IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE projects to give a voice to communities in academic settings

28 June 2021

Several UCL Institute of Education (IOE) researchers have won grants to invite voices not often heard in academic settings into an online conversation.

Afghan women voice concerns

Dr Nicola Abbott (Department of Psychology and Human Development), Aine McAllister (Department of Culture, Communication and Media), Dr Jessica Massonnie (Department of Learning and Leadership) and PhD students Emine Pehlivan (Department of Education, Practice, and Society), Aneeza Pervez (Department of Psychology and Human Development) and Rommy Anabalon Schaaf (Department of Culture, Communication and Media) won Listen and Learn awards for their projects.

Awarded by UCL Culture, the grants will help the researchers to run online conversations and bring a new vantage to problems they are trying to tackle, as well as allow them to listen to and understand an individual or group better.

Rommy Anabalon Schaaf and Aneeza Pervez’s grant will go towards an event series called "Systemic and structural violence against women: learning from non-academic voices." The project aims to engage with leaders of different London-based organisations that support women subjected to structural violence, who have been historically marginalised, and who have been prevented from participating in social, economic, and political life. Specifically, this includes women in precarious work positions, BME women and girls, and Muslim women who lack the resources to be heard within academic contexts.

Emine Pehlivan’s project will engage the chair of the Britain Alevi Federation that functions as a ‘help point’ for the ethnoreligious and ethnolinguistic Kurdish/Turkish Alevi community in London and across the UK. It is hoped that this conversation will create a platform for the Alevi-faith community that is often overlooked in scholarly work. The project will increase understanding of the community’s educational justice campaigns in the UK. These campaigns aim for Alevism to be recognised and their faith taught in British schools, fostering positive identity development in Alevi children.

Aine McAllister’s grant will bring together award-winning choral composer Chris Hutchings and a refugee to design a collaborative poetic inquiry that will express refugees’ experiences of seeking home. The grant will be used to design the project in which the poetry will be created and then a musical representation of the poems will be created in collaboration with refugee participants. 

Dr Nicola Abbott’s project includes an event with Michael Clarke, CEO of Awaken Genius, who will discuss their work on supporting the education of vulnerable children. Awaken Genius’s work aims to empower children who are typically seen at a disadvantage in mainstream education, such as typically underachieving children, and/or those with high level of school exclusion. The key aim of this event is to kick-start conversations on how to best support vulnerable children, using a co-production framework between Awaken Genius and the IOE. 

The final IOE Listen and Learn grant will support the Action Against Stunting research project. Led by Dr Jessica Massonnie, the aim is to nurture conversations with research partners in Indonesia, Senegal and India and engage with stakeholders from the Ministries of Education of each country in bespoke online conversations. The conversations will look at early childhood learning approaches in each country, the adaptation of the Measuring Early Learning Environment (MELE) classroom grid to measure preschools' infrastructures and learning activities, and a roadmap to support educators in providing quality education.



  • Dvidshub via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)