Laura Mazzoli Smith

Laura Mazzoli Smith
Durham University | DU · School of Education

PhD

About

35
Publications
15,359
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251
Citations

Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Full-text available
Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) are models of learning in which students self-organise in groups and learn using a computer connected to the internet with minimal teacher support. The original ‘hole in the wall’ experiments in India are now applied to classrooms around the world. The idea of SOLEs is a social innovation that is inspiri...
Article
 This paper traces the origins of the concept of personalisation in public sector services, and applies it to school education. The original conceptualisation stressed the need for ‘deep’ rather than shallow, personalisation, if radical transformation of services were to be achieved. It is argued that as the concept has been disseminated and implem...
Article
Full-text available
Sociological work on high ability is framed by social constructionist theorising and/or takes a social justice approach, and hence particular analytical intellectual traditions are foregrounded. Whilst these approaches have contributed the main critique of essentialist psychological understandings of high ability, they can eclipse normative discour...
Article
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This article draws on evidence from interviews with directors of a diverse group of international gifted education organisations. The business models with which they operate and their obligation to satisfy various stakeholder expectations are found to compromise philosophical tenets and organisational aims, particularly those concerned with cultura...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper draws on an evaluation of the Poverty Proofing the School Day initiative. It outlines an argument arrived at through abductive reasoning to explain the generic and widespread instances of the stigmatization of disadvantaged pupils that have been uncovered. The process of abductive reasoning necessitated broadening the conceptual framewor...
Article
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Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown restrictions in March 2020, young people were suddenly faced with a reduction and reconfiguration of the spaces in which they could ‘be’. This paper explores how in this lockdown context, young women (aged 10-20) experienced their bodies and wellbeing, where traditional so...
Preprint
Full-text available
With a vast domain of applications and now having quantum computing hardware available for commercial use, an education challenge arises in getting people of various background to become quantum literate. Quantum Odyssey is a new piece of computer software that promises to be a medium where people can learn quantum computing without any previous re...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Knowledge of quantum computing is arguably inaccessible to many, with knowledge of the complex mathematics involving a particular barrier to entry, creating difficulty in terms of teaching and inclusive learning for those without a high level of mathematics. Meanwhile, it is increasingly important that the knowledge of quantum technolog...
Article
Full-text available
The paper argues that there is a reductive logic inherent in conceptualisations of academic ability in some Western education research as currently configured. Effective interrogation of this concept necessitates consideration across relevant fields of research, as outlined in three areas of critique: that research on educational stratification can...
Chapter
Laura Mazzoli Smith considers widening participation in higher education in the light of Williams’ notion of resources of hope. Taking an autoethnographic approach, Laura demonstrates how her reading of Iris Murdoch as a young person facilitated her own entry into higher education. Through understanding Murdoch as someone who challenged orthodox wo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Resulting from cross-disciplinary dialogue between physicists, computer scientists, educationalists, and industrial end users, we propose the concept of quantum literacy as one means of addressing the transdisciplinary nature of the complex problems that we see at the heart of issues around global sustainability. In this way, quantum literacy can c...
Article
This paper commences from a critique of the generalised discourse of individualistic capacities in widening participation to higher education. It examines the potential of digital stories to diversify understandings of progression to higher education as a reflexive learning process for participants and institutions alike, by considering one cohort...
Article
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This article discusses a doctoral study, completed by a then full-time teacher in a Pupil Referral Unit in the north of England, which shifted from a mixed-methods action research project to one that was largely autoethnographic in approach. This incorporated the use of fictionalized data. The aim of the project, both at conception and after the ch...
Article
This paper makes the case for fairness as a driver towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of equitable quality education. We outline a dialogic fairness framework attending to the principles of relational justice in both the service of reducing educational inequalities and improving democratic qualities. The prominence of education...
Article
This paper considers whether the impact agenda that has developed over the last decade in UK universities is likely to help create the conditions in which critical educational research makes a more visible difference to society. The UK audit of university research quality (the research excellence framework (REF) now includes an assessment of impact...
Article
This paper discusses a research project which sought to find out about young people's views on fairness in education in English schools. Fairness is an everyday term, which in policy hides multiple and contradictory positions across the political divide. In education we find a policy context that focuses on distributional justice and equality of op...
Article
Full-text available
Invited article being translated into Russian for a special issue of this journal. The paper sets forth an argument that the global landscape of neoliberalim is shaping the field of gifted education in fundamental ways. The core principles of neoliberalism work in opposition to much of what is referred to as ‘the progressive paradigm’ in gifted edu...
Book
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With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas, ‘fairness’ and ‘justice’ within the city are key concepts in contemporary political debate. This book examines the theory and practice of justice in and of the city through a multi-disciplinary collaboration, which draws on a wide range of expertise. By bringing diverse disciplin...
Chapter
Full-text available
Behind claims to bring about fair educational policy or, indeed, budget cuts that are as fair as possible lie a mass of contradictory meanings. These contradictions are rarely made explicit. However, we argue that it is crucial to do so if it is going to be possible to debate what a fair education system might mean, and to find whether fairness in...
Article
Full-text available
The education of students identified as ‘gifted’ has had a highly problematic history, having been judged as conceptually confused, socially and ethnically discriminatory, and educationally exclusive. Despite this, it is argued that contemporary research and scholarship critiquing the concepts of giftedness and gifted education programmes may provi...
Article
This article draws on evidence from interviews with directors of a diverse group of international gifted education organisations. The business models with which they operate and their obligation to satisfy various stakeholder expectations are found to compromise philosophical tenets and organisational aims, particularly those concerned with cultura...
Method
Full-text available
This case study is based on my PhD research, completed in 2010, in which I explored how families from broadly working class backgrounds constructed and understood the fact that a child of theirs had been labelled ‘gifted and talented’ at school. I wanted to understand this in relation to their views on giftedness and alongside their own educational...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Forthcoming paper based on a research project in six schools asking young people how they conceive of fairness in education. From their responses we foreground the categories of stakes fairness and relational justice.