TEAMS Workshop: Teaching that matters for refugee students, by Prof Joanna McIntyre and Dr Sinikka Neuhaus

Date : 17 May 2023 - 17 May 2023
Time : 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

On Wednesday 17 May 2023 (13.00-14.15 UK / 14.00-15.15 Sweden / 15.00-16.15 Finland) we hosted Professor Joanna McIntyre of the University of Nottingham and Dr Sinikka Neuhaus of Lund University. The title of their presentation was ‘Teaching that matters for refugee students.’

The workshop was aimed at teachers, school staff and others who work with students.


In this presentation, we shared the development of a holistic co-constructed model of refugee education that originated through working with teachers in Sweden and England (McIntyre and Neuhaus 2021).  The theorised model had its roots in the confluence of Ravi Kohli’s ‘resumption of ordinary life’ and Nancy Fraser’s ‘participatory parity’. After outlining the research underpinning the model, the presentation focused on what matters when seeking to include refugee students and also how teachers matter for enacting a holistic model of inclusive education for refugee students.  The model has been subsequently modified and trialled in case study schools in the English context (McIntyre and Abrams 2021). In the presentation, Jo illustrated ‘what matters’ through sharing how she worked with teachers and school leaders in case study schools in England to further develop the model of inclusive education for refugee and asylum- seeking students based on the concepts of safety, belonging and succeeding to showcase. We are now conducting empirical work in Sweden with teachers to consider how the model works at the local level in schools in Sweden. Sinikka explored the ways in which ‘teachers matter’ and are fundamental to the process of enactment of the model and some of the barriers and enabling factors to achieving this. There was an opportunity to discuss the relevance of the model and its underlying concepts of safety, belonging and succeeding for current and future classroom practice and research.

Professor McIntyre’s biography

Jo joined the School of Education at the University of Nottingham in 2010 after a number of years teaching English in secondary schools. Jo previously held the roles of Deputy Head of School, Associate Head of School, Director of Initial Teacher Education, Course Leader for the MA in Creativity, Arts, Literacies and Learning, and Course Leader for the Teach First programme.

Jo is particularly interested in how, through the field of Education, we can understand and improve the lives of those who are marginalized or disadvantaged by society Jo has worked on a range of funded research projects and her current work is located in the fields of teacher education and refugee education. Jo’s work in the field of refugee education includes a sustained collaboration with Lund University. She works on research projects which look at the barriers and opportunities schools face when working to support refugee children . This has included work with teacher educators in different international contexts to consider issues of global migration and initial teacher education. Jo is currently leading on research projects including one related to the role of arts in fostering a sense of belonging for newly arrived young people in cities in Europe, a project with Swedish educators looking at implementation of an inclusive model of education for refugee pupils, and on a project which will develop a hub for refugee education across Europe.

Previously she has conducted studies of young people’s arts and creative practices in and out of school as well as research on the discourses surrounding schools and the teachers that work in them, the lives of both long-serving and beginner teachers, and approaches to mentoring.

Dr Sinikka Neuhaus’ biography

Sinikka Neuhaus is Head of Teacher Education, Assistant Head of Department and researcher at the Department of Educational Sciences, Lund University, Sweden. She is currently involved in research projects on refugee education and collaborative research with teachers and schools focusing on social justice and equity.