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  4. Elizabeth Barrett

Dr Elizabeth Barrett BA, PGCE, DipEd, PhD, SFHEA

Senior Lecturer


I graduated from the University of London with a First Class BA (Hons) in Modern History, Economic History and Politics before going on to complete a PhD in Political Science, also at the University of London.


My ESRC-funded PhD research was a study of class and group identity among electors within three parliamentary constituencies in England in the 1980s.

Following this I worked as a researcher on a national research project on Teacher Education at the London Institute of Education before taking up a post as Lecturer in Education at West Sussex Institute of Education (now Chichester IHE) in 1992. I was appointed Lecturer in Education at the University of Sheffield in 1994 and moved to Sheffield Hallam University as Senior Lecturer in Education in 2000.

I am also a poet and work as a freelance writer in schools and the community and for the Poetry Society. I have published four full-length collections of poetry and am widely published in journals and anthologies. I appear regularly at literary festivals and have won a number of prizes and awards, including a major Arts Council Writers Award in 2000. Between 2000 and 2005 I was Editor of Staple, an international journal of poetry and short fiction. My current research focuses on the role of creative writing in academic development.

Teaching interests

Education and the Arts (the arts as epistemology)

Work-based Learning and Professional Development


My main research and scholarly activity is as a poet. As well as publishing original creative writing I am currently pursuing a programme of research and writing activity which focuses on the use of poetry in personal and professional development. This research focuses on my work with both staff and students.

In addition I have a personal and professional interest in Autism Spectrum Disorder. I write professional articles on a range of autism-related topics at a blog:


Journal articles

Barrett, E. (2017). Tied to the worldly work of writing: parent as ethnographer. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities.

Barrett, E. (2006). 'Praisestones'. CRITICAL QUARTERLY, 48 (3), 89.


Barrett, E. (2007). Walking on tiptoe and other poems. Bluechrome.

Barrett, E. (2005). The bat detector. Wrecking Ball Press.

Theses / Dissertations

Tarhuni, F.A. (2013). Strategies-based instruction and Libyan adult EFL learners : An action research study. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Barrett, E., & Ridley, D.

Burnett, C. (2008). Primary student-teachers' perceptions of the role of digital literacy in their lives. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Barrett, E.

Other activities

I work as a freelance writer in a range of roles (for example performer; workshop facilitator; tutor; adviser; editor; critic; competition judge).

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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