Professor Lori Beckett
About Professor Lori Beckett
Lori Beckett's research interests are in practitioners - teachers, student teachers and teacher educators - working in urban schools in the current policy regime with imposed vernacular forms of global neo-liberal reforms that invariably negate the professional voice.
Lori has long worked to support practitioners air their professional concerns that child poverty has effects on teaching and learning. She takes issue with politicians, policy-makers and power-brokers intent on the global education reform movement (GERM) that would deny it. Her work is geared to equip practitioners with the wherewithal to 'speak truth to power' and to argue for their right to make professional decisions intertwined with the right to expect professional and political attention. This is the topic of Lori's twin volumes for Routledge: one edited and one sole-authored.
To build further capacity, Lori joined like-minded academics to submit a bid and win a BERA Commission on Poverty & Policy Advocacy, and then organized and hosted the 1st seminar in Leeds on 21 January, 2016, entitled Poverty & Education in four jurisdictions and internationally, which was attended by delegates in an audience that combined local practitioners in teaching and teacher education together with local education policy makers and transnational researchers.
Their combined task was to open up critical discussion about the logics of different UK governments’ schools policy and practice that guide work with students, families and communities who experience poverty and cumulative multiple deprivation. Academics from each jurisdiction provided brief outlines on the political contexts and policy landscapes in which schools are increasingly picking up the burden of poverty. For details of the six seminars in six cities, see: https://www.bera.ac.uk/project/bera-research-commissions/poverty-and-policy-advocacy
(1) The non-accredited 'Leading Learning' CPD program to mentor in-service teacher partners to develop their professional concerns with policy-practice into practitioner research projects to build collective intelligence and evidence bases to raise the professional voice.
(2) The accredited and allied MA 'Achievement in City Schools' (MAACS) that formalizes teachers' practitioner research.
(3) the PhD program that extends teachers' practitioner research, but also including biographies & autobiographies; mixed methods for policy studies, practice-based studies, local area-neighbourhood studies; and documentary and archival research methods for histories.
Lori Beckett's research is designed to have impact, primarily to investigate the social realities for teachers and multi-agency workers in local networks of urban schools, predominantly through school-university partnerships for both research-informed and co-developed teacher education, but also through city-wide investigations and in wider networks across the UK and internationally.
Lori's participation in the BERA Commission on Poverty and Policy Advocacy is crucial in this regard to build collective research intelligence and capacity, but at the time of writing, conversations about collaborations across the UK and internationally are only just underway. Likewise, the ‘seminar leads’ involved in this BERA Commission are in the first phases of considering what it might take to co-devise a specific strategy for policy-practice recommendations to reach end-users across the UK & internationally. See early papers/publications in train:
Ivinson & Beckett (2016) Reframing poverty and education within Austerity politics, for BERA’s Research Intelligence;
Thompson & Beckett (2016) The folly of ‘failing’ schools in England: the fall-out from neglecting child poverty indicators, paper accepted for inclusion in 2x2 linked symposia at 2016 BERA conference in Leeds.