Katherine is a Secondary School English Teacher currently teaching in Walthamstow, London and completing her doctoral research part-time.
Prior to this, she worked as a Secondary English teacher in Shanghai, China and Queen's Park, North London. She has a keen passion for creating an inclusive, dynamic and critical classroom.
Her educational qualifications include an MA in English Education, PGCE Certificate in English Education and a First Class Honours Degree in Combined Studies: English Language, Linguistics and Theology.
Thesis title: Making decolonisation a reality in the secondary literature classroom.
Principal supervisor: Bethan Marshall.
Secondary supervisor: Simon Gibbons.
Katherine's research intends to investigate the ways in which Secondary English teachers can contribute to larger efforts to decolonise education and facilitate more discussions of colonialism within their everyday classrooms and within the confinements of the existing curriculum. Crucially however, she would like to research the ways in which English Literature teachers can participate in such change. The arguably Eurocentric nature of the UK literature curriculum makes it of further interest for enquiry. As a core curriculum subject and a class that students have almost daily, what is the significance of teaching a curriculum dominated by white, cisgendered male authors from the Global North?
However, whilst ‘the omissions are telling’ (Sinclair 2018, p. 91) according to Nwonka (Dar, Sadhvi, et al., 2020), ‘making a curriculum more diverse, international or inclusive does not necessarily mean it has been decolonised’. For her research, Katherine consequently does not want to simply look at book lists, but also look at the methods teachers can take to encourage critical reflection about Britain’s colonial past. With literature’s unique ability to open the floor to conversations regarding history, society, culture and social justice, could this class also be a prime opportunity to make a change to the narrative we currently see with regards to colonialism and schools?