Research Interests

Alison’s research interests focus on building international research collaborations and partnerships with a focus on understanding and improving effective educational leadership, and learning to underpin evidence informed innovations to enable young people to be drivers of social change. Alison's research with international partners and collaborators reveals research partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and Schools and Colleges are instrumental to optimising participation, and raising student achievement, attainment and striving for equity. Higher Education Institutions and School/College research partnerships, often facilitated through Post-Graduate Research degrees, also enable communities to think about, and talk about achieving full economic, cultural and political participation in multicultural, intergenerational societies with evolving gender relationships.

Research Projects

The international collaborations and partnerships focusing on these interests can be found here:

The current key research project is an ‘International boundary crossing study of teachers’ and students’ participation in institutional processes and practices’. I have led this project with an international team from South Africa, United States, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Guyana, Pakistan, Finland, England, Nigeria, Israel, Russia, and Kazakhstan. The team is now expanding to include more European partners and international partners.

This international project seeks to develop research partnerships between the Academy and schools and colleges. The project seeks to deliver a collaborative innovative European Union Cooperation framework to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and experience they need to become drivers of social change. The framework enables young people to benchmark their progress towards meeting participation principles and standards that emerged from the key research project above. Young people can then award their organisations with a Charter Mark if the organisation provides opportunities for them to develop as drivers of social change for a sustainable socio-economic model. The opportunities are presented through intervention strategies that are presented in a tool box that include schemes of work for adoption and adaption.

Alison is interested in the role of postgraduate research and research partnerships between the academy and schools and colleges to enable the European Union Cooperative Framework to build capacity using the Bologna process. A key element to the project is the development of multicultural dispositions. Alison has collaborated with Charles Slater, a formal superintendent, and now Professor at California State University, United States to explore this theme. Alison and Charles focused on the learning journeys of educational professionals doing doctorates to understand the importance of post graduate research in developing multicultural identities underpinned by the principles of respect and inclusion. Alison is now developing this project with The Feast who support structured interfaith community building to underpin inclusionary and respectful multifaith, multicultural, intergenerational communities with evolving gender relationships and equity for those recognized as being disabled by society.

The research ties in with Alison's research project into the impact of postgraduate research on optimising leadership, learning and innovation through evidence informed leadership drawing on the narrative biographies of leaders from England, the United States and Russia.

Alison is also working with Carole Collins-Ayanlaja who is a Doctor and senior leader in Chicago, United States. Together they are developing understandings of how home school networks and informal learning can enable parents of Black children to advocate for their children in an education system to underpin achievement and attainment. They are drawing on Carole's doctoral research and Alison's international perspectives. This is a key piece to developing the key project.

Alison’s international research partnerships and collaborations also focus on the role glocalised education policy plays in enabling educational professionals to develop culturally relevant evidence informed leadership, learning and innovations in schools and colleges to optimise participation, and achievement. The international collaborations and partnerships regarding critical policy studies have included Egypt, Finland, Greece, Israel (both Arab, and Jewish focus), Japan, Kazahstan and South Korea, England, Pakistan, China, France, France, Italy, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Russia, and United States of America. The next edition of the special edition journal to develop this project to include a further eight nation states will be published in February 2017.

Alison was invited to collaborate with the US, South Korea, Japan, and UK to rethink the global trends of education governance reforms at Kyoto UNiversity in a half day symposium (Funding Japan Educational Administration Society, and International Relation Committee of the Society 300,000 Japanese Yen).

Alison was invited by the National Institute for Education and Policy Research (NIER) to look into teacher and manager development and she presented her findings to The National Education Research Institute and Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, Tokyo. (Funding NIER 50,000 Japanese Yen).

Alison was invited by the Japan-UK Education Forum to explore the English Policies for Early Years Children and their implications for primary education provision and economic returns on investment’ and present her findings to the Japan-UK Education Forum in Kyoto (Funding Japan-UK Education Forum 50,000 Japanese Yen).

Alison was a Member of BRIDGE project between University of Leicester and Herzen State Pedagogical University funded by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and the Russian National Training Federation. Leader of curriculum element of BRIDGE 2, a curriculum development project worth £15,000 and BRIDGE 3, a curriculum development and research project worth £37,500 role: leader of curriculum development (August 2006- October 2008).

From this research project Alison, Professor Sergei Trapitsin and Professor Victoria Pogosian have collaborated in exploring The role of dialogue and modes of study educational leaders engage with on a Masters degree provided by a UK and Russian Higher Education Institution. Professor Trapitsin introduced Alison to Professor Aigerim Mynbayeva at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Professor Aigerim has invited Alison to Al-Farabi Kazakh National University to develop the project by working with Doctoral students.

Supporting postgraduate researchers is very important to Alison and with Professor Stephen Raynor she was principle investigator for the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) Doctoral Research Interest Group Seminar Series funded by BELMAS £10,000 (please see www.belmasdrig.co.uk/BELMAS_DRIG/Home.html (September 2010- October 2011) and the DRIG continues with funding of £2000 per annum. The outcomes from this project were a website that Alison created and manages, and a book that Alison and Stephen edited that included chapters from key note speakers at the seminar series who were selected for their impact in the field.

Alison also led the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) development grant (£2000) for an International day conference with 30 delegates, and a series of research meetings. She was able to part-fund colleagues from Russia with Herzen State Pedagogical University. The focus was on innovative educational programmes to build capacity for leading teachers. The research team examined sustainable leadership and building tolerance in multi-cultural contexts.

Topics for Doctoral supervision include:

  • Globalization, Educational Leadership, Learning and Innovation
  • Optimising participation in education systems to enable young people to be drivers of social change
  • Critical Policy Studies
  • Exploring relationships between the state, the public and the economy for full civic engagement
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Civic work and engaging with social justice
  • Developing multicultural and intergenerational dispositions through formal and informal learning
  • The ethics of research in educational leadership and management

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