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Using children’s literature to interrogate racialised language discrimination

Through workshops with students, interviews with authors and artists’ illustrations, this project, led by Dr Ian Cushing, is exploring how children’s literature might be used as a vehicle for understanding, describing, exploring and resisting structural language discrimination. 

Our aims are:

  • To explore how young readers at KS3 might use contemporary YA fiction as a vehicle for exploring, understanding and interrogating language discrimination.
  • To move beyond thinking about language discrimination as individualistic toward an understanding based on structural and intersectional forms of discrimination.
  • To combine analysis of literary texts, students’ reader-responses and interviews with YA authors.
  • To work with artists who report lived experiences of language discrimination and use students’ responses to literature as prompts for creating art and illustrations.
  • To develop, in collaboration with students, teachers, authors and artists, a ‘toolkit’ for identifying where and why language discrimination occurs – and for exploring ways of addressing it – which can be taken up and used by educators in a range of contexts.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Ian Cushing

Related Research Group(s)

children in classroom

Pedagogy, Policy and Professional Education - Focusing on pedagogy, policy and professional education, including the education of teachers.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 16/01/2024