Geri Smyth


  • United Kingdom

Personal profile

Personal Statement

I’m a Professor in Education at the University where I have worked since the 1993 merger of Jordanhill College with the University.   My research focuses on social justice in education, specifically on bilingualism and plurilingualism among teachers and pupils but also on issues around gender, race,  ethnicity and refugee studies.   My research translates directly into my teaching both locally and internationally, with undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as with educational practitioners.   I work multinationally and with a range of humanities and social science disciplines.   I am currently the co-Editor of the European Journal of Teacher Education.

Research Interests

  • Respondent voice
  • Bilingualism and Plurilingualism
  • Ethnography
  • Diversity in the Teaching Profession
  • Linguistic, Ethnic and Cultural Diverstiy in Education
  • Social Justice in Education

Teaching Interests

My main teaching concerns support for bilingual learners in the classroom.   This is provided for BA, BEd and PGDE programmes.   I am Course Director for the Post Graduate Certificate in Supporting Bilingual Learners.   I also provide teaching input on ethnographic research methods and writing for publication to postgraduate research students and I contribute to the MSc in Educational Psychology on issues around diversity and social justice in education.   I have been a visiting lecturer in several international settings including, most recently, Canada, Australia and Malta.

Research Interests

My research mainly focuses on linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity in education.   This includes the educational experiences of children whose first language is not the language of the classroom and the ways in which linguistic and cultural capital of pupils and teachers is utilised and valued in education.   I am interested in utilising methodologies which will enable the voice of participants to truly be reflected in the research findings and in giving consideration to power relationships in the research process.  My research is predominantly ethnographic and increasingly uses an intersectional lens to investigate the data.    I am co-convenor of the World Education Research Association International Research Network (WERA-IRN) on Intersectionality, Methodologies and Knowledge Mobilization for Social Justice in Education.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Education, Teachers' Responses to their Bilingual Pupils, Open University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2001

Master of Arts, Education, Open University

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992

Master of Arts, Politics and Sociology, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1975


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