Dr Jennifer Farrar
- Lecturer in Secondary English and Childrens Literature (Pedagogy, Praxis & Faith)
I am a specialist in children’s literature and literacies with a background in secondary English teaching. My recent ESRC-funded doctorate from the University of Glasgow (awarded 2017) was an exploration of intergenerational readers’ responses to the disruptive effects of metafiction in picturebooks, with a particular focus on their critically literate potential. I also have an MEd in Children's Literature and Literacies from the University of Glasgow and an undergraduate degree (MA Hons) in English Literature. My doctoral thesis was Highly Commended by the judges of the British Educational Research Association's 2018 Doctoral Thesis Award and in 2017, I received the Scottish Educational Research Association's Estelle Brisard award for early career researchers.
Most recently, I have been involved with research projects that have explored teachers’ engagement with themes of migration and diversity; the potential of visually mediated interviews as tools for learning, and I have supported several school and community-based projects involving picturebooks.
Before coming to initial teacher education, I worked as a secondary English teacher, with experience of state schools in both London and Edinburgh. Prior to that, I worked as an education journalist in London.
I am currently researching student teachers’ knowledge and use of children’s literature, and am also working on ways to raise Scottish teacher and policy makers’ awareness and understandings of critical literacy and its potential in the classroom and beyond. I am also exploring the idea of 'reading across the transition' from primary to secondary schools with colleagues in a secondary school and its feeder primaries.
My research interests include: critical literacy, children's literature, non-fiction, metafiction, family literacies and home-school relationships, pedagogies for literacy teaching, picturebooks and initial teacher education.
I welcome enquiries from students and colleagues with research interests in these fields.
2019-: Developing Politically Literate Young Citizens in Scottish Education: Barriers and Opportunities, funded by the Gordon Cook Foundation (£40,000).
Julian Lui: An Exploration of Pedagogy Implication for Oracy Demands in Higher Education and ESL (English as a Second Language) Students
Dobrochna Futro: Translanguaging art: Multilingual practices of contemporary artists and their implications for language pedagogy.
Herdiana Hakim: The Power and Potential of Multicultural Literature in A Diverse Archipelago: Multiculturalism in Indonesian Children’s Books, Children’s Responses, and Teachers’ Perspectives
I have also supervised a wide range of MEd and MSc dissertations in Educational Studies and Children's Literature.
- Futro, Dobrochna
Translanguaging art: Investigation into multilingual practices of contemporary artists and their implications for language pedagogy
- Herdiana, .
The power and potentials of multicultural literature in a diverse archipelago: multiculturalism in Indonesian children’s books, children’s responses, and teachers’ perspectives.
I am the Programme Leader for the PGDE Primary and Secondary. I am also the Programme Leader for the MSc Education (online). I teach across a wide range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses in the School of Education, including:
- Language and Literacy: MEduc Year 3, 4, 5 and PDGE Primary and Secondary
- Children's Literature elective (MEduc Year 3)
- Culture, Arts and the Humanities elective (MEduc Year4)
- Modern Educational Thinking (MSc online, course leader)
- Research Application (MSc online, course leader)
- Dissertation course (MSc online)
- Texts for Children (Erasmus IMCLMC)
I also teach on the following Master's programmes:
- MEd Children's Literature and Literacies
- MSc Museum Education
I have been a School Experience Placement tutor for MEduc Year 3 and 4 students and am course leader for PGDE School Experience. I am GTCS registered.
- "I didn't know they did books like this!" An inquiry into the literacy practices of young children and their parents using metafictive picturebooks
Podcasts & webinars
- ‘Critical Literacy in the Classroom, General Teaching Council for Scotland (2018 webinar): https://www.gtcs.org.uk/News/news/gtcs-webinar-recording-critical-literacy.aspx
- UKLA Conversations Series (2020) with Navan Govender: Finding Critical Literacies
2020: “I prefer to read books at my level”: An enquiry into student teachers’ perspectives of Children’s Literature
Fostering Dialogue: Teaching Children’s Literature at University, University of Padua, Italy.
2020: Reading between the lines: What's critical about literacy in the CfE? University of Strathclyde Seminar Series, Glasgow.
2019: ‘Student teachers’ knowledge of Children’s Literature: some preliminary findings’, UKLA Primary English in Initial Teacher Education Special Interest Group, Open University, London.
2019: ‘Repositioning Readers Through Metafiction: Disrupting notions of ‘what counts’ as reading in the early years’, AHRC-funded Children’s Literature Colloquium, University of Newcastle/ Seven Stories
2018: ‘Playing about with picturebooks – and power: Towards a decolonization of reading relationships between adults and young children, A Child’s World Conference, University of Aberystwyth, Wales.
2018: ‘Conversations about critical literacy: what it is, what it looks like, what it could be’, UKLA In-ternational Conference, Cardiff, Wales.
2018: Tools for multicultural reading: the potential of children’s literature in culturally diverse class-rooms, British Council funded Workshop on Multicultural Education, Mahidol University, Thailand.
2016: ‘Challenging picturebooks; challenging assumptions’, SERA Conference, The University of Dundee
2016: ‘Parents mediating picturebooks: An exploration of “what counts” when reading words and pic-tures’, Mediating Children’s Reading’, The RSE Susan Manning workshop, The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh
2015: ‘But is it critical literacy?’ Exploring ‘what counts’ in pupils’ and parents’ responses to metafiction in picturebooks', Im Bildungsfokus: Bilderbuchrezeptionsforschung, The University of Koblenz Landau and The University of Heidelberg, Germany.
2015: ‘Disrupting ‘what counts’ as reading: the power and potential of picturebooks’, The Child and the Book Conference, The University of Aviero, Portugal.
2014: ‘Narratives of Change: Creating a Community of Inquiry Using Drama’, Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners Conference, The University of Strathclyde.