Alison MacKenzie

Dr

  • Room 02.006 - 71 University Street

    United Kingdom

20122021

Research activity per year

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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
  • Epistemic Injustice/Trust
  • Epistemology of Ignorance/Deceit
  • 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)

Teaching

Integrated PhD

Theories, Frameworks and Concepts

Inclusion and SNE (MEd)

Deconstructing Special Needs Education and Inclusion

Epistemic Injustice

Social Justice in SNE: A Capabilities Approach

 

Children's Rights MSc (until 2018)

Children's Right Pedagogy

Childhood and Youth Research in Practice

 

EdD (until 2021)

Special Needs Education and Inclusion: A Capability Approach

 

PGCE: Educational and Professional Studies (until 2019)

 

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

Achievements

Shortlisted for Queen's University 'Delivering Excellence' Award, 2021

Nominated for Queen's University 'Delivering Excellence' Award, 2020

Nominated for Queen's University 'Delivering Excellence' Award, 2019

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

Shortlisted for Students' Union 'Most Inspiring Teacher', 2017

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

 

Particulars

CDRG Lead-Education and Research Group Lead for Education (2018 to date)

Vice Chair School Research Ethics Committee (SSESW)

PGCE Director (2018)

Member of the Children's Rights Centre

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

Research Focus

Journal Editorships and Board Membership

Associate Editor, International Journal of Educational Research (Open) (iJEDRO)

Board Member, International Journal of Educational Reseearch (IJER)

Board Member, European Journal of Special Needs Education (EJSNE)

Board Member, Postdigital Science and Education (PDSE)

Board Member, Teacing in Higher Education (TiHE)

 

I regularly review for the International Journal of Educational Research, International Journal of Educational Research Open, Postdigital Science and Education, Gender and Education, European Journal of Special Needs Education, and British Educationa Research Journal (BERJ), Journal of Philosophy and Education (JOPE), and American Journal of Sexuality Education

 

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