CRACl postgrad day September 2019


On Wednesday 25thSeptember, a number of CRACL members reconvened for the new academic year. The session began with an exploratory activity led by Postgraduate Coordinator, Cassie Kill, who encouraged us all to portray our research through the medium of Play-Doh. After much reflection (and some relaxing sensory play!) we shared our thought processes and explained the symbolic meanings of each of our Play-Doh models.

The different interpretations of the research process and the diverse ways in which we had all conceptualized our current thinking in a physical form was fascinating. It was also incredibly valuable to receive feedback from one another and to share our responses to one another’s work. Crucially, there was a sense of collective endeavor and, for me, a realization that the PhD does not have to be a solitary experience at all. Instead, being a member of a research centre like CRACL affords the opportunity to draw on the strengths of peers and colleagues – there is both strength and safety in numbers!

Later, Dr Julia Molinari shared her recent experiences of the PhD viva process, revealing illuminating insights and pertinent advice that was seized on excitedly by the rest of us! When Julia had been subjected to enough of a grilling on recent events, we settled down to an incredible lunch. From artisan cheeses to Turkish kofta, from freshly baked bread to refreshing, ripe fruit, we were spoilt for choice! The bring-a-dish format worked well and set a high standard for subsequent meetings!

Brittany Wright

Last but not least, Fatma talked about the emerging findings of her action research study. It was interesting to learn the changes in the attitudes and perceptions of teachers, parents, and children after conducting her action plan. I am looking forward to learning more about the main findings of her study in the future.

Kubra Firat



Last Friday we held the first of three CRACL days to be held this year.

We have decided that, rather than meet monthly at lunchtime, it is better for our part-time people and those doing field work if we have full days. We will meet less often than other centres, but the day gives us more time to share and informally chat as well.

Those informal chats are really useful as, not surprisingly, there are lots of common threads among the work that people are doing. Although we are looking at apparently different topics – reading, writing, play, performing, learning in and with art and working with artists and arts organisations –  there are underlying patterns of interest among us. CRACL days allow us to see what they are – ways of thinking, being and doing which are for instance artistic, creative, resistant, and critical. It wasn’t really surprising then that, as well as listening, we also found ourselves drawing, and clowning-miming during the day. But there was more than this going on.

CRACL days are important not only to establish a sense of community but also of our shared endeavour. We are all looking at ways in which we can make a difference in the lives of children, families and communities, many of them finding it pretty tough. Very often this commitment means that we are acting against the grain of current policy and dominant practices. Getting together affirms our directions and research practices.

We are all looking forward to the next meeting –  and to each writing a blog post about our work! A big thanks to Cassie for getting us organised.