Institute of Education


Engaging with classed injustices in education

19 September 2019, 1:30 pm–3:00 pm

UCL academy teacher helping pupil

Professor Louise Archer explores how gender, ethnicity and class combine in working class students' struggle for intelligibility in the classroom.

Event Information

Open to





Jade Hunter


1-19 Torrington Place

Science is often considered an 'elite', high status subject. Working class students, particularly young women and some minority ethnic groups, are starkly under-represented in the subject at post-16 level.

This talk unpicks how the educational field excludes these groups and how celebrated notions of the 'good science student' are gendered, racialised and classed. As a result, it is difficult for working-class students to be recognised - and to recognise themselves - as 'real' scientists.

Professor Archer draws from observation, interview and discussion data collected over an academic year from 59 students in 8 urban secondary school science classrooms in London and Newcastle. She will discuss the implications of the data for 'widening participation' policy and practice.

Seminar series

This seminar is part of the Social Mobility and Access to Higher Education series, organised by the UCL Access and Widening Participation team. The seminars provide a space for debate and analysis of current issues affecting policy, practice and research in widening access and social mobility. 


Pre-registration is essential to guarantee your place. Please book a free ticket by clicking the 'Book now' button above.


About the Speaker

Professor Louise Archer

Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education at UCL Institute of Education

Professor Archer's research focuses on educational identities and inequalities. She is the director of a number of large national studies on young people and science participation.

More about Professor Louise Archer