Agnieszka Bates

Personal statement

Agnieszka Bates is Head of Taught Provision. She began her career in education as a primary school teacher in London for twelve years before going on to teach in three university Schools of Education, in a variety of internal and external facing roles.

Agnieszka has a wide range of experience in the design, delivery and programme leadership of Undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral programmes as well as supervising students at all levels. Her approach to teaching and learning aims to be innovative, interdisciplinary and research-informed to enhance professional practice.

Agnieszka’s first book ‘Transforming Education: Meanings, myths and complexity’ was based on empirical research with teachers and school leaders that built on her consultancy work implementing school improvement strategies. More recently (May 2021), she has written a book on character education in which she critiques mainstream pedagogy and offers an alternative approach.

As Postgraduate Research Director at the University of East Anglia, she was responsible for leading a team of supervisors and overseeing a large cohort of doctoral students. Agnieszka is a strong believer in openness and collegiality as essential ingredients for successful professional teamwork and consequently, an excellent student experience.

Academic qualifications

  • Doctor of Education (EdD), Froebel College, University of Roehampton, with a focus on strategic leadership and school improvement
  • MA in English Language and Literature, King’s College London
  • BA and MA in English and Linguistics, University of Warsaw, Poland.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS)
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB).

Other external roles

  • Editorial board member of International Studies in Sociology of Education
  • External Examiner, MA Childhood and Development in Diverse Societies, School of Health and Education, Middlesex University London
  • Co-Convener of the Emerging Researchers’ Conference (2014-2017) under the auspices of the European Educational Research Association (EERA).

Areas of expertise

  • Education policy, leadership and management
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Wellbeing and character education
  • Sociology of education
  • Complexity theory
  • Discourse analysis.

Research supervision

Agnieszka welcomes applications from doctoral candidates interested in researching education policy and leadership and management for organisational improvement.

Conference presentations and wider engagement

Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) 2021: ‘Neither first nor second’: Merleau-Ponty’s perspective on adolescence and its implications for Relationships and Sex Education. 

Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) 2018: Character education and the priority of recognition.

'Complexity and Education' symposium (Institute of Physics, Philosophy of Education SIG, BERA and Institute of Education, University College London) 2017: Assessment policy, 'readiness for school' and a complexity view of time.

European Educational Research Association (ECER) 2017: Lessons in happiness and ‘grit’: character education in policy and practice.

European Educational Research Association (ECER) 2016: Education policy and leadership research: a view from the ‘third window’.

British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) 2016: The self-improving system: a complexity approach to unlocking improvement in the local primary school.

Inaugural Meeting of the British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) Research Student Community 2015: A complexity perspective on ‘evidence-based’ approaches to school improvement in England, keynote, University of Leicester.

European Educational Research Association (ECER) 2015: Complex knowledge and the politics of complexity reduction in ‘evidence-based’ school improvement in England.

British Educational Research Association (BERA) 2015: Beyond educational excellence: leadership ‘styles’, the child and the priority of recognition.

International Sociology of Education Conference 2014: The management of ‘emotional labour’ and the spread of corporate imagination in English schools.

British Educational Research Association (BERA) 2014: Articulating the reflexive self: reflexivity in postgraduate curriculum.

Centre for Educational Research in Equalities, Policy and Pedagogy: 2014: When improvement becomes a ‘cult value’: the emergence of manipulative relations in the primary classroom and staffroom, University of Roehampton, London.

Faculty of Pedagogy, University of Warsaw, Poland, 2013: On reflection and epistemology.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Moral emotions and human interdependence in character education: beyond the one-dimensional self
book

Bates, A (2021) Moral emotions and human interdependence in character education: beyond the one-dimensional self. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9780367503314


Transforming education: meanings, myths and complexity
book

Bates, A (2015) Transforming education: meanings, myths and complexity. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9781138920132


Learning ‘in the hive’: social character and student wellbeing in the age of psychometric data
article

Bates, A (2021) 'Learning ‘in the hive’: social character and student wellbeing in the age of psychometric data.' Critical Studies in Education. ISSN 1750-8487


Outsourcing education services in South Korea, England and Hong Kong: a discursive institutionalist analysis
article

Bates, A, Choi, T-H and Kim, Y (2021) 'Outsourcing education services in South Korea, England and Hong Kong: a discursive institutionalist analysis.' Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 51 (2). pp. 259-277. ISSN 0305-7925


‘Swimming against the tide’: character education and the importance of recognition
article

Bates, A (2020) '‘Swimming against the tide’: character education and the importance of recognition.' Researching Education, 1 (2).


Readiness for school, time and ethics in educational practice
article

Bates, A (2019) 'Readiness for school, time and ethics in educational practice.' Studies in Philosophy and Education, 38 (4). pp. 411-426. ISSN 0039-3746


Character education and the ‘priority of recognition’
article

Bates, A (2019) 'Character education and the ‘priority of recognition’.' Cambridge Journal of Education, 49 (6). pp. 695-710. ISSN 0305-764X


In search of Bold Beginnings: 'good early education', ethics and moral responsibility
article

Bates, A (2018) 'In search of Bold Beginnings: 'good early education', ethics and moral responsibility.' FORUM, 60 (3). pp. 279-288. ISSN 0963-8253


Tackling knowledge ‘like a business’? Rethinking the modernisation of higher education in Poland
article

Bates, A and Godoń, R (2017) 'Tackling knowledge ‘like a business’? Rethinking the modernisation of higher education in Poland.' Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 47 (4). pp. 454-467. ISSN 0305-7925


The management of ‘emotional labour’ in the corporate re-imagining of primary education in England
article

Bates, A (2017) 'The management of ‘emotional labour’ in the corporate re-imagining of primary education in England.' International Studies in Sociology of Education, 26 (1). pp. 66-81. ISSN 0962-0214


Reculturing schools in England: how ‘cult’ values in education policy discourse influence the construction of practitioner identities and work orientations
article

Bates, A (2016) 'Reculturing schools in England: how ‘cult’ values in education policy discourse influence the construction of practitioner identities and work orientations.' Critical Studies in Education, 57 (2). pp. 191-208. ISSN 1750-8487


The standards paradox: how quality assurance regimes can subvert teaching and learning in higher education
article

Brady, N and Bates, A (2016) 'The standards paradox: how quality assurance regimes can subvert teaching and learning in higher education.' European Educational Research Journal, 15 (2). pp. 155-174. ISSN 1474-9041


The ‘Great Refusal’? A Marcusian response to the Bright Blue vision of education in the ‘Big Society’
article

Bates, A (2015) 'The ‘Great Refusal’? A Marcusian response to the Bright Blue vision of education in the ‘Big Society’.' Journal of Educational Administration and History, 47 (4). pp. 350-366. ISSN 0022-0620


The curious case of 'trendy theory', training and targets in the reform of university-based teacher education in England
article

Bates, A (2015) 'The curious case of 'trendy theory', training and targets in the reform of university-based teacher education in England.' Kwartalnik Pedagogiczny = The Pedagogical Quarterly, 235 (1). pp. 113-126. ISSN 0023-5938


The impact of marketisation on undergraduate curriculum in an English university: a Bernsteinian analysis
article

Brady, N and Bates, A (2014) 'The impact of marketisation on undergraduate curriculum in an English university: a Bernsteinian analysis.' Pedagogická Orientace = Journal Of The Czech Pedagogical Society, 24 (6). pp. 903-918. ISSN 1211-4669


(Mis)understanding strategy as a ‘spectacular intervention’: a phenomenological reflection on the strategy orientations underpinning school improvement in England
article

Bates, A (2014) '(Mis)understanding strategy as a ‘spectacular intervention’: a phenomenological reflection on the strategy orientations underpinning school improvement in England.' Studies in Philosophy and Education, 33 (4). pp. 353-367. ISSN 0039-3746


Reflections from a tarnished mirror: an application of Alvesson and Sköldberg's ‘reflexive interpretation’ to a study of curriculum design in higher education
article

Bates, A (2014) 'Reflections from a tarnished mirror: an application of Alvesson and Sköldberg's ‘reflexive interpretation’ to a study of curriculum design in higher education.' International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 37 (3). pp. 227-241. ISSN 1743-727X


Transcending systems thinking in education reform: implications for policy-makers and school leaders
article

Bates, A (2013) 'Transcending systems thinking in education reform: implications for policy-makers and school leaders.' Journal of Education Policy, 28 (1). pp. 38-54. ISSN 0268-0939


Transformation, trust and the 'importance of teaching': continuities and discontinuities in the Coalition government's discourse of education reform
article

Bates, A (2012) 'Transformation, trust and the 'importance of teaching': continuities and discontinuities in the Coalition government's discourse of education reform.' London Review of Education, 10 (1). pp. 89-100. ISSN 1474-8460


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