Keynote speakers

Gert Biesta

Thursday 10 October, 11:00am

Gert Biesta ( is (part-time) Professor of Public Education at the Centre for Public Education and Pedagogy, Maynooth University Ireland, (part-time) NIVOZ Professor for Education at the University of Humanistic Studies, The Netherlands, and (part-time) Professorial Fellow in Educational Theory and Pedagogy at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. He writes about the theory and philosophy of education, the philosophy of educational and social research, educational policy, teaching, curriculum, teacher education and education and the arts. Recent books include: The Rediscovery of Teaching (Routledge, 2017); Letting Art Teach (ArtEZ Press 2017); Obstinate Education: Reconnecting School and Society (Brills|Sense 2019); and Educational Research: An Unorthodox Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2019). He is co-editor of the British Educational Research Journal and associate editor of Educational Theory.

Katerina Strani

Thursday 10 October, 13:00

Dr Katerina Strani is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) and Head of Cultural Studies in the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS), Heriot-Watt University.  Katerina has a background in Languages and Politics, having previously taught translation and interpreting for 10 years, and worked as a freelance translator, interpreter and later as a researcher for the shadow interior minister in Greece.  Her current research is in the field of (Inter)cultural studies and she is a key member of the Intercultural Research Centre. She has published papers on intercultural dialogue, racist discourse and hate communication, among other topics, and she is currently editing a volume on Multilingual Citizenship, to be published by Palgrave in 2020. Katerina has led EU-funded international projects on racism and discrimination, mobile learning tools for newly arrived migrants and refugees, and intercultural training for educators of adults. She is also a co-investigator on a project on digital inclusion of Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, funded by the Global Challenge Research Fund. More information and a list of publications are available at:

Caralyn Blaisdell

Friday 11 October, 10:30am

Dr. Cara Blaisdell is Lecturer in Early Years Education at the University of Strathclyde. She is an experienced early years practitioner whose research work focuses on children’s rights, mainly in the context of early learning and childcare. She is particularly interested in exploring how young children’s voice, agency and contributions to social life are recognized within interdependent social relationships. She also works on methodology and ethics in research with children. Dr. Blaisdell is currently developing work around the lived experiences of adults and young children in outdoor play and learning, and how these experiences are entangled with wider social trends, political and economic considerations.

Moray House PhD Student:
Annie (Chia-Ying) Yang

Thursday 10th October, 17:15 pm

Annie Yang is a final year PhD student at Moray House School of Education and Sports. Her PhD explores teachers’ role in mother tongue education in Taiwan, focusing on their identity, attitudes toward Daighi and mother tongue education. This cross-disciplinary research (applied linguistics and education) for her is a combination of one of her previous background – linguistics, with a field that she came to be passionate in – education.  She enjoys learning new languages, as she sees it as a tool to a new world. I speak Taiwanese Mandarin, Daighi, English and Italian fluently, basic in Japanese, Greek, French, Polish, and currently learning Scottish Gaelic, and Arabic, and is keen to learn more!

This doctoral study is a continuation of one of her MSc research: Conversational Repair as a Language Maintenance Strategy in Bilingual Families in Taiwan. This master’s research focuses on the role of bilingual families in the mother tongue maintenance discourse, and it sets a contextual study for her PhD.