Biography

I joined UEA's School of Education and Lifelong Learning in 2013 in order to lead its expanding postgraduate studies suite and develop research in the area of sociology of educational and youth studies. Before coming to UEA, I held positions at Middlesex University (Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer), Birmingham City University (Visiting Lecturer), University of East London (research associate and then research fellow) and led two modules at UCL Institute of Education. 

 

My academic background is inter-disciplinary and diverse. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Education and Psychology (University of Ioannina, Greece), a Master's in Sociology (University of Bristol), a Master's in social and educational research (UCL Institute of Education), a PhD in Sociology of Education (UCL Institute of Education) and a PGCert in Higher Education (Middlesex University). 

 

Before joining academia, I interned at the Ministry of Justice, London, taught at various independent primary and secondary schools in London and worked as a consultant for a German-based company offering evaluation, assessment and advice to multinational enterprises in the UK. 

 

I have won a number of competitive awards of national (e.g. 1+3 ESRC-funded scholarship), international (e.g. Marie Curie fellowship, jointly funded by the EU and the Central European University) and cross-national distinction (e.g. fellowship sponsored by the Universities of Lecce, Italy, and Ioannina, Greece). I have designed and delivered workshops, developed resources and participated in international projects and events aiming to explore the role of critical education in educational and social change. I am an editor (former deputy chief editor) of the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS), editorial board member of the SoJo Journal: Educational Foundations and Social Justice Education, a regular reviewer for the Czech Science Foundation, a fellow of the Center for Contemporary Immigration Studies, University of California, San Diego, USA, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. 

 

Some of my publications include a monograph, namely Social Change and Education in Greece: A Study in Class Struggle Dynamics (2013, New York: Palgrave Macmillan) and a high-profile UNESCO-commissioned report on The Education for Roma: the potential of inclusive, curriculum-based innovation to improve learning outcomes (published as part of the UNESCO 2013/14 Education for All: Global Monitoring report). 

 

I have published in various international journals, such as the British Journal of Sociology of Education, Ethnicities, Journal of Youth Studies, Research in Comparative and International Education Journal, Romani Studies, Educação e Realidade. Some of my work has been translated into other languages and my publications appear in English, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. 

 

My current research interests span different fields and my research focuses on educational and social issues in the UK, Greece, Brazil and Chile (for more see 'Research').

All Publications

Themelis, S.

(2017)

Education and equality: Debunking the myth of meritocracy,

in Educação & Formação

2

(4)

pp. 3-17

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2017)

Learning, unlearning, relearning with the movements: A study of the Greek Education movement and its prefigurative potential,

in Postcolonial Directions in Education

6

(1)

pp. 28-53

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)


Themelis, S.

(2016)

The time of the Roma in times of crisis: Where has European neoliberal capitalism failed?,

in Ethnicities

16

(3)

pp. 432-451

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2016)

Il dialogo e el praxis nella ricerca dell'utopia,

in Dialogo e utopia : saggi, proposte, divergenze nella pedagogia critica.

Quintadicopertina

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Themelis, S., Cowden, S., Accioly, I.

(2016)

Book Symposium on Curry Malott and Derek Ford (2015) Marx, Capital and Education: Towards a Critical Pedagogy of Becoming. New York: Peter Lang,

in Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies

14

(1)

(Book/Film/Article review)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2015)

From mainstream politics to social movements: Greece in between austerity and hope,

(Other contribution)

(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)


Themelis, S.

(2015)

Movimentos sociais e pedagogia crítica na Grécia: resistência e alternativas,

UEA Repository

(Paper)

(Published)


Themelis, S., Foster, B.

(2014)

Education for Roma: the potential of curriculum-based innovation to improve learning outcomes,

UNESCO

(Other report)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2013)

Social Change and Education in Greece: A Study in Class Struggle Dynamics,

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN 978-0-230-33822-7, 0-230-33822-4

UEA Repository

(Book)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2013)

Social Class and Education in Modern Britain: Why Inequalities Persist and How Can We Explain Them,

in Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies

11

(1)

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Themelis, S., Foster, B.

(2013)

The Education of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in England – a road partly travelled,

in Die Bildungssituation von Roma in Europa.

Waxmann Verlag GmbH

pp. 169-198

ISBN 978-3-8309-2841-6

UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2011)

Labour Market and Employment: a Case Study in a Roma, non-Roma community,

in ČKZ Journal for the Critique of Science, for Imagination and New Anthropology

UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2010)

Young People and Inclusion,

in Equality, Participation and Inclusion 2 : Diverse Contexts.

Routledge

ISBN 9780415584258

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)

(Published)


Sampson, A., Themelis, S.

(2009)

Working in the community with young people who offend,

in Journal of Youth Studies

12

(2)

pp. 121-137

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2008)

Meritocracy through education and social mobility in post-war Britain: A critical examination,

in British Journal of Sociology of Education

29

(5)

pp. 427-438

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Themelis, S.

(2008)

Labour market restructuring and employment pathways: The case of a mixed community (Roma, non-Roma) in north-west Greece,

in Romani Studies

18

(2)

pp. 123-154

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Key Research Interests

My research focuses on topics that fall under various disciplinary fields, such as sociology, education and their intersection (e..g sociology of education), international development, studies in political economy, social movements and social theory.

More specifically, I have followed threads that have explored the following issues:

  • the role of education in social mobility and lifechances of diverse groups (see below)
  • educational disparities across the social class, ethnic, gender and age divides
  • the education of minority groups and minorities in education (especially in Europe)
  • Gypsy/Roma/Travellers and issues of educational and social inclusion
  • inclusion, inequalities and social and educational policy

More recently, I have been researching various social movements in Europe and Latin America. I am interested in the following issues:

  • Knowledge generation, epistemology and social justice
  • Learning with and through social movements
  • Higher Education, policy change and student protests
  • Academic activism and resistance

I have received funding for several individual or group research projects.

In 2016 I led a project that aimed to develop the professional development portfolio of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, UEA. Dean for Enterprise, UEA. £2,641.
In the same year, I led another project aimed to develop consultancy services offered by the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, UEA. Dean for Enterprise, UEA. £2,483.
In 2015, the Earlham Institute (former Genome Analysis Centre) funded a project on food poverty in higher education (funds covered salary and research expenses for a research fellow for 4 months).
In 2015, I was a member of an international team that received funding from the Brazilian Ministry of Education to conduct research in new pedagogies and innovative methodologies. This project is ongoing and findings were disseminated in May 2016 at UEA and in September 2015 in Fortaleza, Brazil.
In 2014, I received a travel grant to conduct a research visit to Chile (Santiago and Valparaiso) in order to explore the Chilean education movement. Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET). £1,500.
In 2014, I was a member of a team that bidded successfully to the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE) for a project that involved the dissemination of research and organisation of seminars on challenging deficit discourses in international education and development (co-organised by the Literacy and Development Group, UEA, and the University of Leeds). £1,500.
In 2014, I received a research grant to conduct research on the student movements in Greece and the UK. School of Education and Lifelong Learning, UEA. £1,000.
In 2013, I was commissioned a high-profile report on curriculum-based innovations to improve learning outcomes for Roma children (part of UNESCO’s high-profile 2013/14 report ‘Education for All Global Monitoring: Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all’). UNESCO (lead researcher). €4,000.
In 2012, I won a research grant that allowed me to conduct a research visit to Utrecht University and complete a monograph published in 2013.Middlesex University. £5,400.

Teaching Interests

I teach on the BA Education, MA Education and EdD programmes.

More specifically, I am the module leader of ‘Pedagogies in Educational Contexts: Perspectives and Practices', core module for the MA in Education: Learning, Pedagogy and Assessment, module tutor of 'Digital and Global Perspectives in Education', core BA Education module and I contribute to the Doctorate in Education (EdD).

I supervise students on the MA Education: Learning, Pedagogy and Assessment.

I also supervise EdD and PhD students.

Preferred areas of supervision are:

  • educational and socio-economic inequalities
  • social mobility, social stratification, aspirations, lifechances and education
  • minority education
  • Gypsy/Roma/Travellers
  • critical education/critical pedagogy
  • social theory
  • higher education and labour market transition
  • social movements and youth cultures

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

Co-convenor of the Activism in Sociology interest group, British Sociological Association.

External examiner of the Erasmus Mundus MA/Mgr. Special and Inclusive Education, University of Roehampton.

External Examiner of the MA in Education and Human Rights, UCL Institute of Education.

Editor and former deputy chief of the Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS).

Professional Activities

KEYNOTE or INVITED TALKS/LECTURES/SEMINARS (selected and strictly after 2014)

– 07/04/2016: Panel member “Activist, Radical, Public: Sociology’s Alternative Futures?”. British Sociological Association Annual Conference. Aston University, Birmingham, 6-8 April 2016.

– 15/01/2016: Keynote speaker “Learning from and with the education movements in Greece and Brazil: resistance, hope and pedagogy”. International seminar 'Can we learn together? Researching the ‘everyday’ in education', UCL Institute of Education, London.

– 07/09/2015: Keynote speaker “Educação, resistencia y alternativas na Grécia, Inglaterra e Chile”. 'IX Semana de Educação', Fundação Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Limoeiro, Brazil.

– 04/09/2015: Keynote speaker “A Partir Política Convencional para Movimentos Sociais: Grécia entre Austeridade e Esperança”. International seminar at Fundação Universidade Estadual do Ceará, FUNECE, Fortaleza, Brazil.

– 31/08/2015: Keynote speaker “Movimentos sociais e pedagogia crítica na Grécia: resistência e alternativas”. International seminar 'Movimento docente, resistência política, educação popular',Faculdade de Educação, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil.

– 28/08/2015: Keynote speaker “Movimentos Sociais e resistência politica na Europa: articulações e diálogos com a America Latina”. Organised by the Encontro de educação popular (Coletivo Ação Direta em Educação Popular/ Mangueira-UERJ, Brazil.

– 2204/2105: Keynote speaker ‘Challenging deficit discourses in international education and development’. University of Leeds (event funded by the British Association for International and Comparative Education, BAICE).

– 28/11/2014: Keynote talk ‘Education, resistance and social change in the European periphery: the case of Greece’. Seminar presentation, School of International Development, UEA.

– 04/11/2014: Keynote talk ‘El movimiento estudiantil Griego y el movimiento Ingles. Resistencia y alternativas’. Universidad de Valparaiso, Valparaiso, Chile.

- 11/04/2013: Panel discussion on social change and education. Peloponnese University, Corinth, Greece.

– 09/04/2014: Keynote talk ‘Εκπαίδευση και εκσυγχρονισμόs’ ('Education and modernisation'). University of Central Greece, Lamia, Greece.

– 22/01/2014: Keynote talk ‘Between neo-fascism and poverty: education and hope in Greece in times of debtocracy’. MERD seminar series, University of East London.

Key Responsibilities

MA Degrees Director (Director of studies for 3 MA programmes)

Course Director of the MA in Education:Learning, Pedagogy and Assessment

Enterprise and Engagement Coordinator (EDU)

Member of the Social Sciences Faculty Executive Committee for Enterprise

Plagiarism Officer (former)