Keynote Speakers

Colette GrayDr. Colette Gray
Principal lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at Stranmillis University College, Queens University Belfast.

Keynote Title:
New and emerging ethical dilemmas: pre-empting the unknown

About Colette

Dr Colette Gray BSSc. PhD. PGCHET. C’Psychol. AFBPsS. FHEA. AMRSM is a Principal Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her specialist teaching areas are children’s cognitive development and research methods. Until recently she was the Head of Research Development in Stranmillis University College and led the College’s highly successful REF2014 submission. She is widely published and was a key author in the development and publication of the first ethical guidelines for students, educationalists, academics and practitioners working in the Early Years field titled: EECERA Ethical Code for Early Childhood Researchers. Her other areas of interest include participatory research involving young children, atypical development and educational achievement.

EECERA Ethical Code for Early Childhood Researchers. REVISED VERSION 1.2: May 2015. By Bertram, T., Formosinho, J., Gray, C. Pascal, C. & Whalley, M. Available to download at:

Keynote Abstract

New and emerging ethical dilemmas continue to challenge university academics, scientists, journal editors and practitioners. All institutions operate according to their own ethical guidelines which are published and made available to the student body and staff. Further guidance comes from specialist academic subject areas; for example psychologists are expected to meet the ethical demands stated by the American Psychology Association or, in the UK, the British Psychological Society. Similarly researchers and academics working and publishing in the education field are guided by the principles stated in the British Educational Research Association 2011. Premised on the medical model of ‘do no harm’, integrity is the heart of research. This keynote includes several real world case studies and I will ask you to consider how you might have responded to each dilemma. In essence, this is an interactive presentation which requires your participation.

We will take as our starting point the falsification and misrepresentation of research data and I offer you two examples. The first occurred at my own university when, in my role as Head of Research Development, I was asked to read a thesis submission and to determine how best to respond. No further information was supplied.

The work was submitted by a student completing her final year of a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree and the subject under investigation was the ‘Role of integrated education in a divided society’. Not a common area of interest to our BA ECS students but a welcome diversion from the typical gender differences in children’s play or the inclusion of children with special educational needs in mainstream schools. So I was intrigued and looked forward to reading the work. It was well organised and presented, cogent with a large number of appropriate and up to date references included. The methods and results sections were strong and the discussion and conclusion sections indicated a strong awareness of the implications of the study. It quickly became clear, however, that the work drew on post primary pupils’ experiences of integrated education; early years explores every facet of children from birth through to eight years of age. It heavily cited the work of one of my colleagues and nowhere was ECS mentioned. At that point I spoke with the referenced colleague and showed him the work, which he instantly identified as authored by one of his own BEd students that year.

An inquiry was launched and the student invited to the meet the investigation panel with a view to explaining her actions. Initially she refused to admit that her work was plagiarised from research conducted by another student but eventually admitted that she had found a pen drive which included the completed thesis.  Given she was struggling to meet deadlines, she thought no one would notice and agreed her course of action was reprehensible.  The panel concluded its enquiry and sent its report to the College principal as a matter of urgency. Had you been on that panel what advice would you have offered the university?

In another case, as editor of a journal I was contacted by a reviewer who raised serious concerns about a paper under review. She said she had conducted the review of the same paper for another journal and it had been accepted and published. She believed the second submission bore striking similarities to the original article. She sent me a copy of paper 1 and 2 and had highlighted all areas of similarity. As editor it was my job to determine if and what action was required.

With the exception of the title both of which differed and the authors’ named listed on the paper much of the paper 2 was drawn from paper 1. The issue here concerns Self-plagiarism. Having identified large portions were exactly the same in both papers what course of action would you have advised?

We then shift our focus to consider the ethical issues and vulnerability of young children who are presented at their worst in programmes such as Tiny House of Terrors, or in YOUTube clips of screaming children, fights between siblings etc. Questions regarding, informed consent, the child’s right to anonymity and confidentiality will be considered with regards to potential legal challenges on the grounds of exploitation with an example drawn from Pop world.

The response to these and other case studies will be discussed during the keynote address.

Alison Cook-SatherProf. Alison Cook-Sather
Professor of Education and Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania.

Keynote Title:
Embracing an Ethic of Reciprocity: Pedagogical Partnership in Teaching and Learning

About Alison

Alison Cook-Sather is the Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education at Bryn Mawr College and Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Her research focuses on how differently positioned participants in education can work in partnership toward deeper learning and on how various metaphors and the classical anthropological concept of liminality can be used to analyze how education is and might be conceptualized and practiced. Supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dr. Cook-Sather has developed internationally recognized programs that position students as pedagogical partners to prospective secondary teachers and to practicing college faculty members. She has published over 85 articles and book chapters and given as many keynote addresses, other invited presentations, and papers at refereed conferences in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. She has published five books including Engaging Students as Partners in Learning & Teaching: A Guide for Faculty (co-authored with Catherine Bovill and Peter Felten, Jossey-Bass, 2014), Learning from the Student’s Perspective: A Sourcebook for Effective Teaching (Paradigm Publishers, 2009), and International Handbook of Student Experience in Elementary and Secondary School (co-edited with Dennis Thiessen, Springer Publishers, 2007). From 2010-2015, she was the Jean Rudduck Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge in England.

Keynote abstract

Embracing an Ethic of Reciprocity: Pedagogical Partnership in Teaching and Learning

Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education, Bryn Mawr College, and Director, Teaching and Learning Institute, Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, USA

Pedagogical partnerships invite students and teachers into “a collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute equally, although not necessarily in the same ways, to curricular or pedagogical conceptualization, decision-making, implementation, investigation, or analysis” (Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten, 2014, pp. 6-7). If partnership is understood as “a relationship” in which all involved are “actively engaged in and stand to gain from the process of learning and working together” (Healey, Flint & Harrington, 2014, p. 12), then “the linchpin” of partnership is “a relational process between students and academics/staff underpinned by a mindset” (Matthews, 2016). Cook-Sather and Felten (in press, 2017) have called this mindset “an ethic of reciprocity” — an ethic that enacts the principles of respect and shared responsibility as well as reciprocity in teaching and learning (Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten, 2014). Working within the conceptual framework these definitions of pedagogical partnership provide, this keynote will present two of the longest standing examples of student-teacher partnership, both based at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. The first, Teaching and Learning Together, created in 1995 and based in the Colleges’ teacher preparation program, pairs secondary students with undergraduate teaching certification candidates in semester-long, email exchanges focused on pedagogical issues to prepare the prospective secondary teachers for informed classroom practice. The second, Students as Learners and Teachers, created in 2006, pairs undergraduates and academic staff in semester-long partnerships focused on classroom practice in which the staff partners are engaged. The keynote will include a discussion of the structures and outcomes of these programs and address research and policy implications of such approaches to learning and teaching guided by an ethic of reciprocity.


Prof Geoff Whitty
Director Emeritus, UCL Institute of Education, UK,  Global Innovation Chair in Equity in Higher Education, University of Newcastle, Australia and Research Professor in Education, Bath Spa University, UK

Keynote Title:
What IS Education as a field of study?

About Geoff

Geoff Whitty was Director of the Institute of Education, University of London from 2000 to 2010, having previously served as its Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education from 1992. He is widely credited with leading the Institute to new heights in terms of its local, national and international standing. Earlier, he taught in primary and secondary schools before pursuing a career in higher education at Bath University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, King’s College London, Bristol Polytechnic and Goldsmiths College. He now holds a part-time Research Professorship in Education at Bath Spa University and a Global Innovation Chair in Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His current research is on teacher education and access to higher education. His most recent books are Research and Policy in Education (IOEPress 2016) and Knowledge and the Study of Education (with John Furlong), published by Symposium Books earlier this year.

Keynote abstract

What IS Education as a field of study?

Geoff Whitty, Director Emeritus, UCL Institute of Education, UK, Global Innovation Chair in Equity in Higher Education, University of Newcastle, Australia and Research Professor in Education, Bath Spa University, UK

In this keynote lecture, Geoff Whitty will draw on his new book with John Furlong, Knowledge and the Study of Education (Symposium Books, 2017), to discuss different knowledge traditions in teaching and research in Education.  The book draws on a British Academy project that looked at how the study of Education is constituted in seven different jurisdictions – Australia, China, France, Germany, Latvia, the USA and the UK.  It identified twelve major knowledge traditions, and classified these as Academic Knowledge Traditions (such as Sciences de l’Éducation), Practical Knowledge Traditions (like that practised in Normal Colleges) and Integrated Knowledge Traditions (including the currently fashionable concept of Research-informed Clinical Practice).  In the lecture, Geoff will discuss the nature of these different traditions and, using a Bernsteinian framework, consider how they might be located along two dimensions – Sacred-Profane and Objective-Normative.