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Branwen Bingle

Research Student

Institute of Humanities

Contact Details



Doctoral Research

Director of Studies: Prof Jean Webb
Second and Third Supervisors: Dr Stephen Parker; Dr Anna Popova (Victoria University, Melbourne)


Those who can, teach: the formative influence of socio-cultural constructions of teachers in children’s literature on learners’ notions of teaching


My doctoral research is a response to the perception that under-achievement in UK Primary schools results from the feminisation of teaching by ethnically uniform, middle-class educators. In the belief that widening the diversity of applicants will address the current imbalance, and in a bid to close the gap in achievement between genders and socio-cultural groups/ethnicities, policy-makers in successive governments since the 1990s have attempted to target the recruitment of teachers. The 2000 Teacher Training Agency (TTA) ad campaign took the idiom ‘Those who can, do; those who can't, teach’ and subverted it to target post-compulsory-aged learners with the tagline ‘Those who can, Teach’. Policies and campaigns, however, have so far made little impact on widening participation by those targeted.


The majority of UK Primary teachers are, indeed, female/White British. Assuming the desirablility of widening participation to make teaching representative of the wider communities of the UK, the potential success of current policies will remain questionable for as long as teaching continues to be linked to negative stereotypes. This study looks at the ways in which teachers are represented in taught children’s literature to identify key socio-cultural “narratives” (ie how stories communicate meaning and accepted ideas) and compares these with notions of teaching held by learners in Primary and post-compulsory education. The aim will be to see if socio-cultural stereotypes are embedded long before learners are in a position to choose teaching as a career.

About Branwen Bingle

About Branwen Bingle

Having always been a committed mentor of students in the classroom, I moved from Primary teaching into initial teacher education (ITE) in 2008. My career path to date has been anything but straightforward: I have been a supply teacher and support assistant for Service Children’s Education, a basic skills tutor working with adults in the military, a private day nursery teacher working with 3 and 4 year olds, a Secondary English teacher working across KS3 and 4, including the teaching of GCSE English, and a subject leader for English in two Worcestershire Middle schools. Throughout my experience I have been driven by a passion for learning alongside a commitment to teaching. This made ITE an obvious step for me and Worcester has provided me with an outstanding opportunity to develop professionally.

Since joining the University I have successfully undertaken roles as Learning and Teaching Representative and Undergraduate Placements Co-ordinator, and am currently (with Kathryn Phillips) Post-graduate Student Representative within the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts.

Research Interests

Research Interests

Applied linguistics

Citizenship and identity

Children’s literature

Cultural diversity and inclusion




Hughes, S, Bingle, B, Crabtree, H, Irving, S, Perrigo, A, Robinson, C, Stanton, J, Watson, R & Whittenbury, J (2011) 'Mentoring and coaching stories – the learning journeys of lecturers undertaking Post Graduate study in Mentoring and Coaching', Worcester Journal of Learning & Teaching, Issue 6

Conference Papers and Conference Attendance

Conference Papers and Conference Attendance


Bingle, B, Robinson, J and Snell, E ‘Tackling the Educational Legacy of Section 28’, University of Worcester Diversity and Equality Conference – Building Inclusive Communities: Learning from the LGBT perspective


Bingle, B (2011) ‘Images of teachers in children's literature and their messages for ITE’, UKLA


Attended 46th UKLA International Conference Stonewall Education for All Conference: challenging homophobia and supporting young people

University of Worcester: Supporting Student Learning Conference

Stonewall Education for All Conference: Beyond Bullying


Beattie, B. (2009) ‘A sense of self: recognising the issues and complexities of establishing a cultural identity within a rural school context’, ESCalate