Laura Watson is a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winchester. Her research focus is around philosophical approaches to Holocaust Education and through this, what can be learnt about the Human Condition. She is interested in Holocaust Education, Refugee Studies, and political and moral philosophy. Laura is currently involved in the Action for Refugees Student Network at Winchester and is a member of the Forced Migrants Network at Winchester. She is also a member of the British Association for Holocaust Studies (BAHS) and the Philosophy of Education Society Great Britain (PESGB) where she discovered the benefits of being involved in various events and communities as an undergraduate and particularly as a postgraduate student.
Her hope is that the Postgraduates in Education Support Network will add to the already existing fantastic opportunities that postgraduate students can get involved with but that we can offer a space run by postgraduate students for postgraduate students where we can collaborate on projects, attend social events, and have a go at presenting work in a supportive environment with others researching in the field of Education in its broadest sense.
Sharon L. Smith
Sharon Smith is a PhD Student in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. Her current research approaches the subjectivity of parents of children with Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) and its impact on inclusion. Her PhD research is supported by a three-year BERA Doctoral Fellowship. Sharon is interested in the use of post-qualitative inquiry drawing on poststructuralist and post-human theory, as a way of developing an inclusive approach to researching subjectivity with participants. Her interest in SEND stems from her personal experiences as a parent of a child who has Down syndrome. Sharon is a student member of the Philosophy of Education Society Great Britain (PESGB) and volunteers for them, helping run their social media accounts. She is also a member of BERA and the Society for Education Studies (SES).
The main reason that Sharon was keen to start PESN with Laura, is that she recognises the value in the informal spaces – in between lectures, informal chats in the lunch-break, at drinks after conferences – which have virtually disappeared during the Covid pandemic, whilst also recognising the opportunities technology offers in bringing people together from different locations and disciplines, enabling new conversations and connections to be made. We want to help bring postgraduate students together, in a friendly, supportive and responsive space, to find new ways of learning with and from each other.