White Rose DTC Interdisciplinary Summer Conference on Education in the 21st Century (WISE21), King’s Manor, University of York, 24th June 2016. This post was written by Agata Lambrechts, conference programme co-ordinator.

The field of education has a long and rich history of using different disciplines in order to study education. The principal ones are psychology, sociology, philosophy and history.  As such, education can be studied and researched in various university departments, but those from outside the education departments rarely get to interact with their peers to share the research of education from different perspectives.  This is why our first and second year PhD students decided to run the first WR DTC Educational Pathway research students’ conference at the University of York as an interdisciplinary event.

On Friday the 24th of June, 14 paper presenters, 10 poster presenters and number of participants from universities of York, Leeds and Sheffield (the WR DTC) met at the King’s Manor in the center of the City of York, to showcase and discuss each others’ research.  Presenters included master’s and PhD students and the audience consisted of all UG, PG and doctoral students as well as number of members of staff from departments including education, politics, English, Centre for Women’s Studies and the Centre for Applied Human Rights.  Presentations covered topics ranging from teaching and learning in the refugee context, socio-cultural theories of learning, and HE internationalization strategies, to behaviour management in schools, ‘lad culture’ in British universities and bullying.

The keynote speaker, Dr Paul Wakeling from the Department of Education, University of York, who talked about the ethics of educational research said: “It was a privilege to present alongside doctoral students from the White Rose university education departments and to hear about the exciting lines of research they are pursuing”.  Dr Wakeling was also pleased to hear that two of his supervisees, María Ana Chavana Villalobos and Agata Lambrechts, have been awarded a joint first place in the Best Poster competition.

Throughout the day, a number of opportunities were provided for participants to network and discuss their research in informal setting, which, coupled with the formal presentations, delivered a superb, memorable conference experience for all participants.

Professor Chris Kyriacou, the WR DTC Educational Pathway Co-ordinator for the University of York said: This was an absolutely excellent conference – and a great pleasure for me learn about the work of so many talented researchers based in the WR DTC.”

One of the student presenters, Deak Kirkham said: A big thank you for a really lovely and engaging day. Superbly organised throughout with many thought provoking presentations. Coming from a theoretical lingo background, I’m still coming to appreciate the range of depth of education research, and indeed the educational researcher mindset: today was another step along that road for me.  

On a slightly personal note, if I may, I also had a chance to reflect on what it means to belong to a research community: it was a real privilege to be among a group of individuals who are walking the same path as myself.” 

The success of our conference, depended ultimately on the many people who have worked with us in planning and organising the programme and also in supporting the practical arrangements.  In particular, we thank the programme co-ordinators for their thorough and timely reviewing on the paper and poster proposals, and our sponsors who have helped us to keep this conference a free event for all participants.  Recognition should go to our marketing and communications team for ensuring information about our conference reached a wide community of both students and staff. Also thanks to our chair and budget coordinators who have worked hard ensuring everything stays on track and within budget. Finally, thanks to the conference event team, who have all worked extremely hard ensuring that the day runs smoothly. 


 The WISE21 Conference Organising Committee: 

James Byas, Committee Chair

Annis Stead, Budget Co-ordinator

Agata Lambrechts, Programme Co-ordinator

Madeline Crosswite, Programme Co-ordinator

Elena Zotou, Programme Co-ordinator

Elizabeth Bailey, Confernce Consultant

Natalie Smith, Event Co-ordinator

Julio Rivadeneira Barreiro, Event Co-ordinator

Zeyang Yang, Event Co-ordinator

Qingyang Sun, Marketing and Communications

Moustafa Amrate, Marketing and Communications

Nur Shahida Zakaria, Marketing and Communications


The Conference Sponsors:

White Rose Doctoral Training Centre

Graduate Students’ Association, University of York

Department of Education, University of York


NOTE:  This post (edited) was first published on the Department of Education, University of York news webpage.