Arts Sciences


Sarah Ferner

Assembling for Peace: British Muslim and Jewish students thinking and speaking about Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust

My Supervisors: Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten (primary), Dr Alison Macdonald (secondary) and Dr Anne Irfan (tertiary)

As teacher-researcher, I want to explore this question using creative, participatory ethnographic research methods including coproduction and photovoice. The Deweyan philosophical idea that collective thought and speech precede habit, custom and action will provide a framework within which I can investigate the extent to which British Jewish and Muslim sixth formers, who may not do so habitually, can come to think and speak empathetically about Israel, Palestine and the Holocaust. Recent research by the Education Endowment Fund (EEF) has identified the pandemic’s negative impact on the development of children’s oracy, social and emotional skills and thus their well-being, with those from disadvantaged communities worst affected. The EEF has recommended that schools and teachers should prioritise oracy as an effective means to address these issues. This advice resonates with my belief that students do best and feel happiest when as teachers, we make space for their voice. I believe moreover that my twenty-year career in a London school whose students come from disadvantaged and marginalised local communities has enabled me to become a researcher able to rigorously consider issues of ethics, research integrity and safeguarding.