Faculty of Education and Language Studies
Christopher Walsh is currently a Senior Lecturer of International Development and Teacher Education, UK. He has worked on English in Action (EIA)and the Teacher Education through School-based Support in India (TESS-India) projects as well the production of Equality, participation and inclusion: Learning from each other (e214) and Critical issues in equity, diversity and educational practice (e805).
His research interests and scholarship are situated in primary and secondary literacy education, digital games, new technologies, multiliteracies, multimodality, social inclusion and international development.
Currently, he is Head of Research for Udbhav, funded by the Kusuma Trust. It is a project working in all 19 districts of Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh. As Head of Research, he is working with and through local partners at district, state and national levels to co-develop bespoke classroom-based science, English and maths Open Educational Resources (OERs) (print, audio & visual) and teacher professional development programmes to be delivered face-to-face through Open Distance Learning (ODL) on mobile phones. These will support key actors including teachers, teacher educators and District Institutes for Education and Training (DIETs) in improving teaching and learning in the project.
From 2010 through 2012, he worked as a team member for English in Action (EIA) and was involved in the design of the new primary and secondary teacher professional development modules. He also lead on collaboratively assembling, field-testing and selecting the new mobile phone-based technology kit for the project’s teacher professional development upscaling (2012-2015) for 12,500 teachers. In this role, using futures thinking, he provided leadership and strategic direction by leveraging the power and accessibility of micro secure digital (SD) cards to deliver continuous teacher professional development (TPD) videos and hundreds of classroom audio resources without having to rely on telecommunication networks.
Previously, he worked on a 3-year teacher professional development project in Malaysia aimed at redesigning teacher training institutes pre-service curricula to provide a comprehensive credentialing system inline with those used in Australia across all key subject areas.
From 2004-2005, he worked as a consultant for UNICEF in Afghanistan. In this role he collaborated with Afghan colleagues to co-author and field test 3 primary national English textbooks (now used throughout the country) and worked to develop and deliver pre-service and in-service teacher professional development programmes at teacher training institutes in Kabul. Simultaneously, through funding provided by the U.S. State Department, he provided professional development to the education staff at Kabul Education University to help them redesign their pre-service English teacher training programme emphasising a constructivist student-centred approach to teaching language education.
He is also Research Convenor for the Faculty of Education's Pedagogy, Learning and Curriculum (PLAC) research interest group and a Trustee for The Topsy Foundation, UK. He also is the co-facilitator of The HIVe, a global open source universal access, research; education community that fights HIV by fore fronting community-based and led sociological HIV and AIDS research and prevention that addresses digitally mediated and driven sexual behaviours. The HIVe disrupts biomedical approaches by building an accessible and dynamic social science research community engaged in reflexive performativity to improve the health and human rights of marginalised communities disproportionately at risk of HIV and AIDS. This international work leads on reminding all of us that prevention education is a solution to the AIDS epidemic. These efforts have been recognised by invitations to give keynote presentations at number of international conferences.; One invited session at the AIDS 2012 (July, 2012) conference entitled, “The Future of HIV Prevention, Health and Human Rights in Gay, other MSM and Transgender Communities: Towards More Effective Approaches with ICTs in a Web 2.0 World” was webcast that is now a of part of the U.S. Global Health Policy's online gateway for the latest data and information on the U.S.’s role in global health.
Christopher also co-edits the open access online journal, Digital Culture & Education (DCE). He recently published two edited books entitled Transforming practice: Critical issues in equity, diversity and education (2012) by Trentham and Equality, Participation and Inclusion: Diverse Perspectives (2010) by Routledge. He has published more than 50 journal articles, book chapters and conference papers.
Christopher earned an Ed.D. in Education (2006) from Teachers College Columbia University, New York, in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching that focused on primary and secondary teacher education with specialisations in multiliteracies, new technologies, literacy, multimodality and language education.
Christopher's research interests are inherently transdisciplinary; they involve leveraging technologies to provide effective teacher professional development in emerging economies; improving public health and reducing new HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and assisting marginalised communities access justice and legal aid. He also works extensively in the field of teacher research that promotes engaging children and young people as co-researchers.
He is co-faciliator and founder of The HIVe, a global open source universal access, research & education community that fights HIV by fore fronting community-based & led sociological HIV & AIDS research & prevention that addresses digitally mediated & driven sexual behaviours. The HIVe disrupts biomedical approaches by building an accessible & dynamic social science research community engaged in reflexive performativity to improve the health & human rights of marginalized communities disproportionately at risk of HIV & AIDS. www.hiv-e.org
He is also the Senior Research Analyst and Policy Advisor for Bridges Across Borders South East Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEA CLE). In this role he works to assist in setting up Clinical Legal Education Clinics across South East Asia that provide marginalised people with access to justice and promote pro bono service among law students and professionals to communities who would not usually have access. Much of this work draws upon the use of technology to improve teaching, learning, English language acquisition and understanding personal risk to HIV and how to access justice.
Current funded research projects
1. ‘Creative Emotional Reasoning Computational Tools Fostering Co-Creativity in Learning Processes (C2Learn)’
Funding: European Commission (F7P) €2,300,000
The C2Learn project aims to introduce an innovative digital gaming & social networking environment incorporating diverse tools, the use of which can foster co-creativity in learning processes in the context of both formal & informal educational settings. Partners:
2. 'Meeting Teachers' Co-Design Needs by Means of Integrated Learning Environments’ (METIS)
Funding: European Commission (EU LLP KA3 Multilateral Project) €430,000
This project brings together partners from the higher education, vocational training, & adult education levels, as well as institutions with expertise in learning design research. The project goal is to provide an Integrated Learning Design Environment (ILDE) based on existing free & open source solutions, including authoring tools; co-design support for teacher communities; & deployment of learning designs on mainstream VLEs; to run a series of workshops for teachers using ILDE to train teachers in learning design & the orchestration of ICT-based learning environments according to innovative pedagogies; & to disseminate the project’s outcomes in the form of workshops for learning design training, & to promote the creation & maintenance, beyond the project’s financial period, of a teacher community using learning design. Partners:
3. ''Possiblity thinking for social change: Creative primary schools"
Funding: The Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET) Small Grant Programme £3000
This funding proposal builds on work by Open University colleagues including Craft, Cremin and Chappell since the mid 1990s, exploring possibility thinking (PT) as an enactment of creativity in learning and teaching, in what we have termed creative primary schools. Conceptualised more recently by Craft and Chappell with Walsh in relation to the wider social context of learning and changing childhoods within the OU-based EU funded C2Learn study, PT has been framed within the ethically framed wise, humanising creativity (WHC) by Craft, Walsh and Chappell. This study seeks to extend work on possibility thinking, bringing together the work on PT and WHC into a focus on social change in creative primary schools. Building on the study of creative primary schools conducted by Craft, Cremin, Clack and Hay in 2012 (in review) funded by CREET and Exeter University, we seek also to further develop strategies for making more public and accessible both the results of this new research and the insights already established, thus enhancing the impact, reach and significance of earlier work. Drawing in early career postdoctoral research fellow Kerry Chappell the precise focus is to be determined but we anticipate foregrounding possibility thinking and social change in primary schools at a time of wider change for schools themselves.
Christopher is working on or has worked on the following grants as the Senior Research Analyst & Policy Advisor for Bridges Across Borders South East Asia Community Legal Education Infinitive(BABSEA CLE):
1. 'Further support to development of clinical legal education (CLE) in Viet Nam’. Hanoi, Viet Nam
$63,051 (US) funded by the UNDP Viet Nam (awarded to BABSEA CLE)
2. 'Applied Research Piloting the Development of Clinical Legal Education (CLE) in Viet Nam’. Hanoi, Viet Nam.
$160,000 (US) funded by UNDP Viet Nam (awarded to BABSEA CLE
Past research projects:
1. Literacy in the Digital World of the Twenty First Century: Learning from Computer Games.’
$ 233,361 (AUS) funded by the Australia Research Council (ARC) with Industry partners: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Victorian Association for the Teaching of English, Victorian Department of Education & Early Childhood Development.
This project investigated the ways in which English & literacy education might benefit from examining popular digital culture, & the ways in which young people make use of it, to improve the teaching of print & multimodal forms of literacy. It takes computer games as examples of global, ICT-based popular culture, where meaning is built from multimodal elements, & where young players have to be actively learning & involved in order to play.
2. 'Expanding HIV prevention & outreach coverage @Mplus+.’ Chiang Mai Thailand.
$15,000 (US) funded by The AIDS Research Foundation (amfAR) (awarded to Mplus Thailand)
3. 'Maintaining & expanding HIV prevention programmes at Mplus+: Producing animations to educate MSM to fashion safe sex practices & address low perceptions of personal risk.’ Chiang Mai, Thailand.
$20,000 (AUS) funded by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) (awarded to Mplus, Thailand).
4. ‘Critical Transdisciplinary Multiliteracies’
$35,000 (US) funded by The Spencer Foundation Practitioner Research Communication & Mentoring Grant
This project built on & contributed to work around Multiliteracies approaches to literacy education. The study researched the practical aspects of developing a curriculum of multiliteracies where students engage in transformed practice through multimodal design.