Events and Activities


Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy Research Group and Seminar Programme 2021-2022

All sessions Teams, 1-2pm

If you are based outside of the CSESP and are interested in attending one of our research seminars, please email:  


Semester 1



Jo Hill, Bid Development Officer, Research & Innovation Services 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are a great way to develop productive relationships with external partners and to further the impact of your research. Cardiff Met has a long history of participation in the KTP programme and is keen to develop more. Innovate UK are also very keen to broaden participation beyond the traditional academic fields and company partners that may have appeared more suited to knowledge transfer in the past, so the time really is right to consider KTP as an option for you. 
KTPs typically last two years but can be shorter or longer. KTPs improve business competitiveness by using academic knowledge, technology and skills. For you, they could generate research income, impact from your research, new research themes and teaching material and papers and journal articles to all help in advancing your career. 

Learning Pool booking Link: and the correct session needs to be selected by CSESP staff to register onto. 


Professor Steve Gill, Director of Research 

"Everything you’ve always wanted to know about REF but were too afraid to ask" in which Steve will spell out the basics of REF, what it is, why it exists and how it works.  The remainder of the session will be spent in Q&A.  


Dr Sue Davis and Dr Rhiannon Packer

Quiet, shy and/or anxious children are to be found in every classroom and, by their nature, tend to go 'under the radar'. For some children, their shyness can be severe and may affect their access to learning. Thus further understanding and support is needed. Our research has been exploring the use of a targeted programme to support QSA children and to evaluate its effectiveness.  


Tegan Pyke 

The New Media Writing Prize is a yearly, international awards competition that celebrates online storytelling. Now in its twelfth year, it showcases some of the most innovative uses of multimedia in fiction, poetry, and journalism. In 2019, the British Library's Emerging Formats project began a collaboration with the award to create the New Media Writing Prize Collection—a digital archive of all winning and shortlisted entries, as well as any required contextual resources.  

During her placement with the British Library, Cardiff Metropolitan University PhD candidate Tegan Pyke has compared hundreds of instances of the 78 works within the collection to identify the best of each. In this talk, she covers the challenges digital archivists face in a constantly shifting technological landscape, the difficulties of determining good archival captures of multimedia objects, and the current status of the collection itself. She also talks about her creative response to the collection, Alice in Archive Land, and the inspiration behind it. 



Semester 2



Eleanor Reynolds  - Beauty in decay: the objectification of female anatomy  


The Anatomical Venuses were created by Clemente Susini in the 1780-90s, at the La Specola workshop in Florence, to teach dissection. They recline on pink satin cushions, their heads tilted backwards and their lips parted; a hand is raised languidly to toy with a string of pearls or a wig of real hair, one leg is crossed suggestively over the other. When their stomach covering is lifted, their organs can be removed to reveal a uterus with a tiny foetus nestled inside it. These models reinforce two painful cultural beliefs: that women must always be beautiful and that their main role in life is to bear children. My research explores the motives behind their construction, our modern-day reactions to them and the effect that such representations of female anatomy have had on women’s health today.  


Professor Lynne Evans -  What is research impact, why is it important and how can we develop it?  

Our role in academia involves impacting the lives of others on a daily basis. But what is research impact, why is it important and how can we develop it? This session introduces some of the nuts and bolts of research impact, its development and its role within the research excellence framework (REF).            


Dr Jo Aubrey - “Toto, I’ve got a feeling that we’re not in Kansas anymore”:  Historical reflections of researcher vulnerability and the impact of power dynamics in post-communist eastern Europe, lessons learned and their implications for contemporary post-graduate research design and methods in cross-cultural contexts.

My doctoral thesis was based predominantly in Ukraine, which in 1997 when I began my data collection, was a country newly independent from the old USSR and, like most of its neighbours in the region, experiencing immense social, economic and political upheaval.   My research was concerned with the evaluation of training and knowledge transfer between British social workers and their colleagues to support the deinstitutionalisation of residential childcare and the introduction of community fostering and adoption.   The work was funded by the Department for International Development and UNICEF and facilitated by a British university.
This paper is a retrospective consideration of the vulnerability of a young, female post-graduate student negotiating the tricky moral terrain of cross-cultural research.  With the benefit of hindsight, it appears quite shocking that there was nothing in my thesis that even alluded to my own vulnerability, and on consideration of my position almost twenty years later, there is little doubt in my mind that, in today’s more sensitive and careful academic climate,  far more scrutiny would have been given to these issues and the significant ethical and risk considerations involved with sending a young, female, inexperienced researcher into a socially and politically unstable region.
I examine the notion of vulnerability from a power perspective;  beginning with the precarious, global position and shifted status of the newly independent countries of the old eastern ‘Bloc’ in the late 1990s,  continuing with the actual and perceived power of the western organisations involved and their relationship with indigenous agencies, and finally how the challenging social and political landscape and the power differentials between all key parties, impacted on the researcher and were compounded by gender, status and participant perceptions.
The paper concludes with some recommendations based on lived experience for the consideration of vulnerability in research design and methods within a cross-cultural context, with a particular focus on post-graduate students who are vulnerable enough when conducting fieldwork close to home and within their own cultures, but particularly so in alien environments where the usual support structures are absent. 


Cez James - 'Empowerment of young people, what does it mean in practice'?  

 Exploring the complex and often contradictory definitions of empowerment and what that might mean for those with a social policy mandate to empower young people in and through their practice


 Dr Rhiannon Packer - Crossing the bridge to Further Education: Experiences of Transition

Educational transitions are complex and the process of transition to any new educational setting involves a number of stakeholders.  The focus of the seminar today will relate some of the findings from the Further Education (FE) sector.  The context of the study is South Wales, where FE colleges deliver vocational education and training, both full and part-time, in addition to delivering general education for the local area’s sixth form cohort.   Using an interpretive methodology, the voices of key stakeholders in the transition to FE were sought and recorded to explore and inform good practice.  Drawing upon Ranson’s (2000) ‘pedagogy of voice’, which requires active listening and learning from the opinions and feelings of others, enabled an understanding of transition experiences from a variety of perspectives (Wertsch, 1991).  This research formed part of a wider project on educational transitions which culminated in the publication of a book. ‘All Change! Best Practice for Educational Transitions’ written by Rhiannon and colleagues at the University of South Wales was published last year by Critical Publishing. 


Kirsten Stevens-Wood - Utopia calling: Intentional Communities as a critique of the everyday.

Intentional Communities have often been named as a form of practical utopia.  A means of holding up a real-life critique of contemporary society and offering an alternative that is better in some way.  Intentional communities challenge the everyday forms of living and create often experimental spaces to test out alternative ways of being.  This seminar will discuss the scope of intentional communities as an area of research and how this has led to my early PhD findings.



Professor Gary Beauchamp - The Wales Collaborative for Learning Design and Collaborative Research Networks

This session will outline two current Welsh Government funded projects and how they can help in developing networks and research opportunities.


Kristina Kelly - Schematic Driven Pedagogy: The Amalgamation of Two Pedagogical Worlds

The presentation will entail discussion surrounding Schematic Driven Pedagogy (SDP) and its potential benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The SDP theory utilises Piagetian pedagogy in order to acutely differentiate resources for an individual. Data will be included that has been collected through practitioner observations from an ALN school in South Wales. 



Kris Sobol - Reflections from doctoral research on the benefits of implementing peer coaching strategies with PGCE Primary students

The research project was undertaken with a cohort of PGCE PRIMARY students at Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU). The project began in September 2017 with a pilot study (n= 28 respondents) followed by the main study in 2018 with the whole cohort of 140 students. 
Questionnaire and focus group were used to gather data on respondents' pre- course experience of volunteering or working in school. On the basis of data gathered, peer-coaching strategies were implemented where students were grouped according to: pre- course experience in school; fluency in Welsh; confidence in maths. 
Peer coaching principles were considered in organising and undertaking activities at appropriate levels for each group. 
Some initial key findings from the research 
Interventions resulted in a two-way reward - coach and coached. 
Peer coaching initiatives in line with Curriculum for Wales (2022) pedagogy. 
Peer coaching contexts often less stressful for students than tutor led contexts. 
Successful peer coaching requires clear ground rules, meticulous organisation, detailed knowledge of students. 
There were two key literature aspects to the research project, firstly the literature review of change management theories and models and secondly, literature review of peer- coaching theory and research studies.  


 Prof Lynne Evans, Prof Steve Cooper, Dr Jenny Mercer & Dr Kate North - Career Progression Through Research     

Join colleagues as they reflect on their research journeys, noting significant decisions and moments of development on their paths to becoming Readers and Professors.   


 Professor Steve Cooper - What is measurement reliability and validity, and how can we estimate these features in our quantitative research?



Dr Susan Davis - Lessons from researching within a racial paradigm - 

Negating the ‘emotional toll’ on researchers of colour in a Welsh HEI.




Dr Christina Thatcher  - Creative Approaches to Representation   

Dr Christina Thatcher will discuss some of the ways in which creative work can document and represent those whose stories are still left untold. In particular, she will discuss her current poetry-collection-in-progress, which aims to explore women's role in farm work and rodeo riding in the USA. During this seminar, she will share two poems and discuss how poetic biographies – as well as ekphrasis, segmentivity and metapoetics – can uniquely represent women’s experiences in rodeo. At the centre of this work is an attempt to understand what it means to be a female rodeo rider and how research and poetry-making might help to document their experiences. This seminar would be particularly valuable for anyone interested in creative research methods and / or the real world impact of creative work.  



Dr Nick Taylor-Collins  - The taming shrew: Agnes in Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet as (early) modern husbander.  

Whilst attention has already turned to Hamnet’s affiliation with and debt to Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet (O’Neill, 2020), another play, The Taming of the Shrew(1594), now merits an intertextual reckoning to help understand the protagonist Agnes. Shrew’s Katherina is headstrong and animalistic, like O’Farrell’s Agnes. Katherina’s successor—Maria—from John Fletcher’s Shrew sequel, The Woman’s Prize (1611), offers another significant staging post for Agnes. Maria fully overcomes any ambiguity about wife–husband relations in Shakespeare’s play, asserting the deft and conquering power of a shrewish woman.  


Boosted by O’Farrell’s declared intertextual influences from other early modern texts covering botany and falconry, it becomes clear that O’Farrell does not merely update an early modern tragedy in Hamnet through twenty-first century emotions of grief and guilt, but more concretely organises her narrative around early modern husbandry—just as Shakespeare did in Shrew. In this chapter, I argue that through this intertextual engagement, Hamnet becomes a novel recasting womanhood as typically ‘masculine’ proactive manipulation of nature, rather than the narrative of a meek wife set to inherit her husband’s second-best bed. Hamnet, too, becomes a sequel to Shrew.  


Dr Kate Attfield - Triple X supergirls & superwomen and their education & social life experiences   

In this seminar Dr Kate Attfield will discuss Triple X supergirls’ and superwomen’s childhoods and adolescence. Triple X is a rare genetic chromosomal difference, affecting girls and women. Kate is interested in such individuals’ holistic experiences and their daily lives. Kate interviewed families to attempt to understand girls’ and women’s life course encounters and to represent them to the education academic sphere, education authorities, schools, colleges and universities.  

Kate assessed the significance of families’ positions, the extent of qualifications and employment gained by women, and the contrasts in aspirations between parents and daughters. Kate is working towards presenting the topics of the ownership of knowledge and useful ways of comprehending Triple X to a medical science community. 


Dr Jennie Clement - Spatially Democratic Pedagogy: Co-creating classroom space with young children.  

This seminar shares some reflections from my PhD and will consider what happens when young children design and co-create their classroom space. It positions this co-creation of space as a vehicle for everyday democratic pedagogy by foregrounding the materiality of teaching and learning. The session will also ask if Spatially Democratic Pedagogy can be a model of participatory pedagogy for student teachers and to try to answer this I will share some initial reflections from ‘Froebel House: the big build’ an on-going collaborative design project on the Cyncoed Campus.