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Dr Caroline Bligh

Dr Caroline Bligh
Contact Details
Dr Caroline Bligh

Head of Subject

Carnegie School Of Education

0113 81 23584 C.Bligh@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

About Dr Caroline Bligh

Caroline is the Head of Subject for Education, Childhood and Early Years within the University’s Carnegie School of Education – a key strategic leadership role in which Caroline works with the Dean to achieve success in meeting the School’s objectives and the University KPIs.

Caroline strives for the advancement in interdisciplinary and pedagogically driven research within the School’s RICHES University Research Centre by contributing to the seminar programme, teaching on the Professional Doctorate Programme and supervising Doctoral students – both PhD and EdD. Since achieving her Doctorate in 2011, Caroline has gained 5 Doctoral completions (4x PhD and 1x EdD) with 2 further Viva examinations taking place November 2017.

Formerly Caroline held the position of Director of the Professional Doctorate in Education. In this role Caroline built the EdD programme up to 55 students. Caroline actively shares her passion for professionally driven and pedagogically underpinned research. Caroline's research and pedagogical specialism focuses on the initial learning trajectory and negotiations of emerging bilingual learners within monolingual educational contexts. She is currently researching:

  • The means through which international bilingual students gain a sense of belonging when studying in UK HE provision;
  • Sociocultural influences in learning and teaching
  • The significance of silence as a tool for learning English as a second language
Contributing to the wider University
As a nominated member, Caroline sits on the Academic Quality and Standards committee. Formerly she was an elected member on the University Research & Enterprise Committee and nominated member of the University Research Degree Sub-Committee. In addition Caroline deputises for the Dean at School and University wide meetings and events, Caroline also Chairs meetings and attends as a panel representative at meetings including Exam committees and Boards, Doctoral Confirmation of Registration meetings, Viva examinations, School academic committee, Academic integrity and interview panels. Caroline also sits on Steering groups which support the University in driving key agendas forward. 
Doctoral completions

5 x PhD completions

Having been shortlisted each year, I achieved the University accolade of University Postgraduate supervisor 2016.


Caroline formerly served as the External Examiner for the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) and the Masters in Research (MRes) for Newcastle University.

She also was invited and served as an external panel member for the successful revalidation of the Social Sciences Department at Edge Hill University.

Peer reviewer

Caroline peer reviews on 5 journals:

  • International Journal of Early Years Education
  • Journal of Research in Childhood Education
  • Contemporary issues in Early Childhood Journal
  • Literacy Journal
  • Bilingual Research Journal
External Memberships
  • Higher Education Academy
  • Leeds Healthcare NHS Trust – public service voluntary member
  • International Association for Practice Doctorates
  • National Network for the Directors of the Doctorate in Education
  • BERA: British Educational Research Association
  • NALDIC: National Association for Language development in the Curriculum (English as an additional language - EAL). National and regional member
  • Initial membership of the Nursing and Midwifery Council through graduating as a nurse - not practice active since 1990

Current Teaching

  • Professional Doctorate in Education
  • Doctoral Research Awards: Supervising 7 x PhDs and EdDs
  • Bilingualism in Education presentations across courses

Research Interests

  • Sociocultural theorising
  • Bilingual International students means by which they gain a sense of belonging
  • The significance of silent spaces in learning
  • The silent period for emergent, young bilingual learners
  • The rise of Professional Doctorates

Selected Publications

Journal articles (3)

Books (2)

  • Bligh C (2014) The Silent Experiences of Young Bilingual Learners: A Sociocultural Study into the Silent Period. . Sense Publishers.
  • Bligh C; Chambers S; Davison C; Lloyd I; Musgrave J; O'Sullivan J; Waltham S (2013) Well-Being in the Early Years. . Critical Publishing.

Chapters (1)

  • Bligh CA (2011) Rights in Early Years Settings and a Young Child's Right to Silence. In: Jones P; Walker G Children's Rights in Practice. Sage: Sage, pp. .

Conference contributions (7)

  • Bligh CA (2013) Learning through Informal Spaces University of Oxford, UK . : .
  • Bligh CA (2012) Sociocultural understandings of the silent period: young bilingual learners in early years settings Birmingham . : .
    View Repository Record
  • Bligh CA (2012) Perspectives on the 'Silent Period' for Emergent Bilinguals in England . : .
  • Bligh CA (2011) Pedagogical Implications of the Silent Period in Young Bilingual Learners Leeds metropolitan University . : .
  • Bligh C (2011) Learning through the Silent Period - Pedagogical Implications . UK: .
  • Bligh CA (2010) The Silent Experiences of a Young Bilingual Learner University of Oxford 20100909. : .
  • Bligh CA (2009) Analysing the Silent Experiences of a Young Bilingual Learner University of Oxford . : .

Open educational resources (1)

  • Bligh CA (2015), Elementary Language and Literacy. In TESS-India Open Educational Resources. OpenLearn Works: The Open University

Theses or dissertations (1)

  • Bligh CA (2011), The Silent Experiences of Young Bilingual Learners: A Small Scale Sociocultural Study into the Silent Period

Websites (2)

  • Bligh CA (2014), A Sense of Belonging
  • Bligh CA (2014), Exam Results Day - A Day for Making Choices
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