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Dr Lucy Barker

Assistant Professor

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

My pro-active leadership transformed the teaching for inclusive practice across Education programmes. In response to The Carter Review of Initial Teacher Education, (DfE, 2015), that emphasised the urgent need to improve the Special Educational Needs and Inclusion elements of teacher preparation, I placed the inclusive pedagogical approach, advocated by Florian and Spratt (2013), at its core. Consequently, students on undergraduate and post-graduate primary education programmes became more confident in their understanding of inclusive practice and adaptive teaching from the Core Content Framework for ITE (DfE, 2019). Colleagues in Education also align these fundamentals of inclusive practice in their own subject teaching. OFSTED inspection of Northumbria University ITE in 2018, reported that ‘trainees and NQTS have a good understanding of the code of practice for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)’.  Thirty years’ experience teaching and leading in schools, and my role as a placement lead has afforded me access to over 300 schools, in 12 local authorities across the North East. WIth the development of practice in ITE, my research on enacting inclusive pedagogy, and my strong communication skills within a network of schools, l aim to facilitate co-production of research between school stakeholders (including children, young people, governors, mentors in schools, school leaders, teachers, teaching assistants) and PGR students, leading to improved outcomes for including all children and young people. 

Lucy Barker

Campus Address

Block D Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Coach Lane Campus West, Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE7 7XA

My research passion sits within a social justice agenda. I have been dedicated throughout my whole career to changing young people’s lives for the better, as I advocate for the rights for all to participate in education. I am particularly passionate about helping eliminate all forms of discrimination in any learning environment, but especially for those children and young people who may be at risk of marginalization, exclusion or underachievement. As a member of the Inclusion and Social Justice research working party at SWECW, and the Inclusive Education Special Interest Group (SIG) at British Educational Research Association (BERA), I lead and support students, professionals and academics in respecting diverse needs, abilities and characteristics.

I gained a master’s degree in education in 2013 and have been an assistant professor in Education, working in the ITE department since November 2015.  I started my doctorate study in 2017 and completed it within the expected timeframe; this was due to my complete dedication and passion for my field of study, and the enjoyment I gained from co-creating knowledge with participants. For my PhD doctorate thesis entitled ‘Myth, Metaphor, Materialism and Metamorphoses: An A/R/Tographic Inquiry Into The Inclusive Pedagogy Of Student Teachers’, I explored through a postmodern, feminist, and materialist theoretical framework, the pedagogy of inclusive teaching in classrooms and the development of pre-service teachers’ confidence and skill in this area. The thesis was presented in an innovative way using a unique art and literature-based methodology.  My findings give fresh insights and identify how student teachers are not lone agents, but rather embody the space of learning in becoming inclusive. The study identified the challenges student teachers face, including the power dynamics between humans in the space, and the everyday intra-actions, decisions and risks needed for thinking and enacting inclusive pedagogy. My unique approach to research as an A/R/Tographer, an academic who inquires through my roles as ‘Artist, Researcher, Teacher’, has transformed me over the last five years, and positioned me as a strong academic within the education community, with significant potential to further grow this nascent research field. Myths, poetry, novellas, and artists’ words and work are put into practice in my research for the agency of inclusive practice. I am a mentor for researchers and practitioners through the BERA Arts Based Educational Research Special Interest Group (SIG) on qualitative and arts-based inquiries. I have disseminated my research methods and findings through international conferences, university-held PGR conferences.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Born Free: How to create a School, Barker, L. 20 Jun 2023
  • Myth, metaphor, materialism, and metamorphoses: an a/r/tographic inquiry into the inclusive pedagogy of student teachers, Barker, L. 23 Nov 2023
  • ‘A day in the life’: Supporting trainee teachers in finding the ‘Keys to inclusion’ though a case study of one mainstream school’s inclusion of a child on the autism spectrum, Barker, L. 17 May 2021
  • Working with your teaching assistant, Barker, L. 19 Feb 2021, Early Careers in Education, Bingley, Emerald
  • What next? Beginning teaching and moving forward, Barker, L. 2018, Primary Teaching , London, SAGE

Education PhD November 22 2023


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