Professor Michele Schweisfurth
- Professor (Robert Owen Centre)
telephone: 0141 330 4445
Michele joined the School as Professor of Comparative and International Education in January 2013 from the University of Birmingham. Originally from Canada, she has also worked as a teacher, trainer or teacher educator in Sierra Leone, Indonesia, Scotland and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and has conducted research in a range of contexts internationally.
PhD University of Warwick
MSc University of Oxford
BEd University of Western Ontario
BA University of Western Ontario
Michele is interested in tensions between global frameworks (such as children’s rights, and notions of ‘best practice’ in teaching and learning) and local and cultural imperatives. Her research takes a comparative and international perspective on:
- democratic education and education for democracy, especially the contribution of learner-centred pedagogy;
- global citizenship education;
- teacher professional learning and identity;
- the relationship between education and development in low-income and transitional countries;
- university internationalisation and the transnational, intercultural and academic experiences of mobile students.
Research grants and consultancies:
- Case Study of Developmental Leadership in The Philippines: Educational Experiences, Institutions and Networks (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2014)
- Developmental Leadership Programme consultancy (feedback on Ghana case study) (AusAID 2013)
- Evaluation of the International Fellowship and Networking Schemes (ESRC 2011)
- Options for Education Research under DFID’s New Research Strategy (DFID 2009)
- Rethinking the Needs of International Students: a critique of university internationalisation (ESRC seminar series 2008-10)
- The Impact of UK Educational Experiences on Chinese Returnees’ Lives and Careers (British Academy 2008)
- Global Citizenship Education as a Framework for Teaching about Diversity. Funded link with Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (International Council for Canadian Studies 2008)
- Education and Emergencies: impact on the vulnerable in South Asia (UNICEF 2008)
- A Comparative Study of International Students’ Intercultural Experiences (ESRC 2006)
- Children as Decision Makers (ESRC 2006 – seminar series)
- Education and Democracy in Rwanda (CfBT 2005)
- Sustaining Democracy in Education in The Gambia through the Professional Development of Inspectors (CfBT 2002 – 2004)
- UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network Review (UNESCO 2002 – 2003)
- Teacher Education and Democracy in The Gambia (CfBT 2000-2002)
- Education for Global Citizenship: case studies of good practice in Canadian schools (Faculty Research Programme Grant, Government of Canada 2004) Visiting Scholar: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, March – April 2004.
- Teachers’ Perceptions and Support Needs in Project Schools in Perm, Russia(TEMPUS-TACIS 1998)
- Remote Highland Schools in Lesotho, Southern Africa: constraints and the targeting of aid(Overseas Development Agency 1997)
- General School Provision in Perm, Russia: a case study of School 134 (TEMPUS-TACIS 1996)
Michele welcomes inquiries and applications from potential research students who share any of her research interests, or who are doing comparative studies and would like methodological advice within their supervisory team.
Current Research Students and broad topics:
Abdulwahab Alharbi: educational change: perspectives of Saudi Arabian teachers
Sarah Digby: pupil voice and participation in Uganda
Alexandra Konovalchuk: university internationalisation in Russia
Yong Shian Phoon: democratic schooling in Scotland
Iman Sharif: pedagogical needs and approaches in Syrian refugee schools
Louise Sheridan: Freire’s principles in youth programmes in Glasgow
Agnieszka Uflewska-Watson: transnationalism and Polish HE students in Scotland
Yuwei Xu: gender and early childhood education in Scotland, Hong Kong and Mainland China
Michele is leader for the Masters course International and Comparative Education.
Within the School of Education, Michele is co-Director of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change, and Acting International Lead
Michele is past editor of the journal Comparative Education.
She is also a member of the editorial board for the journals International Journal of Educational Development; European Education: Issues and Studies; and Prospects, Quarterly Review of Comparative Education (UNESCO).
She is past Chair of the British Association for International and Comparative Education (http://baice.ac.uk/). She chairs the Research Committee of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies, and is Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees for the UK Forum for International Education and Training.