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Ms Lesley Emerson

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Ms Lesley Emerson

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

I am interested in research which seeks to make a difference in children and young people's lives, particularly in the contexts of school and community. My research interests fall into two themes:

  • Political education (including citizenship education and human rights education), with a focus on teaching controversial issues in transitional or conflict affected societies. Associated with this is an expertise in curriculum theory and socio-political perspectives on pedagogy;
  • Children’s rights, with a focus on children’s participation rights, children's civil and political rights, children's wellbeing. Associated with this is an expertise in children's rights-based and participatory research methods.

Research Interests

Open to PhD applications in:

  • Political education (including citizenship education and human rights education)

  • Children’s participation rights in school and in community

  • Socio-political perspectives on pedagogy

  • Curriculum and curriculum development

  • Participatory and transformative research

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Public outreach & key achievements

Current research projects: A longitudinal study of the role of schools in impacting on the health and wellbeing of 12-16 year old students in Northern Ireland (The WiSe Study) with Paul Connolly (PI), Frank Kee, Katrina Lloyd, Laura Dunne - I am responsible for developing and implementing the participatory aspects of this research study.

Children’s knowledge of health behaviours with Katrina Lloyd and Maria Cantwell (Centre for Public Health)

Research students

PhD area Education for sustainable citizenship  
Name Jen Banks 
Years of study Final year 
PhD area Mainstreams, Margins and the Spaces in-between: school exclusion in Northern Ireland 
Name Patricia O'Lynn 
Years of study Final year  
PhD area Children and Young People’s aspirations and vision for the future: a participatory approach 
Name Eilise Sweeney 
Years of study Second year 
PhD area Maintaining Connection, Becoming Connected: an exploration of the lived experience of refugee children in Northern Ireland 
Name Abi Wells 
Years of study Second year  
EdD area Exploring the value of museum education for schools and museums. 
Name Collette Brownlee   
Years of study Final year thesis (part time)  
EdD area The nature and purpose of history education: exploring the perspectives of Irish primary teachers 
Name Peter Whelan 
Years of study First year thesis (part time) 
PhD area Teaching Controversial Issues: Teachers' Pedagogical Perspectives and Practice
Name Megan Ward  
Years of study Second Year 
PhD area Political literacy: the role of schools 
Name John Currie 
Years of study Fourth year (part time)  

Alumni: Where are they now

PhD area Students' (Inter)national identities within international schools : a qualitative study 
Name Dr. Sinead Fitzsimons  
Years of study July 2018 
Country Canada 
Current Position Research Fellow, Cambridge 
Assessment Link 
PhD area Palestinian young people's perspectives and experiences of human rights, inside and outside schools : a participatory qualitative study in the Occupied West Bank  
Name Dr. Erika Jimenez  
Years of study July 2018 
Country Wales/ Jordan 
Current Position currently in Jordan to enhance Arabic language skills 
Assessment Link 
EdD title What is 'pretend play'? : investigating the perceptions of young children and other key stakeholders in three Irish primary school settings 
Name Dr. Triona Stokes
Years of study July 2016
Country Ireland
Current Position Lecturer, Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, School of Education,  

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