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Personal profile

Research Interests

My academic background is in Philosophy of Education. I am interested in how injustice and inequality are reproduced and sustained by forms of ignorance, testimonial and hermeneutical injustices, lack of access to important capitals such as linguistic capital, and by the ways in which ordinary vices are often overlooked as important sources of injustice: cruelty, misogyny, hypocrisy, and so on.

My key areas of interest include:


  • SEN/Inclusion
  • The Capability Approach (Nussbaum)
  • Education Policy
  • Philosophy of Emotions
  • Feminism and Gender (philosophical liberalism)
  • Literacy/Linguistic Capital


I am primarily influenced by liberal feminist philosophers who have done much to raise awareness of how women as persons, as knowers, and as carers, have been overlooked in the philosophical (and virtually every other) tradition; and helped us think differently about how other classically marginalised groups, such as those with impairments and disabilities, fare under conditions of micro and macro inequalities and injustices.

Among my favourite thinkers are: Aristotle, Martha Nussbaum, Miranda Fricker, Pierre Bourdieu, JS Mill, John Rawls, Marilyn Friedman, Rae Langton, Catherine MacKinnon, Eva Kittay, to name only a few.

Concepts that I enjoy working with include: autonomy and personhood; testimonial and hermeneutical injustices; linguistic capital (following Bourdieu and Passeron); inequality and injustice; stereotyping and prejudice; and emotions, the latter because they are phenomenally complex but often reduced to simple, merely excited states of mind which lack thought or rationality (just ask any feminist or marginalised person why are angry about injustice: their anger won't lack thought - or reason!).

In the Masters programme on SEN/Inclusion I ask students to think differently about commonplace assumptions about what it means to include people with disabilities or impairments, from the working class or marginalised sexualities. So: what does it mean to label somebody as something? What happens when we give greater or less credibility to a person simply because of her or his status, colour, class or sex? And where are we left ethically if we deliberately will ignorance of injustice? In pursuit of these kinds of questions, I like students to release their imaginations on old and stubborn problems in new ways.

The release of imagination can sometimes be achieved by deliberately inverting your sense of proportion. If something seems very minute, imagine it to be simply enormous, and ask yourself: What difference might that make? And vice versa, for gigantic phenomena. What would pre-literate villages look like with populations of 30 millions? (C Wright Mills, The Sociological Imaginationp.217)



Inclusion and SNE (MEd)

Deconstructing Special Needs Education adn Inclusion

Reimagining Special Needs Education: A Capability Approach

Issues of Equity and Social Justice in Special Needs Education


Children's Rights MSc

Children's Right Pedagogy

Childhood and Youth Research in Practice



Special Needs Education and Inclusion: A Capability Approach


PGCE: Educational and Professional Studies


Secondary Education

Before entering academia in 2013, I was Head of Social Subjects in a number of secondary schools in Scotland specialising in Geography and Modern Studies, a uniquely Scottish subject focused on Politics, Sociology, International Relations and Citizenship Studies.

GTC (Scotland) registered: Geography and Modern Studies


Winner and first recipient of the 'ICARE' award in memory of the late Vice-Chanellor, PG Johnstone, Staff Excellence Awards, 2018

Nominated for Queen's University 'Delivering Excellence' Award, 2017

Nominated for Queen's University 'Oustanding Leadership' Award, 2017

Winner Student's Union 'Best Feedback' Award, 2017

Nominated for Gradudate School 'Supervision Excellence Award', 2017

Nominated and shortlisted for Students' Union 'Most Inspiring Teacher', 2017

Nominated for Queen's University 'Delivering Excellence' Award, 2016



PGCE Director

Depute Director School Research Ethics Committee

Member of the Children's Rights Centre

Associate Member of the Center for Evidence and Social lnnovation (CESI)

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Research Output

  • 20 Article
  • 7 Commissioned report
  • 2 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
  • 2 Editorial

Enchantment - Disenchantment-Re-Enchantment: Postdigital Relationships between Science, Philosophy, and Religion

Reader, J., Jandric, P., Peters, M. A., Barnett, R., Garbowski, M., Lipinska, V., Rider, S., Bhatt, I., MacKenzie, A., Aldern, J. J., Matias, C. E., Tuari Stewart, G., Mika, C., McLaren, P., Fawns, T., Knox, J., Savin-Baden, M., Jackson, L., Hood, N., Tesar, M. & 2 others, Fuller, S. & Baker, C., 06 Jul 2020, In : Postdigital Science and Education. 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Prizes

    Article of the Month, Issue 3, Teaching in Higher Education, 2019

    MacKenzie, Alison (Recipient) & Bhatt, Ibrar (Recipient), 02 Jun 2019

    Prize: Other distinction

  • Best Concise Paper Award

    Bhatt, Ibrar (Recipient) & MacKenzie, Alison (Recipient), Nov 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    ICARE Award, Staff Excellence Awards

    MacKenzie, Alison (Recipient), 09 Feb 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Nominated for 'Delivering Excellence', Staff Excellence Awards

    MacKenzie, Alison (Recipient), 08 Feb 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Nominated for 'Delivering Excellence', Staff Excellence Awards

    MacKenzie, Alison (Recipient), Dec 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    The International Conference on the Future of Education

    Alison MacKenzie (Keynote speaker)

    01 Apr 202003 Apr 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    International Journal of Educational Research (Journal)

    Alison MacKenzie (Editorial board member)

    Jan 2020 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Inclusive and Supportive Education Conference: London 2020

    Alison MacKenzie (Speaker), & Craig Goodall (Speaker)

    03 Aug 202005 Aug 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Council for At-Risk Academics (External organisation)

    Alison MacKenzie (Reviewer)

    Sep 2019 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    PESGB Oxford Annual Conference Review Panel (External organisation)

    Alison MacKenzie (Reviewer)

    Dec 201921 Jan 2020

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

    Press / Media

    New media, digital literacty and the mechanics of trust

    Ibrar Bhatt & Alison MacKenzie


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Relationship and Sex Education in Primary Schools

    Alison MacKenzie


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    Attitudes to sexting amongst post-primary pupils in Northern Ireland : a liberal feminist approach

    Author: York, L., Dec 2019

    Supervisor: MacKenzie, A. (Supervisor) & Purdy, N. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Silence at school: Rights, respect, and (in)justice

    Author: Hanna, A., Dec 2020

    Supervisor: Lundy, L. (Supervisor) & MacKenzie, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy