Centre Directors

Professor Rowena Arshad

Rowena is the Head of Moray House School of Education, the Head of Institute for the Institute for Education, Community & Society (ECS) and also Associate Dean for Student Academic Misconduct for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She also convenes the University of Edinburgh’s Race Equality Action Group. Her doctoral thesis was on Scottish teacher activism in the area of equality and anti-discrimination. Rowena was awarded the OBE in 2001 for services to race equality. Her current research explores how teacher education courses can better equip student teachers for a diverse and contemporary Scotland and also issues of poverty and ethnicity. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Race Equality Teaching.

Dr Farah Akbar

Farah joined the MSc TESOL team in January 2015. Previously, she taught at University of Southampton after having completed her PhD in Linguistics from University of Essex. Her research interests are in the areas of language teaching especially in the evaluation of ELT materials and assessment literacy. More recently she has been engaged with projects on issues of religious conversions and identity. She is also part of the Religious and Moral Education (RMEd) working group at a primary school in Edinburgh that aims to understand the current Scottish Government and City Council policy for RMEd and make recommendations to reflect diversity in the school.

Dr Yvonne Foley

Yvonne worked for many years  an English language teacher in Taiwan and the UK. Before returning to Scotland, she was Director of Studies within an international school system (over three campuses) in Taipei, Taichung and Kaoshiung. This position involved training teachers in TESOL methodology, curriculum, and assessment. She is currently a member of NALDIC (National Association of Language Development Across the Curriculum) and IATEFL (International Association in Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Yvonne has a PhD in Education investigating mainstream and EAL teachers’ beliefs about the reading literacy needs of bilingual pupils in Scottish secondary schools.

Dr Andy Hancock

Andy started teaching in multilingual primary schools in London before working for two years in a State Secondary school in Karoi, Zimbabwe. In 1990 he moved to Scotland to become a peripatetic support teacher to bilingual and traveller pupils in Central Region, and for a short period was seconded as part of a regional anti-bullying project investigating racist incidents and developing anti-racist support materials for schools.  Prior to coming to the University of Edinburgh Andy was Manager of the Bilingual Support Service in North Lanarkshire. His PhD research investigated Chinese children’s experiences of biliteracy learning in the home, primary schools and Chinese schools in Scotland. He is in the process of editing a book with Xiaolan Curdt-Christiansen from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore entitled Learning Chinese in Diasporic Communities to be published by John Benjamins.

Dr Kristina Konstantoni

Kristina is a Lecturer in Childhood Studies in the Moray House School of Education and an Associate of the Centre for Research in Education, Inclusion and Diversity (CREID) based in the  Institute for Education, Community & Society. As a sociologist her PhD was on the topic of ‘Young Children’s Perceptions and Constructions of Social Identities and Social Implications: Promoting Social Justice in Early Childhood’. Her main research interests are in Identities, Equity, Social Justice and Children’s Rights and Participation, and how these are taken forward in Educational Practice by engaging and listening closely to young children, parents/cares and practitioners. She is also interested in the links between social policy (particularly Educational), research, theory and practice relative to Social Justice and Equity.

Dr Marlies Kustatscher

Marlies is the Programme Director of the BA Childhood Practice and a Lecturer in Childhood Studies at the Moray House School of Education (based in the Institute for Education, Community and Society). Her research interests include children and young people’s social identities and experiences of inequalities, children’s rights and participation, children’s emotions and relationships (particularly in institutional settings), and intersectionality. She is particularly interested in qualitative, participatory and feminist research methodologies. Her current activities involve a participatory action research project with young people about their experiences of intersectional discrimination, and facilitating a cross-disciplinary network on conceptualising and researching emotions. Marlies has a practical background in social work and support work with children and young people.

Dr Jingyi Li

Jingyi is a Co-Programme Director of the MSc Education programme and a Teaching Fellow in the Moray House School of Education. Jingyi previously worked in a local NGO in Scotland with ethnic minority children and their families. She also has been teaching at local Chinese schools in Edinburgh for over ten years. Her research interests lie in international education and development, education policy, curriculum development and global citizenship education.

Rosa Murray

Rosa taught in secondary schools prior to working with the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) where she was responsible for shaping and developing Professional Standards and Learning and Development Programmes for teachers in Scotland. Rosa led the development of Professional Values and Learning for Sustainability (LfS) within the GTCS Professional Standards for teachers, this work was in partnership with Learning for Sustainability Scotland and the Scottish Government and embedded values and LfS throughout all the professional standards for teachers in Scotland.

Rosa is currently working in the University of Edinburgh as a Co-Director of Partnerships taking forward the agenda of Teaching Scotland’s Future (2012) in partnership with the University and the their Local Authorities with a particular focus on Early Phase Professional Learning and the National Returning to Teaching Programme. Rosa has co-authored several articles focused on LfS and her key interests and passions are Social Justice, Activist teachers and Learning for Sustainability.

Dr Fiona O’Hanlon

Fiona is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Languages Education at Moray House School of Education. Her PhD investigated the language use, language attitudes and identities of Gaelic-medium and Welsh-medium pupils in the transition from primary to secondary school. She is currently working on two research projects: one investigating public attitudes to Gaelic in Education, and one which explores the relationships between language, identity and civil society in Scotland and Wales. Fiona is a Board member of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the executive non-departmental public body which aims to promote the Scottish Gaelic language and culture, and is on the editorial advisory board of Scottish Affairs.


Dr Mike Orr

Mike is a Teaching Fellow on the MSc TESOL programme. He started teaching English over thirty years ago. Since then, he has worked as a teacher and teacher educator in different parts of the world. Quite early on, he became interested in the way access to English language learning is often associated with power and privilege. From this starting point he has developed two related areas of interest: the presentation of English language teaching as an apolitical activity; and the general absence from English language teacher education programmes of courses that deal with the use of language to represent the power of ruling elites as natural and normal.

Dr Robert Sharples

Rob has worked with multilingual young people in the UK, Canada and Australia. He is a Teaching Fellow at the Moray House School of Education, where he teaches on MA and MSc programmes in language education. Robert’s research examines the impact of global mobility on education and language learning, with a particular focus on EAL learners and young migrants. He is the editor of the EAL Journal.