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Hughes Educational Research in Progress

Wednesday 9 March, 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm, (refreshments from 6:00 pm), Pavilion Rm

Showcasing our students’ diverse interests

Come and hear about education in Georgia, staff welfare facilities and their impact on wellbeing, metacognition in Modern Foreign Languages, and racism in the English Language Teaching industry. You’ll have the chance to give feedback, ask questions and discuss each topic.

The event takes the form of a panel of four students who will discuss their research, followed by audience Q&A and discussion.

This will be a hybrid event, with both face-to-face participation and online participation possible.

Refreshments will be available from 6:00 pm in the Pavilion room for all who can attend in person. We will open a Zoom room at 6:15 pm, and start the panel at 6:30 pm, with time for what we hope to be a lively conversation afterwards.

Please register using the Eventbrite link for both online and in person attendance: click here.

Our student panellists and their topics are:


  • David Baker – The Impact of Staff Welfare Facilities on Staff Wellbeing – a mixed methods study of English secondary schools

I have had two careers thus far, one as an architect and one as a teacher, so it will come as no surprise to you that for my PhD I am looking at the design of schools.

Summary: What I am specifically studying is the physical provision that schools can make to support the wellbeing of its teachers and support staff. This means looking at those spaces in schools where staff spend their non-contact time, such as staffrooms and common rooms, offices and cloakrooms. It means finding out where they take breaks, where they have their lunch and where they go to relax, as well as where they carry out their administrative and PPA tasks.

It also means learning where these operational policies sit within the broader picture of benefits that schools can provide to enhance the employee experience, such as social, financial and health benefits.

  • Jenson Deokiesingh – Racism and the Misrecognition of Caribbean Teachers in the English Language Teaching (ELT) industry 

Jenson Deokiesingh is a PhD candidate in the Second Language Education Research Group at Cambridge. His work focuses on discrimination experienced by Anglophone Caribbean teachers in the English Language Teaching (ELT) industry. His research interests include, but are not limited to, (anti)racism, (de)coloniality, language teacher identities and decolonising methodologies. He is also the founder of the Decolonising Language Education Collective.

Summary: Transcending national borders, the Black Lives Matter Movement spotlights the global ubiquity of racism and how deeply lodged it is in every facet of society, including the ELT fraternity. Over the last two decades there have been increasing enquiries into the operationalization of racism in the ELT fraternity; however, there remains a dearth of scholarly work on and from the perspectives of Caribbean teachers on this issue. Employing Critical Race Theory (CRT) as its theoretical lens, this presentation will introduce the central tenets of CRT to foreground how racial disparities are anchored in the field and how it leads to the perpetual misrecognition of Caribbean teachers.

  • Carolina Girones-Fraile – Metacognition in Modern Foreign Languages

I am a Secondary PGCE trainee teacher in Modern Languages (French, German, and Spanish). Raised bilingually in Spanish and English and studying French and German at Durham University, I am fascinated by the way that multilingual identities are shaped. I am also passionate about becoming a better language learner by developing strategies to monitor my own learning.

Summary: In a post-COVID education context, there is increasing apathy amongst pupils. For this reason, it is crucial to develop strategies that will empower and motivate learners in their own learning. My presentation will include the following:

A definition of metacognition, beyond the simple definition of “thinking about thinking”; what the teachers’ standards say on metacognition (DfE, 2014); the metacognitive cycle, including the 3 stages of planning, monitoring and evaluation; teaching metacognitive strategies in Modern Foreign Languages; examples from my planning as a trainee teacher with reference to translation tasks; the benefits of metacognitive strategies: a correlation between metacognition and academic progression; the tripartite relationship between cognition, metacognition, and motivation.

  • Adam Woodage – The key challenges for education in Georgia

Adam is a mature undergraduate student at the Faculty of Education. Before arriving at Cambridge, he worked on the digital professional learning provisions for teachers across 21 state schools in East Anglia, co-founded an organisation which teaches English to 5000 children in India and led a journalism project on minority rights, civil activism, and occupied territories in Georgia (South Caucasus). He is interested in the field of education broadly, and particularly the relationship between politics, conflict and education.

Summary: My presentation begins with an overview of Georgian geopolitics and Georgia’s development as a nation state, before looking specifically at the key challenges for education in the country. I then explore anecdotal experiences about how these challenges are manifested in minority communities, drawing on my journalism in the country last year. Finally, I share some speculative thoughts about sociological concepts through which to consider the challenges of education in minority communities in Georgia and invite thoughts and feedback on directions for future research.