Dr Susannah Wright

Reader in Education Studies and Postgraduate Research Tutor

School of Education, Humanities and Languages

Susannah Wright


I am a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies in the School of Education. I joined the School as Research Fellow, in 2007, before becoming a Senior Lecturer in 2009. I am Postgraduate Research Tutor for the School of Education. I also teach on the MA Education,  and supervise research students working towards their MPhil/PhD and EdD. My key research and teaching interests relate to the history of education and childhood, with a focus on themes of secularism, and war and peace. From 2014-2019 I was one of three editors of a peer-reviewed journal, History of Education, and in 2020 I was appointed Hon. Secretary of the History of Education Society (UK). I am currently research group lead of the School of Education's 'Humanistic Perspectives' research group. 

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

As postgraduate research tutor I oversee the progression of numerous students studying for our research degrees. I am Director of Studies for three current research students. I also teach on the MA Education programme, as module leader for ECS7001 Childhood in Contexts, and supervising supervise dissertations at MA level. 


  • P70002: Dissertation (supervisor)
  • ECS7001: Childhoods in Context (module leader)


I am currently Director of Studies for three research students in the School of Education. I have supervised to completion, as second supervisor, a doctoral student in the School of History, Philosophy and Culture researching secularist history. I would welcome enquiries from potential students interested in:

  • history of education/history of childhood and youth in the 19th and 20th centuries;
  • history of secularism 19th and 20th centuries;
  • moral education and citizenship (historically and present day);
  • war and peace, remembrance and commemoration (historically and in the present day).

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Jacqueline Perrin A sense of purpose: Perspectives of autistic young people Active


My academic background is as a historian, and much of my research falls within the history of education and childhood. I have focused predominantly on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, examining moral education and citizenship, and local studies of education and welfare. My publications cover both my funded research and historical projects. A monograph - Morality and Citizenship in English Schools. Secular Approaches, 1897-1944 was published by Palgrave Macmillan earlier in 2017 and in 2020 was awarded the History of Education Society's Kevin Brehony Prize for the best sole-authored first monograph published in the English language between 2017 and 2019. Current research projects focus on young people, war and peace, both historically through research into organisations that promoted peace among young people from the 1920s to the 1960s, and in the present day through research into remembrance in schools.  

Research group membership

I served on the executive committee of the History of Education Society from 2003 to 2010, and 2018 onwards; in January 2020 I was appointed ecretary. From 2007 to end of 2013 co-edited the History of Education Researcher, and from 2014 to 2019 co-edited History of Education - I continue as an editorial board member. I am also a member of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education, the British Educational Research Association, the Social History Society and the Society for Educational Studies.

Research grants and awards

Externally funded research and consultancy projects

  • 2004-06: Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training (funded by the Nuffield Foundation).
  • 2006-07: The Student Learning Experience in Higher Education (funded by the Higher Education Academy).
  • 2007-08: 14-19 education and training: establishing a baseline of evidence (funded by the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority)

Research projects

Current research projects:

  • Remembrance in Schools (2013-19). I am working with colleagues in the School of Education and at Brunel University as part of a multi-disciplinary team investigating remembrance events on or around 11 November in schools in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. To date we have conducted two online surveys and interviews with teachers, and are now embarking on observations of remembrance events, and questionnaires with pupils to run in November 2017 and 2018.
  • Peaceful Youth. I am engaged in a new monograph project which will examine - through documentary research and oral histories - organisations that promoted peace among young people from the 1920s to the 1960s. 

Further information



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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Co-editor, History of Education Researcher, 2007-12
  • Co-editor: History ofEducation, 2014-19
  • Executive Committee History of Education Society from 2003 to 2010, 2019 to present
  • Hon. Secretay, History of Education Society 2020 to present


Selected conference and seminar papers

  • 'Remembrance in Schools' (with Annie Haight and David Aldridge). 'Their Past, Their Memories symposium, AHRC Teaching and Learning War Research Network, King's College London, 15 September 2017 (invited round-table participant).
  • ‘"Our Future [British] Citizens"? Secular Approaches to Teaching Values in the Early Twentieth Century’, BERA History SIG Annual Colloquium (Teaching British Values), 7 July 2017 (invited keynote speaker). 

  • ‘Secularism and Character Formation in English Schools 1897-c.1923’, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues seminar series, University of Birmingham, 8 March 2017 (invited speaker).

  • '"A world where their descendents enjoy all that they set out to secure". The League of Nations Union and Armistice Commemoration, 1919-1939'. History of Education Society/ANZHES Annual Conference, Great Malvern, November 2016.

  • 'The Ethical Movement and Moral Instruction. Moments of International Activity 1892-1914'. European Conference of Educational Research, Dublin, August 2016.
  • (with David Aldridge, Patrick Alexander and Annie Haight) 'Remembrance in Schools'. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Lunchtime Lecture, 28 April 2016.
  • 'League of Nations Union Junior Branches 1919-1939'. European Conference of Educational Research, Budapest, September 2015.
  • 'Creating world citizens in British Schools, 1919-1939'. History of Education Society Annual Conference, Dublin, November 2014.
  • (with Peter Forsaith) 'Dora Cohen: an educational life'. History of Education Society Annual Conference, Exeter, November 2013.
  • 'Saving the Birmingham Slum-Child, 1890-1910'. International Standing Conference for the History of Education, Riga, August 2013.
  • 'The ethical rebel? Frederick James Gould and world citizenship 1919-39'. History of Education Society Annual Conference, Winchester, November 2012.
  • 'Religion and philanthropy in Birmingham 1890-1910'. Invited seminar: Religion, Health and Welfare since 1750, Glasgow Caledonian University, October 2012.
  • 'Creating world citizens? League of Nations teaching in English schools, 1919-39'. Invited speaker: Institute of Historical Research History of Education Seminar, London, 3 November 2011.
  • 'Creating religious or secular citizens? Moral instruction in English elementary schools at the turn of the twentieth century'. History of Education Society Annual Conference, London, November 2010.
  • 'Moral education and the English elementary school'. Citizenship, Modernisation and Nationhood: The Cultural Role of Mass Education 1870-1930, Magdalen College, Oxford, 25-26 September 2009.
  • 'Religion, secularism and morality in English elementary schools'. International Standing Conference for the History of Education, Utrecht, August 2009.
  • 'Inside the Black Box? School Log Books'. Invited symposium: The black box of schooling: a cultural history of the classroom, Rotterdam, June 2008.

Further details

Other experience

  • 1993-1996 University of Leeds, BA Joint Honours History and Sociology
  • 1997-1999 Oxford Brookes University, MA Historical Studies
  • 2000-2006 Oxford Brookes University, PhD (History Department)
  • 2003-2007 Oxford University Department of Education, Research Officer 
  • 2007-2009 Oxford Brookes University, Research Fellow in Education
  • 2009-Present Oxford Brookes University, Senior Lecturer in Education 
  • 2018-Present Oxford Brookes University, Postgraduate Research Tutor