I am an education researcher with an interest in how children make sense of the world and develop a sense of self. My research is committed to creating spaces for dialogue with children and using arts-based and multimodal methods to explore the things that matter to them.
Completed in 2020, my PhD thesis Not 'just a school day': An arts-based dialogic inquiry into the learning lives of children from armed forces families in a UK primary school is an account of a 14-month arts-based project conducted in a primary school in England with a group of children aged 8-11 with parents serving in the UK armed forces.
As well as conducting research, my role at Oxford Brookes is to support the Children and Young People Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Network.
Areas of expertise
- Children's literacy practices;
- Children with a parent/parents serving in the UK armed forces;
- Primary school teaching, curriculum, power and classroom relationships and how these intersect with policy;
- Dialogism and children's voice;
- Participatory research using multimodal and arts-based ethnographic methods with children.
I conduct research that creates spaces for dialogue with children, using arts-based and participatory ethnographic methods. I am interested in:
- how children make sense of the world and develop a sense of self, particularly in educational settings;
- curriculum, power and classroom relationships;
- children's literacies and languages, wellbeing, hope and activism.
Research grants and awards
- 2016-2019: Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral studentship
Current research projects:
- Supporting Researchful Practice in Early Years settings in Covid Times: ESRC Impact Acceleration Award funded project in collaboration with Dr Frances Giampapa at the School of Education, University of Bristol
- "Researchful" Practice in the Early Years, a pilot project investigating the potential impact of a qualitative research toolkit for early years practitioners
- Has COVID widened the digital divide? With Bristol Digital Futures Institute
- Impacts on students' mental health, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic (2020): a qualitative project, part of which investigated primary school children's and parents' experiences of enforced home education during the first lockdown in England. See BERA blogpost August 2020
- Doctoral research (2016-2020): Not "just another school day": an arts-based dialogic inquiry into the learning lives of children from armed forces families in a UK primary school. See thesis under Publications. Executive summary
- MSc educational research (2014-15): a short arts-based inquiry into the experiences and needs of a group of children from armed forces families in a UK primary school
Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution
- Supporting Researchful Practice in Early Years Settings in Covid times (led by University of Bristol) (17/01/2022 - 31/01/2023), funded by: Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), funding amount received by Brookes: £5,535
Lee C, Bailey C, Burnett C, Rowsell J, 'Methodological imperatives and perplexities for literacy research in uncertain times [Editorial to vol. 31, no. 1/2].'
International Studies in Sociology of Education 31 (1/2) (2022) pp.1-4
ISSN: 0962-0214 eISSN: 1747-5066Published here Open Access on RADAR
Wenham L, Lee C, ''Left Adrift and Wondering What the Future Holds': The Need for Agency and Critical Hope'
Critical Education 13 (1) (2022) pp.17-35
ISSN: 9120-4175Abstract Open Access on RADAR
Lee C, Wenham L, '"We just have to sail this sea all together until we find a shore": Parents’ accounts of home-educating primary-school children in England during COVID-19'
Education 3-13 Online first (2021)
ISSN: 0300-4279 eISSN: 1475-7575Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Lee C, 'Ethical Perplexities of Researching with Children in Uncertain Times: A Dialogic Approach'
International Studies in Sociology of Education 31 (1/2) (2021) pp.124-147
ISSN: 0962-0214 eISSN: 1747-5066Abstract Published here Open Access on RADAR
Lee C, '"I ain't no clue, but we learned it yesterday": Losing our way with the Year 6 grammar, punctuation and spelling test'
Forum for Promoting 3-19 Comprehensive Education 61 (3) (2019) pp.401-414
ISSN: 0963-8253Abstract Published here
Before completing an ESRC-funded PhD in 2020, I was a primary school teacher for many years with subject specialisms in literacy and music.