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Prof Carol Vincent
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
20 Bedford Way
Tel: 02076126915
Prof Carol Vincent profile picture
  • Professor of the Sociology of Education
  • IOE - Education, Practice & Society
  • UCL Institute of Education

As a sociologist, my particular research interests include the reactions of people and policy to diversity and social difference; and the relationship between parents and educational institutions, and how these relationships are mediated by social class and ethnicity. Other interests include parenting, especially mothering, the operation of markets in education, and education policy.
I am co-director of the Centre for Sociology of Education and Equity at UCL Institute of Education.

Professional Activities
•   I am the Managing Editor of the Journal of Education Policy.  I have been on the Executive Editorial board of British Journal of Sociology of Education and on the editorial board of Sociology.

Recent Conferences/presentations (pre-pandemic) include
•    ‘Could better grouping and mixing practices bridge class and race divides in society?’ Presentation at the Launch of the Centre for Sociology of Education and Equity, UCL IoE, January 2019.
•    ‘Community, Citizenship and Cohesion: Schools and the Promotion of Fundamental British Values’.  Dissemination event, UCL IoE, November 2018.
•    ‘Fundamental British values and “dangerous conversations”’ . Presentation at Llakes annual conference, UCL IoE November 2018
•    ‘The promotion of fundamental British values in schools’. Presentation at ‘Education, Democracy and Social Justice’ York St John University, October 2018.
•    ‘Valuing the nation: counter radicalisation and citizenship in schools’. Presentation at European Conference for Educational Research, Bolzano, September 2018.
•    ‘Tea and the Queen? Researching the enactment of the British values policy in schools’: Keynote at British Educational Research Association Conference, Newcastle, September 2018
•    ‘How to be a good citizen: citizenship education and fundamental British values’, International Conference on Citizenship Education, UCL IoE, June 2018
•    ‘Time for Tea?’ Presentation at UCL Festival of Culture, June 2018
•    ‘Citizenship, Belonging and British Values’, British Sociological Association annual conference, Newcastle, April 2018
•    ‘Tea and the Queen? The promotion of fundamental British values in English schools’. Invited presentation at the Centre for Research in Race and Education Conference, February 2018
•    Civic virtues, British values and schools’ responses. Invited presentation to ‘Faith schools, social cohesion, and civic virtue’ workshop, University of Warwick, June 2017
•    ‘Friendship and diversity’ Presentation at UCL Festival of Culture, June 2017
•    ‘Embracing Difference or Managing Difference? Friendships Practices and Strategies in Everyday Life’ Paper presented at Parenting and Personhood Conference University of Kent, June 2016
•    ‘Living in the city: school friendships, diversity and the middle classes’, Presentation at European Conference for Educational Research, Budapest, September 2015.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

My research and writing has broadly focused on three main areas:  diversity and social difference, home-school relationships, and education policy.

I am an experienced qualitative researcher and have been the sole or Principal Investigator on nine funded projects.  My two most recent projects have focused on the reactions of people and policy to diversity. From Oct 2016 -2018, I was funded by the Leverhulme Trust as a Major Research Fellowship to research how teachers are responding to the dual demands of promoting community cohesion and ‘British values’. This research is published as Tea and the Queen? Fundamental British values, schools and citizenship (Policy Press, July 2019) and in several journal articles.

The second project was funded by the ESRC and called 'Children's and Adults' Friendships Across Social Class and Ethnic Difference' (funded period from Feb 2013-June 2015). This explores how children and adults living in diverse localities make, maintain and/or avoid friendships with those different to themselves. The research team consisted of Sarah Neal (University of Sheffield), Humera Iqbal (UCL IOE) and myself.  The research findings are published as Friendship and Diversity: Class Ethnicity and Social Relationships in the City (2018, Palgrave Macmillan) and in various journal articles.

Before those projects, I was Principal Investigator of an ESRC funded study, exploring 'The educational strategies of the Black Middle Classes' (2009-2011). The research team consisted of Nicola Rollock (Goldsmiths), David Gillborn (University of Birmingham) Stephen Ball (UCL IOE), and myself. The research findings are published in The Colour of Class (Rollock et al, Routledge, 2015) and various journal articles.

I have also conducted funded research on choice of childcare and social class, the training of childcare workers, and parents' relationships with schools, and how these are shaped by social class and ethnicity.

Teaching Summary

I am the module co-ordinator for the MA module Understanding Education Policy and the Programme Leader for the MA Policy Studies in Education.

Research Students:
* Currently, I am supervising research students working on various aspects of attitudes to diversity; home-school relationships and how these are shaped by class and ethnicity; inequalities in education in China; teacher accountability and autonomy, widening participation in HE; and student transitions post-schooling.

•     I have supervised 14 doctoral students through to completion. Topics included home-school relationships, class and ethnicity; education markets in England and Chile; parent choice in Pakistan; attitudes to social class and ethnic diversity in Chile; parent governors; the impact of the Gifted and Talented programme on students’ identities; migrant children’s education in China; supplementary schools; and the identities of second-generation British Ghanaians.

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