Kathryn Spicksley


PhD Student

PhD Students

Contact Details

email: k.spicksley@worc.ac.uk

Kathryn worked as an Early Years teacher for five years before starting her PhD in Education at Worcester in 2017. Her research explores the policy positioning and experiences of early career primary teachers working in Multi-Academy Trust schools. She is interested in policy constructions of teacher identity, and the impact of these constructions on pupil-teacher relationships and pedagogies.


  • BA Theology (University of Oxford)
  • MSt Jewish Studies (University of Oxford)
  • PGCE Early Years (University of Cambridge)
  • MA Early Years Education (UCL, Institute of Education)


Kathryn takes an interdisciplinary approach to education research, using theorists located across the disciplines of philosophy, social psychology and cultural studies. She is particularly interested in how language has an impact on the developing identity of teachers, drawing on the theoretical work of Michel Foucault, J. L. Austin and Rom Harré.

Kathryn has an interest in participatory research methods, aiming to employ research tools that trouble the hierarchy between researcher/researched. Her PhD research uses go-along (walking) interviews and innovative focus groups as research tools.

Current Projects

PhD in Education
New Faces and Changing Places: The Professional Identity of Early Career Primary Teachers in Multi-Academy Trusts

30 Years of Education Reform
Exhibition and Postgraduate Conference (The Hive, Worcester, October 2018)


Conference Presentations

Spicksley, K. (23 October 2017) New Faces and Changing Places: Exploring Academy Places with Early Career Primary Teachers. BERA Postgraduate Symposium, Bath Spa University

Spicksley, K. (25 November 2017) New Faces and Changing Places: Repositioning the Role of Early Career Primary Teachers. 16th Annual School of Education Research Conference, University of Birmingham

Spicksley, K. (16 February 2018) Glass Palaces for our Elite Young Teachers: Rethinking my PhD Thesis Along Spatial Lines. Without End: Documents of Research, The University of Northampton

Spicksley, K. (13 April 2018) Get into Teaching: Digital Technologies and Technologies of the Self in the Production of a New Teacher Identity. STORIES 2018 Conference, The University of Oxford


Spicksley, K. (2018) Walking interviews: A participatory research tool with legs? BERA Blog. Available online at: https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/walking-interviews-a-participatory-research-tool-with-legs

Spicksley, K. (Autumn 2018) The Value of Inexperience. FORUM for 3-19 Comprehensive Education. (Forthcoming)

Teaching Interests

Kathryn is a module tutor on the MA Education Research Methods module (by distance learning). She also delivers occasional lectures/seminars on qualitative methodologies, and has a particular interest in the use of Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Analysis in education research.