Seminar Series

We have an annual seminar series. Details of each session with abstracts are given below

We have also held a symposium on Music Education.

We have a second planned for June 25 2017 on Neoliberalism and Primary Education. See our forthcoming events.

If you would like to present a seminar, workshop, provocation, intervention, or pull together a symposium, please contact either Richard Hall or Sarah Younie.


Sam Bamkin: Reform of Moral education: the case of teaching patriotism

Abstract: This presentation explains and explores the ongoing 2015-19 reform of moral education in Japan from the perspective of beliefs and practices of education professionals in the institutional context in and around schools. The 2015 reform of moral education, to be implemented by 2018/19, seeks primarily to increase patriotic education through curriculum and structural means under a neo-conservative agenda of central government. On the other hand, education institutions tend to reproduce beliefs oppositional to nationalism in the curriculum and school practices. The original research presented here looks beyond policy documents to explore how teachers mediate the structural reform and new curriculum elements in moral education practice; and the implications for our theoretical understanding of how Japanese teachers mediate policy in schools and classrooms


Symposium: Music Education Research Group

Ross Purves: Mapping Musical Inclusion
Austin Griffith: Access to the Elite – a contradiction in terms?
David Holland: Access, Inclusion & Creative Engagement
Motje Wolf and Sarah Younie: Overcoming Barriers to Inclusive Music Teaching – a CPD Model


Jason Eyre: Immanence in learning

Abstract: This paper represents a work in progress. It seeks to present an account of learning which places the emphasis not on the content of what is learned, but rather on the context in which that learning takes place – the when, where and who. Taking a philosophical approach, the paper will argue that the goal of a marketised higher education sector has largely been achieved. However, conceptualising higher education as a commodity requires a stable and predictable ‘product’ that can be standardised and measured to enable its marketing, sale and consumption. Higher learning, by contrast, is highly contested with the various actors (institutions, disciplines, learners) all approaching the learning process with their own motivations and values. What emerges is an educational milieu characterised by the interplay of forces (Nietzsche), each of which enters into relation with the others based on its own genealogical context (its past), and with an anticipation of its own telos (its future). The domain in which these forces come into relation with one another is the here and now, a spatio-temporal present that constitutes an ever-emerging plane of immanence (Deleuze). We can thereby begin to understand learning in higher education not as the simple transfer and accumulation of knowledge or know-how, but rather as a perpetual negotiation of what emerges as the present. This conceptual shift in turn may permit new and potentially fruitful ways of engaging with the idea of learning in the contemporary university.


Ross Little: Learning Together: A Tale of Two Prisons (and one university)

Abstract: Learning Together is an approach learning that to brings together students from universities with students in prison.  The pilot Learning Together projects in HMP Gartree and HMP Leicester have been about bringing people together with different learning experiences to discuss and debate criminological issues, share ideas and discover different perspectives, breaking through mainstream media coverage about what it is like to be in prison and to be a prisoner in contemporary society. The experiences, both for students in prison and DMU seem to have been very enjoyable and potentially transformative.  This approach to learning complements existing teaching methods and has potentially useful links with employability and widening participation agendas, as well as the university’s commitment to public good.  From a research perspective, this initiative links strongly with a personal question about whether, and how, learning spaces can be created in our prisons. I look forward to discuss with you progress so far, potential future developments and exploring potential research questions that emanate from this embryonic, area of work.


Dandan Zhu: Comparing and Contrasting Student Identity Change in Different Educational Settings

Abstract: This thesis explores the nature and change of student identity in two universities with different educational settings in China. The thesis also focuses on whether and how two different institutional contexts influence university students’ identity change. The universities in the study are Zhejiang University, which is a Chinese university, and the university of Nottingham Ningbo China, a transnational university (British university campus) in China. The theoretical framework of the study draws from sociological and social psychological theories of identities, and in particular Burke and Set’s (2009) identity theory. Burke and Stets’ (2009) model proposed three dimensions when analysing identities: role identity, group identity and personal identity. This study uses this model to investigate students’ identity change in the afore-mentioned universities.

This study used a qualitative methodology that included documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with six final year students from each of the two universities. The main findings provide empirical evidence for Burke and Stets’ (2009) theoretical model, and identify three transitional phases for university students’ identity change. The findings suggest that students’ identity change is a process involving rich interactions among students’ role, group and personal identity. The findings reveal that students’ identity changes derive from interactions between students’ individual contexts, institutional contexts and the wider social context in China. The findings support existing literature which characterises student identity as multi-dimensional, complex and dynamic but also contribute to the literature by providing empirical evidence in the context of China which is different from the context of existing identity theories. Similarities and differences are identified between the participants from the two universities and the role of each university is analysed. The evidence from this study has important implications for both universities, and adds to the discussion on the internationalisation of higher education in China.


David Holland:          Introducing pupils to sound-based music through the creative use of heightened listening

Abstract: Sound-based music (Landy, 2007), which is a term for music where sound is the main unit rather than the musical note, rarely features in music curricula and currently has a relatively small audience outside of academia. This presentation will outline a PhD research project that investigated whether sound-based music composition can provide an engaging experience for Key Stage 2 children (7-11 year olds) supported by the development of heightened listening skills. The research involved case studies in eight schools in which a series of workshops were conducted where the pupils learnt heightened listening skills, recorded sounds and created sound-based compositions. The results indicated that the children had a high level of engagement with the workshop activities and that heightened listening provided a useful support for the pupils in their compositional work. The main factor in driving their engagement appeared to be the opportunity to be creative with sound, which for many of the children was a relatively novel experience. What was also evident was that pupils chose a variety of different pathways for applying their listening skills when composing their sound-based pieces. These ranged from developing detailed narratives and themes to focusing on experimenting purely with the internal characteristics of the sounds without reference to any external themes.


Mark Pulsford and Ross Purves: Investigating the experiences of initial teacher education applicants and course providers during the 2015-16 recruitment cycle: a policy in to practice case study.