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SOE host annual Doctoral Conference

Organisers of the Doctoral Conference

20 June 2018

The annual Doctoral Conference was held at the School of Education between 7 and 9 June 2018.

This student-led event attracted over 100 students and staff in total, from Bristol and beyond. Entitled ‘Imagine, Challenge, Transform’, it provided an opportunity for students to reflect on their personal doctoral experience and explore questions about education and educational research. Over twenty student presentations reflected the international character of the School of Education, with subjects ranging from innovative research methodologies to the teaching of English academic writing in Oman and non-school learning in Portugal.

In his opening keynote, the head of school, Prof. Bruce Macfarlane invited the audience to consider an alternative view of research ethics, as a matter of integrity rather than a fixed set of principles derived from medical ethics. Dr Arathi Sriprakash from the University of Cambridge, in her talk on the politics of knowledge in educational research, encouraged students to move ‘beyond positionality to epistemic reflexivity’ and consider not only the ‘shine’ but also the ‘shadow’ of their research. In the third keynote, Prof. Jerry Wellington from the University of Sheffield drew on his experience of supervising and examining doctoral students to discuss what ‘doctorateness’ looks like in the thesis and viva voce. Following his session Prof Wellington said, ‘it was very enjoyable to meet such a lively and able group.’ Prof. Bill Browne from the School of Education gave the final keynote, in which he outlined his recent work in developing e-books that address the gap between the ever-increasing requirement for statistical expertise and the availability of trained statisticians and statistics teachers.

Delegates also enjoyed discussions, a poster session, which included a number of posters from SoE students in Hong Kong, and a chance to take part in ‘Intervision’, a peer support activity. The conference ended with a lively panel discussion on the role of philosophy in educational research, in which Dr Angeline Barratt and Dr Matt Kedzierski discussed questions from the audience. The organisers received a good deal of positive feedback about the conference, with one delegate describing the event as ‘professional and cosy at the same time’.

View photos from the conference on the SOE Flickr page.

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