Professor Michele Schweisfurth
- Professor (Robert Owen Centre)
telephone: 0141 330 4445
I joined the School as Professor of Comparative and International Education in January 2013 from the University of Birmingham. Originally from Canada, I have a wide range of international experience as a researcher, teacher, and advisor.
PhD (Education) University of Warwick
MSc (Comparative and International Education) University of Oxford
BEd University of Western Ontario
BA (English Language and Literature and French) University of Western Ontario
I am a comparative educationist 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. My research takes a comparative and international perspective on:
- the relationship between education and development in low-income and transitional countries;
- democratic education and education for democracy, especially the contribution of learner-centred pedagogy;
- global citizenship education;
- teacher professional learning and identity;
- university internationalisation and the transnational, intercultural and academic experiences of mobile students.
Research grants and consultancies:
- Disadvantage and Participation Accountability Processes: theory and evidence from School Development and Management Committees in Karnataka, India. (Co-I, ESRC-DFID, 2017)
- GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (Co-I, Education lead, Global Challenges Research Fund, 2017)
- Examining Gender in Higher Education (EGHE): STEM and beyond. A UK-African Countries Network (Co-I, Global Challenges Research Fund, 2016)
- Evaluation: Connecting Classrooms. (PI, British Council, 2016)
- Synthesis: the Relationship between Higher Education and Developmental Leadership. (PI, DLP/Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2016)
- Young Adulllt: Policies Supporting Young People in their Life Course (co-I, EU Horizon 2020, 2016)
- Case Study of Developmental Leadership in The Philippines: Educational Experiences, Institutions and Networks (PI, 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 (PI, ESRC 2011)
- Options for Education Research under DFID’s New Research Strategy (Co-I, DFID 2009)
- Rethinking the Needs of International Students: a critique of university internationalisation (PI, ESRC seminar series 2008-10)
- The Impact of UK Educational Experiences on Chinese Returnees’ Lives and Careers (Co-I, 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 (PI, International Council for Canadian Studies 2008)
- Education and Emergencies: impact on the vulnerable in South Asia (Co-I, UNICEF 2008)
- A Comparative Study of International Students’ Intercultural Experiences (Co-I, ESRC 2006)
- Children as Decision Makers (Co-I, ESRC 2006 – seminar series)
- Education and Democracy in Rwanda (PI, CfBT 2005)
- Sustaining Democracy in Education in The Gambia through the Professional Development of Inspectors (PI, CfBT 2002 – 2004)
- UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network Review (Co-I, UNESCO 2002 – 2003)
- Teacher Education and Democracy in The Gambia (Co-I, CfBT 2000-2002)
- Education for Global Citizenship: case studies of good practice in Canadian schools (PI, 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(PI, TEMPUS-TACIS 1998)
- Remote Highland Schools in Lesotho, Southern Africa: constraints and the targeting of aid(PI, Overseas Development Agency 1997)
- General School Provision in Perm, Russia: a case study of School 134 (PI, TEMPUS-TACIS 1996)
Current Research Students and broad topics:
Abdulwahab Alharbi: educational change: perspectives of Saudi Arabian teachers
Anna Boni: policy borrowing and teacher education in Scotland and England
Sarah Digby: pupil voice and participation in Uganda
Brighid Golden: global citizenship in teacher education in Ireland
Rebecca Ipe: disadvantaged parents and pupils and the role of school management committees in India
Eda Kocar: pedagogical change in Turkey
Shuqi Rao: citizenship education in China and Scotland
Iman Sharif: pedagogical needs and approaches in Syrian refugee schools
Louise Sheridan: Freire’s principles in youth programmes in Glasgow
Amy Smail: local and global pedagogies in India and Ghana
Lawrence Tarasoff: education policy in British Columbia
Agnieszka Uflewska-Watson: transnationalism and young Polish adults in Scotland
Sihui Wang: interactions in multicultural classrooms in higher education
Yuwei Xu: gender and early childhood education in Scotland, Hong Kong and Mainland China
I have supervised 22 students to completion.
I am leader for the Masters course International and Comparative Education. I also contribute to the course Education and International Development, and do occasional sessions on the initial teacher education programme.
Within the School of Education, I am Director of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change (http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/education/robertowencentre/)
I am a member of the editorial board for the journals Comparative Education (past editor); International Journal of Educational Development; European Education: Issues and Studies; and Prospects, Quarterly Review of Comparative Education (UNESCO).
I am past Chair of the British Associaton for International and Comparative Education (https://baice.ac.uk/and past Chair of the Board of Trustees for the UK Forum for International Education and Training (https://www.ukfiet.org/).
I am currently Vice-President of the Comparative Education Society in Europe (https://www.cese-europe.org/).
I am one of the lead authors for the Education Chapter of the International Panel on Social Progress (https://www.ipsp.org/)