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Amy Smail

Postdoctoral Researcher - Education

Amy Smail

About Research



Amy Smail joined the Centre for Research into the Education of Marginalised Children and Young Adults (CREMCYA) as a postdoctoral researcher – education in May 2021. Before joining the Centre, Amy gained varied experience within the field of International Development and Education. Such roles ranged from working as a researcher at UCL Institute of Education, as a policy consultant for DFID Ghana, in the strategy unit of Amnesty International, and as a teacher trainer for several NGOs in China and India. Amy has also worked in policy within the UK, including at Universities UK on a high-profile project addressing racial harassment in universities, and at a Westminster think-tank on a project tackling modern slavery.

Amy is completing her PhD in International Education at the University of Glasgow. She also holds a MA in Education and International Development from UCL Institute of Education, and a BA (Hons) in Primary School Teaching.

Amy is currently teaching on the MA Education, International Development and Social Justice.


Research profile

Amy’s research interests focus on teachers’ pedagogy and the integration of indigenous knowledge, and on the role of education for citizenship in developing countries through a decolonising lens. Her country expertise includes Ghana, India and South Africa. Specific themes of interest include: pedagogy, culture, teachers, indigenous knowledge, race, decoloniality, citizenship and ethnicity.

As a recipient of the BAICE student fieldwork grant (2019-2020), her doctoral research examines how primary teachers construct citizenship in the city of Accra, Ghana and the role of African critical consciousness in decolonising citizenship and the nation-building process.


Sayed, Y. & Sprague T. (2013) COMPARE Forum: The post-2015 education and development agenda, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 43:6, pp. 783-846.

Schweisfurth, M., Thomas. MAM., & Smail, A. (2020) Revisiting comparative pedagogy: methodologies, themes and research communities since 2000. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, pp. 1-21.

Smail, A. (2014) Rediscovering the teacher within Indian child-centred pedagogy: implications for the global Child-Centred Approach, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 44:4, pp. 613-633.

Technical Reports

Smail, A. (2015) Bridging the Gap: Enabling effective UK-Africa university partnerships, London: British Council.

Unterhalter, E., Vaughan, R., & Smail, A. (2013) Secondary, post-secondary and higher education in the post-2015 discussions. London: British Council.

UUK (2019) Changing the Culture: Tackling gender-based violence, harassment and hate crime two years on. London: UniversitiesUK.

Media enquiries

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