Charlotte Chadderton


Charlotte Chadderton


Personal statement

Charlotte’s research is in the field of social justice in education with a particular focus on race (in)equality and on the way in which different kinds of inequalities are produced and reproduced in educational spaces and by educational processes, practices and discourses.

Her work focuses both on areas of formal education, in particular secondary, vocational and higher education, as well as informal learning spaces such as volunteering, and non-formal learning such as public and cultural pedagogies. She is particularly interested in the ways in which subjectivities are formed and shaped through different kinds of formal and non-formal pedagogies.

Charlotte has written widely on issues of race in education and research, including her work on the work of Judith Butler and issues of race, developing and adapting the originally north American Critical Race Theory for the UK context, the extent to which poststructuralist theory can be applied to critical research in education, as well developing poststructural theories of race and exploring and problematising issues of whiteness in research.

Her work on qualitative research methodologies investigates the possibilities of representation in social justice research and challenges the possibilities of empowerment and making voices heard in raced contexts. In particular she has written about racial positioning in education research. Her book, ‘Judith Butler, race and education’ (2018), has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan.

In the field of school to work transitions, vocational education and apprenticeships, careers education and volunteering, she has conducted research on issues of equity and discrimination, including on refugees and access to vocational education for CEDEFOP.

In addition, Charlotte conducts research in the area of securitisation, militarisation and surveillance in education and has written about the implications of such developments for race inequality, with a focus on programmes such as ‘Troops to Teachers’, new technologies of surveillance in schools and the UK government’s counter-terrorism agenda.

Key areas of research

Race inequalities
In the field of race inequalities, Charlotte has conducted research on the implications of diverse practices and policies in formal and informal education for race inequality. These include new technologies of surveillance in schools, Troops to Teachers and securitisation, the UK government’s counter-terrorism agenda, volunteering and social cohesion, different national apprenticeship systems, refugees accessing vocational education and unequal outcomes for young black men in East London. This work has been funded by the ESRC, CEDEFOP, Hackney borough Council and the University of East London.

Young people, transitions to HE and the labour market and careers guidance
Charlotte’s work in this field has focussed on analysing policies and practices in careers provision and transitions support. In particular she has explored the social justice implications for current careers provision, including providing a Critical Race analysis of careers work in England, the marginalisation of disadvantaged young people via the Connexions service, and HE and FE partnerships. This work has been funded by the ESRC, the Lifelong Learning Network, the Learning and Skills Council, the Greater London Authority and the Skills Funding Council.

Research methods and theory
Charlotte’s work in this field has involved investigating the potential for employing Critical Race Theory in the UK. She also examines the use of a CRT framework to enhance social justice research, the responsibilities of white researchers conducting research in the field of race inequalities, and the implications of poststructural thought for issues of voice and representation in social research and problematising emancipatory assumptions around traditional qualitative methods such as ethnography and case study. She sees the research potential for thinking with theories such as race traitor and public pedagogies for producing more socially just research.

Disaster education
Charlotte’s work in the field of disaster education has focussed on the social justice implications of disaster preparedness and response, as well as volunteering work in disasters, narratives of democracy in civil defence pedagogies. She also researches the role of the state of exception in disaster preparedness and education.

This work has involved critiquing practices in the UK, Germany and New Zealand and creating a new learning framework for community response in disasters.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, Education (2009): ‘Discourses of Britishness, race and difference: minority ethnic students’ shifting perceptions of their school experience’ - Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Postgraduate Diploma, Research Methods (2005): Education and Society - Manchester Metropolitan University
  • European Masters, Intercultural Education (2004) - Free University, Berlin, Germany
  • BA, Joint Honours German and Spanish (2000) - Bristol University

Professional memberships

  • British Education Research Association

Other external roles

  • External examiner, BA in Education - Roehampton University
  • Elected Fellow, National Institute of Careers Education and Counselling (NICEC)
  • Editorial board, Whiteness in Education
  • Reviewer, British Council on the Researcher Links Social Sciences grants panel
  • Vocational Education and Training Network, European Education Research Association
  • Senior Advisory Group, London Ambitions Careers Offer
  • Co-convener for Race, Ethnicity and Education Special Interest Group, British Education Research Association (2013-16).

Areas of expertise

  • Sociology of education
  • Social justice
  • Race theories
  • Vocational education
  • Career education and guidance
  • Qualitative research methods in education
  • Surveillance, securitisation and militarisation in education
  • Poststructural theories.

Recent grants and funded research projects

  • 2014-19: A longitudinal study of young women’s transitions in Tower Hamlets in an age of austerity, Aldgate and Allhallows Foundation, London (Director)
  • 2016-17: ‘Careers Clusters in the Legacy Boroughs’, Skills Funding Agency via Hackney Community College (Director)
  • 2015-16: ‘Improving outcomes for young black men’ London Borough of Hackney Council (Co-Director)
  • 2013-14: ‘After Connexions: Better careers education, better outcomes’, Greater London Authority (Director)
  • 2012-14: ‘Threats to Infrastructures: consolidation, collaboration and future orientation’, ESRC, PI Prof John Preston (Research Fellow)
  • 2012: ‘Minority ethnic young people and apprenticeships in the UK and Germany: representation and under-representation’, Early Career Researcher Accelerator Grant, University of East London (Director)
  • 2011: ‘English Schools under Surveillance’, Research Development Fund Grant, University of East London (Director).

Areas of research supervision

Charlotte is interested in supervising research students across all areas of social justice in education.

Current doctoral supervision:

  • Dominik Jackson-Cole: ‘BME postgraduate students in STEM subjects in the UK’
  • Tamikah Andrew-Thomas: ‘Why do black women choose not to go into leadership positions in education?’
  • Libby Ford: ‘How do University Technical Colleges contribute to reducing NEETs?’
  • Michael Cole: ‘An autoethnography of a white ally’

Previous doctoral supervision:

  • Locating and Exploring Muslim Consciousness in the Narratives of British Muslim Women in East London
  • Competency based assessment using virtual reality (VERT): Is it a realistic possibility?
  • Critical analysis of the impact of action research on teachers' professional development
  • The emerging identities and ‘classroom craft’ of newly qualified teachers in the post compulsory sector
  • Racial identity in teachers’ practice: an analysis of their development in the context of Colombia

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

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