Paula McElearney


PhD student (full time-studentship)

Research Students

Contact Details


Paula is a full time PhD student researching critical pedagogy in the lifelong learning sector. Prior to this she spent 13 years in a large Further Education college where she was firstly a Programme Co-ordinator and Lecturer on adult and community courses, followed by Course Leader and Lecturer for community based courses for adults with special educational needs. She then worked with a group of residential special educational needs Further Education colleges, and studied for an MSc in their unique pedagogy based on the methods of Rudolf Steiner and the insights of William Morris and John Ruskin. Following this she was Head Teacher at a small, rural residential special school. She also worked with HE students with specific learning difficulties.


  • BSc (Hons) Psychology (2:1). University of Leicester
  • Diploma in Education Marketing. Birmingham City University
  • Certificate in Education: Post Compulsory Education. University of Wolverhampton
  • MSc Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (Distinction). University of the West of England
  • PhD Critical Pedagogy in the Lifelong Learning sector. University of Worcester-in progress

Teaching & Research


Critical pedagogy
Transformative learning
Lifelong learning
Widening participation
Practical Skills
Therapeutic Education
Special Educational Needs and Inclusion
Steiner Education Radical Education
Equality and Diversity


Critical pedagogy
Transformative learning
Lifelong learning
Widening participation
Practical skills Therapeutic Education

Professional Bodies

Association for Research in Post Compulsory Education (ARPCE)
British Educational Research Association (BERA)
Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (POESGB)
Standing Conference on the University Teaching and Education of Adults (SCUTREA)