Dr Julie McAdam
- Senior Lecturer (Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy)
Julie is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow in Language and Literacies. She has developed teacher education programmes in Scotland and the Middle East that emphasise inclusive and culturally relevant pedagogy to promote learning in diverse contexts. She has published on threshold concepts in becoming a teacher. Over the past ten years, she has worked on research projects which explore the role played by children’s literature in supporting teachers working with New Arrival children across Europe. Her current work is connected to the use of directed hope and storytelling in the creation of Narratives of Change, which are used to challenge prevalent negative discourses and recount positive stories connected to identity, language, and migration.
Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality. (Ian McEwan)
My research interests are clustered around children’s literature and literacies and I have a particular interest in the potential of understanding children’s literature as a safe space for inviting responses that enable readers/viewers to explore the social and cultural dimensions of their communities. This includes exploring language practices, migration, identity, and intercultural understandings.
I welcome inquiries from postgraduate students who are interested in exploring these dimensions in creative ways within their own communities.
I teach on the MEd in Children's Literature and Literacies on two research-informed courses: Reframing Literacy for the 21st century and Texts for Diversity.
I am currently a Co-I on AHRC GCRF Project "Culture for Sustainable and Inclusive Peace (CUSP) Network Plus" (AH/T007931/1, PI Prof Alison Phipps
Active work from past grants:
AHRC-GCRF funded Network titled 'Children's Literature in Critical Contexts of Displacement: Exploring how story and arts-based practices create safe spaces for displaced children and young people'. In this project I worked with academics and NGOs in Egypt to strengthen the capacity of third sector mediators to use arts-based practices when working with displaced in contexts of flux.
My current research interests were shaped through my involvement in the international project, Visual Journeys, funded by the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) and led by Evelyn Arizpe. This project investigated immigrant children's responses to wordless picturebooks and graphic novels and the ways in which they create meaning and narrative through their own multimodal texts. The book that resulted from this project was awarded the 'Edward B. Fry' Literacy Award from the Literacy Research Association in 2015. I also worked on the follow-up project funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 'Journeys from Images to Words: Examining the efficacy of visual meaning-making strategies in the development of inclusive communities of critical readers'. The project was awarded The British Curriculum Foundation /BERA/ Routledge Prize 2013 for joint development work between schools and universities.
2018 PI on a Scottish Funding Council project to look at ‘Children’s Literature and International Safe Spaces: Toolkit development for third sector partners working with displaced children’. This project strengthened the capacity of third sector organisations to use and select literature that can be used as a mirror, reflecting the migration experiences of children and families; as a window on the world; and as a door to new ways of thinking and acting.
2017 PI on a University of Glasgow Funded project on ‘The Multimodal, Multilingual and Multicultural Potential of Picturebooks’ which examined children’s responses to Arabic picturebooks.
2014 PI on University of Glasgow Sustainable Development project ‘Narratives of Social Change: Supporting Sustainable Action through Creative Multiliteracies’. A two year project that supported teachers to use children’s literature to bring about social change within their communities.
2018 European Social Innovation Fund ‘Challenging Discourses of Xenophobia through Arts and Story with Young People in Glasgow'. Working with an artist/illustrator to challenge and disrupt negative discourses surrounding difference.
2017 AHRC-GCRF Network Grant for ‘Children's Literature in Critical Contexts of Displacement: Exploring how story and arts-based practices create safe spaces for displaced children and young people'.
2016 GU Knowledge Exchange Grant for the scoping project 'Literacy Practices Past and Present' in the East End of Glasgow
2016 TEMPUS funded project ‘Foreign Languages for Professional Practices’. Developing language courses to accompany professional degrees in universities in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Kyrgygistan.
2010: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation ‘New Approaches to Learning’ small grant for the project Journeys from Images to Words: Examining the efficacy of visual meaning-making strategies in the development of inclusive communities of critical readers’.
2009: UK Literacy Association small grant for main phase of the research project ‘Visual Journeys: Understanding immigrant children's response to visual images in picturebooks’.
Supervision Areas include : Children's literacy development, Multicultural and International Children's Literature, the potential of children's literature to evoke human flourishing.
Current Research Students
Qian Yang: The relationship between Scotland’s Chinese young students’ cultural acculturation experience and their practice on bilingual learning. The voice from young Chinese bilingual learners
Madeleine Strobel: Reading Circles in ESL Classrooms
Alaa Al Nijim: Creative Teaching and the Promotion of Reading for Pleasure in Saudia Arabia
Rowena Seabrook: How can a literature based human rights education programme motivate and empower young people to be agents of change?
Nurfadzilah Binti Nek Kamal: The quality of dialogic teacher-student talk in Malaysian ESL classroom using picture books
Rabaha Arshad: Children’s Literature for Children’s Rights: Establishing literary ‘safe spaces’ for children affected by Violence, Neglect and Abuse in Pakistan
Zainab AlGharibi: The Needs of Omani children during their transition from nursery to 1st grade
- Arshad, Rabaha
Children's Literature for Children's Rights
- Khan, Amber
British Muslim adolescent women in UK Muslim young adult
- Nek Kamal, Nurfadzilah Binti
The quality of dialogic teacher-student talk in Malaysian ESL classroom using picturebooks
- Yang, Guiping
A Study on the Mismatch of Public English Education...
Emma McGilp: A Dialogic Journey into Exploring Multiliteracies in Translation for Children and a Researcher in International Picturebooks
Jennifer Farrar: "I didn't know they did books like this!" An inquiry into the literacy practices of young children and their parents using metafictive picturebooks
Ken Shirley - Teacher Knowledge and the Role of Theory in Practice in TESOL
Soumi Dey: Emerging bilingual children and language acquisition: a cognitive approach to children making meaning from metafictional texts
Ahmed Abdullah: Investigating Iraqi Secondary School English Language Teachers' Pedagogical Practices
Susanne Abou Ghaida: Life’s Longing for Itself: Growing Up in the Arabic Young Adult Novel
College Teaching Excellence Award (Team Award) 2020-2021 Children's Literature Team
University Teaching Excellence Award (Team Award) 2019-2020 TESOL Team
I teach on the MEd in Children’s Literature and Literacies, I convene two courses Reframing Literacy for the 21st Century and Texts for Diversity. In both courses, assessment is linked to future employability. In Reframing, students set and answer their own questions related to practice. On Texts for Diversity, they curate texts that are shared via a public seminar (Glasgow Life, Scottish Book Trust, Amnesty attend) and public forums (published websites, Refugee Week and blogs). Students have responded positively to these innovative assessments with many using their ideas to enact change in the workplace/community or to continue into PhDs.
I also teach an online course called: Children’s Literature for a Diverse World to students on the second year of their Erasmus Mundus Children’s Literature, Media and Culture programme. I developed an online approach and was able to blend synchronous and asynchronous sessions to deliver the course to students from over 30 nationalities. I have decolonised the curriculum through student choice, inviting groups to select themes that they wish to explore and curate. The course offers conceptual frameworks for critical analysis, empowering students to justify their curations. Examples of curations include: Mental Health Awareness, LGBQT+, indigenous communities, sight-impaired texts). The course is assessed via a reflective analysis or a draft proposal on why and how the curation can be used.
Professional activities & recognition
- 2016: Children's Literature in English Language Education Journal
Professional & learned societies
- 2017: Treasurer, Scottish Educational Research Association
Invited Talks at national and international events:
Scottish Association for Teachers of English as an Additional Language (keynote, 2016, invited workshop, 2018),
QAA Enhancement Conference on Community and Belonging, Department of Learning and Teaching at Edinburgh Napier (keynote, 2019),
Peruvian Ministry of Culture, National Library of Peru and Casa de la Literatura (invited talk, 2020).
Awards: Literacy Research Association (LRA) Edward B. Fry Book Award for Arizpe, E., Colomer, T., Martínez-Roldán, C., Bagelman, C., Belloran, B., Farrell, M., Fittipaldi, M., Grilli, G., Manresa, A.M., McAdam, J., Real, N. and Terrusi, M. (2014) Visual Journeys through Wordless Narratives: An international inquiry with immigrant children and 'The Arrival'. Bloomsbury Academic: London.
Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) Executive Member and Trustee (2015-now), SERA Treasurer (2016-2021)
SERA Conference Organising Committee (2018)
European Conference for Educational Research (ECER) Conference Organising Committee for 2020 (cancelled due to covid, will be held in 2023).
Honorary Treasurer for Glasgow UCU Branch (2018-2021).
Reviewing and Editorial Boards: Invited reviewer for 5 journals: Scottish Educational Review, Children’s Literature in English Language Education Journal (on Editorial Board since 2016), Literacy Journal Cambridge Journal of Education, Education Science. Reviewed book proposals (Blackwell Handbook) and manuscripts (Multilingual Matters).
Examining: I have externally examined UG Language and TESOL programmes at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Gloucestershire (current). I have also examined the following PhDs:
Elizabeth Nelson (2021) Understanding Childhood and Play in the Post-Digital Age. University of Glasgow.
Sarah Cox (2021) An exploration of an ecological, multilingual approach to language learning with New Scots. University of Glasgow.
Amal Al-Qarshoubi (2020) Academic Staff Retention in Higher Education Institutions in the Sultanate of Oman: The Impact of Incentives. University of Glasgow.
Tarig Abdulatif Saleh Omar (2019) From Curriculum Reform to Classroom Practice: Intentions, Perceptions, and Actual Implementation in English Secondary Schools in Libya. University of Glasgow.
Muhammad Ashraf (2014) The Virtual Jirga: the 2009 Education Policy and the Medium of Instruction Debate in Pakistan. Who is Participating and What are the Implications for Baluchistan? University of Glasgow.
Muhammad Mansoor Anwar (2019) Re(construction of EFL teachers’ professional identify in curriculum implementation: A narrative inquiry. University of Exeter.