About Us

Core Members

Carly Christensen

Carly is a fourth-year PhD student at the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. She just returned from spending a year researching in the subarctic of Canada. This research was inspired by her experiences growing up and working as a teacher in this region. Her research explores indigenous education and conceptions of disability. She is a member of Gonville and Caius College. Carly has also served as the student representative for the British Association of International and Comparative Education (BAICE).

Julia Hayes

Julia Hayes is an Educational Psychologist and international consultant in inclusive education who has put her career on hold to further research the education of children with disabilities in Colombia.  The purpose of her research is to explore how an innovative Colombian model of education, called Escuela Nueva, addresses the education of children with disabilities.  She recently finished her fieldwork in Colombia, in which used visual participatory activities to seek the views of children and conducted interviews with teachers, parents and Foundation Escuela Nueva staff. Additionally, Julia illustrates conferences, live, and illustrated the Global Disability Summit in 2018 and the UNESCO conference on inclusive education in Cali, Colombia (2019). She used this skill to create a ESRC prize-winning research poster, which is displayed below.

Seema Nath

Seema is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She is a member of Hughes Hall. Her research aims to critically examine teaching and learning processes in mainstream schools in India that ‘includes all learners’. Her research is based in Mumbai, India. Earlier she has completed an MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology at University of Cambridge. Prior to starting the PhD she was working with the Earth Institute, Columbia University on scaling up innovations in primary schools in India. Her research interests include disability and education, inclusive education and international development.

Meghna Nag Chowdhuri

Meghna is a PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She is a member of Fitzwilliam College. Her PhD study explores how primary school teachers in government run schools in Delhi, interpret and use reformed mathematics textbooks developed to make mathematics inclusive and accessible for all children. She completed her MPhil in Mathematics education at University of Cambridge and MSc in Applicable Mathematics at London School of Economics (LSE), UK. She has previously worked  for Oxford University Press (Delhi) as a development editor; both developing and conceptualising mathematics textbooks. Her research interests include inclusion issues in mathematics education, international development and curriculum development.

Anna Purkiss

Anna Purkiss is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She is a member of Homerton College. Her research explores young readers’ responses to the representation of disability in contemporary children’s fiction. Her research is based in England and considers how both the participants’ lived experiences and the features of texts shape their responses to such representations. Before starting her PhD, Anna studied at the University of Cambridge at undergraduate and Master’s level, in Education Studies with Music and Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature respectively. She is also a qualified primary school teacher and has taught in the UK for several years. Her research interests include children’s literature, disability studies and inclusive research.

Ricardo Sabates

Ricardo is a Reader in Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Ricardo’s areas of research focus on inequalities in access and learning as well as the role of education in reducing wider social inequalities over the life-course.  Ricardo’s main research training is on quantitative research methods and has supported work on the measurement of disability via child functionings in Pakistan.

Nidhi Singal (Convener)

Nidhi is a Professor of Disability and Inclusive Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Nidhi’s core areas of research interest lie in addressing issues of inequity at various levels in the education system. She has worked extensively with children/young people with disabilities in South Asia and Africa.

Shruti Taneja-Johansson

Shruti Taneja Johansson is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg. Shruti’s main areas of research interest are perspectives, practices and experiences related to inclusive education, and to the education of people with disabilities, with a focus on South Asia and Sweden. She has a specific interest in people with autism, intellectual disability and ADHD and their educational trajectories. She holds a PhD in Education and has degrees in psychology and in the multidisciplinary field of child and childhood studies. Shruti has worked in diverse educational settings with people with disabilities, in Sweden, India and England.

Hannah Ware

Hannah is currently undertaking her PhD at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She is a member of Hughes Hall. She is researching the self-concept and belonging of children identified as having SEN/D learning in schools in England. She also has a Master of Education in Special from the University of Birmingham. Previously, she has worked in the disability and education sector in England, Myanmar and Vietnam. Hannah is the education lead at a community based education organisation in Cambridge for young people with disabilities. She is also a trustee of the Cambridge Acorn Project a charity providing therapeutic services in East Anglia.

Thilanka Wijesinghe

Thilanka is a first year PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She is a member of Hughes Hall. Her research aims to explore teaching – learning of literacy skills in Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) children receiving primary school education in Sri Lanka.She is a speech and language therapist and is attached to the Department of Disability Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Her research interests include: Teaching-learning in deaf education, education for children with disabilities, supported employment, voice and fluency disorders in children and adults.

Associate Members:

Professor Elina Lehtomäki, Professor of Global Education, University of Oulu, Finland

John Harding, Head of Disability Resource Centre, University of Cambridge

Dr. Paul Lynch, Senior Lecturer in Inclusive Education, University of Birmingham

Shweta Khanna Bhutani, Independent Researcher (India)

Run Tan, Deputy Professor for teaching research with a focus on heterogeneity, University of Konstanz, Germany

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