Biography

I work in the field of education and international development with a particular focus on indigenous rights, gender equality and social justice, language diversity and interculturalism, drawing on approaches from critical theory, post-structuralism and anthropology and human development. I have a background in both academic research and teaching have been a Lecturer in Education and International Development at the Institute of Education, University of London and also experience in development practice, having worked with a wide range of NGOs from community-based and regional federations of indigenous peoples in South America to international NGOs such as the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Copenhagen, and Oxfam GB where I held the post of Global Education Policy Adviser prior to joining UEA and DEV in March 2008.

Academic Background

My PhD, from the Institute of Education, University of London, was in the field of education and international development and my doctoral thesis was an ethnographic study of Intercultural Education and Harakmbut language and Identity in the SE Peruvian Amazon. I have an MA from the Institute of Education in Education and International Development, an MA (hons) from the University of Edinburgh in Archaeology (with sociology and anthropology), and a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) from the Lady Spencer Churchill College (now Oxford Brookes University). I have held a Spencer Post-doctoral Fellowship with the National Academy of Education, USA.

CV and Experience


Click here to download Sheila's CV

All Publications

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Aikman, S.

(2017)

Changing livelihoods and language repertoires: hunting, fishing and gold mining in the southeast Peruvian Amazon,

in International Journal of the Sociology of Language

246

(246)

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S., Robinson-Pant, A., McGrath, S., Jere, C., Cheffy, I., Themelis, S., Rogers, A.

(2016)

Challenging deficit discourses in international education and development,

in Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education

46

(2)

pp. 314-334

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2015)

Language and identities,

in Education and International Development : An introduction.

Bloomsbury Academic

pp. 221-236

ISBN 9781472510686

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Robinson-Pant, A., Aikman, S., Dyer, C., Rao, N., Rogers, A., Themelis, S.

(2015)

BAICE Thematic Forum: Challenging deficit discourses in international education and development ,

UEA

(Commissioned report)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2014)

Intercultural Bilingual Education, Self-Determination and Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin,

in Education in Indigenous, Nomadic and Travelling Communities.

Bloomsbury Academic

pp. 169-188

ISBN 9781472513144

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Aikman, S., Unterhalter, E.

(2013)

Gender equality, capabilities and the terrain of quality education,

in Education Quality and Social Justice in the South : Challenges for policy, practice and research.

Routledge

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Aikman, S., Rao, N.

(2012)

Gender equality and girls education: Investigating frameworks, disjunctures and meanings of quality education,

in Theory and Research in Education

10

(3)

pp. 211-228

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S., Dyer, C.

(2012)

Education and inclusion: re-examining the narratives,

in Compare

42

(2)

pp. 177-185

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2012)

Interrogating discourses of intercultural education: From indigenous Amazon community to global policy forum,

in Compare

42

(2)

pp. 235-259

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S., King, L.

(2012)

Editorial: Indigenous knowledges and education,

in Compare

42

(5)

pp. 673-681

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Maddox, B., Aikman, S., Rao, N., Robinson-Pant, A.

(2011)

Literacy inequalities and social justice,

in International Journal of Educational Development

31

(6)

pp. 577-579

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2011)

Educational and indigenous justice in Africa,

in International Journal of Educational Development

31

(1)

pp. 15-22

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S., Halaib, A., Rubagizac, J.

(2011)

Conceptualising gender equality in research on education quality,

in Comparative Education

47

(1)

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2010)

Marching to different rhythms: international NGO collaboration with the state in Tanzania,

in Development in Practice

20

(4/5)

pp. 498-510

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2010)

Grasping rare moments for change: Children's participation in conflict contexts,

in Children as decision makers in education.

Continuum

pp. 25-34

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2009)

The contradictory languages of fishing and gold panning in the Peruvian Amazon,

in Maritime Studies (MAST)

8

(2)

pp. 50-71

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Aikman, S. (ed.), Unterhalter, E. (ed.), Boler, T. (ed.)

(2008)

Gender equality, HIV, and AIDS: a challenge for the education sector,

Oxfam GB

ISBN 978-085598-586-8

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Aikman, S., Unterhalter, E., Boler, T.

(2008)

Essentialism, equality, and empowerment: concepts of gender and schooling in the HIV and AIDS epidemic,

in Gender equality, HIV, and AIDS: a challenge for the education sector.

Oxfam GB

pp. 11-32

ISBN 978-085598-586-8

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Aikman, S. (ed.), Unterhalter, E. (ed.)

(2007)

Practising Gender Equality in Education,

Oxfam GB

ISBN 978 0 85598 598 1

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Aikman, S.

(2006)

EFA for pastoralists in North Sudan: a mobile multigrade model of schooling,

in Education for All and Multigrade Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities.

Springer

ISBN 978-1-4020-6647-4

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

Intercultural education and the indigenous movement, bilingual education and plurilingual language policy, curriculum development and teacher education in low income countries.  I have a regional focus on intercultural and indigenous education in Latin America (especially Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador) and a focus on gender equality and basic education in Sub-saharan Africa (especially Tanzania, Mozambique, Liberia) and in East Asia (Vietnam).

Research

There are two major strands to my research. The first is in Latin America and particularly Peru, where I carry out ethnographic research on indigenous education, interculturalism, indigenous movements, bilingual education and plurilingual language policy. My monograph on the Arakmbut of SE Peru, first published in 1999, was revised and published in Spanish in 2003. Drawing on this and earlier work, I take a longitudinal approach to researching indigenous knowledge, learning and literacy in the Amazon region and to understanding relationships between education and social, cultural and environmental change.

My other research area is concerned with developing new insights into gender equality issues in formal education from a social justice perspective and with critically examining the theory and practice interface and concepts of quality and inequality in global discourses. I was co-director of the project: Beyond Access, Gender, Education and Development, with Professor Elaine Unterhalter, and have carried out work for different agencies and international NGOs on gender equality (such as OxfamGB, and the Commonwealth Education Fund) and have been active on programme advisory committees including the DFID RPC Edqual in Sub-Saharan African countries and the multi-country programme of UNESCO ‘Teaching Respect For All’. I am a member of the research programme ‘Paradigmas de Diversidad’ and the research network Red Saberes.

 

Teaching Interests

Teaching

I supervise PhD students, have co-directed the MA Education and International Development for several years. I also teach on the undergraduate module on education and development as well as regional modules and teach modules on the Undergraduate BA on International Development. 

I teach on the following modules:

Masters level:

  •  Introduction to Education and Development
  • Educational Policy and Practice for Development

 

 Undergraduate level:

  • Engaging Anthropology in Development
  • Latin American Development
  • Education and Development

Doctoral research supervision

I currently co-supervise the following students:

Susan Conlon: Livelihoods in transition: consumerism in the context of climate change? The case of commerical flower growing in Peru's Callejon de Huaylas.

Demelash Woldu: Exploring the construction of linguistic identities of primary school students in teh context of language-in-education policy in a minority ethnic community.

 

Recently completed Phd students: 

Rosanne Tromp: The Education Research-Policy Nexus in Mexico

Samuel Rushworth: Learning to Live Together: education, identity and citizenship in Rwandan schools

Eleni Konidari: Literacy practices and learning needs among marginalised groups in Greece.

Horacio Almanza Alcalde: Land dispossession and Juridical Land Disputes of Indigenous Peoples in Northern Mexico.