Education at the University of Oxford by Friday 5 January 2024.
Applications will be assessed as part of the applicant pool for the Department of Education. On the application form, please indicate at the appropriate sections that you wish to be considered for the ‘Reparative Futures of Education Scholarship’ by
- listing Professor Arathi Sriprakash as the ‘Proposed Supervisor’
- typing in the code EDUC-2024/25 in the Funding section of the application form (screenshot below). More than one code can be entered if you are applying for more than one studentship or scholarship that requires a code to be entered.
Your research proposal should follow all the guidelines on the university admissions page (https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/dphil-education), plus it should also provide:
- An explanation of how your understanding of the themes of reparation/reparative justice/ reparative futures will inform and benefit your research;
- An explanation of how you will work in creative, ethical and participatory ways with children.
Queries about the studentship should be addressed to: email@example.com.