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Alison Struthers

About Me

I started my PhD at the University of Warwick in October 2012 under the supervision of Andrew Williams and James Harrison, and submitted this in September 2015. I am now a Teaching Fellow in the School of Law and an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study. I have also been a member of the Centre for Human Rights in Practice since the beginning of my PhD and lead the Centre's research in the area of Human Rights Education.

I currently teach two core undergraduate modules, Modern English Legal System and Legal Theory, and have previously taught on the elective course Human Rights in Practice.

I hold an LLM in Legal Research and LLB (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh, and qualified as a solicitor in Scotland in 2010.

About My Research

My principal research interest is in Human Rights Education. My prior LLM considered whether the current Scottish education system is compliant with the recent UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, and my PhD focused on Human Rights Education in English primary education. It addressed the fundamental question of whether Human Rights Education should be taught to children of primary school age.

My doctoral research utilised quantitative and qualitative methods to (i) gauge the extent of HRE in formal primary schooling in England, and (ii) better understand the reasons for current practice in this area. I drew upon this empirical data and upon the relevant existing literature to argue that England is not meeting its international legal obligations in this area, but that the problem is more ingrained than simply a lack of relevant government policy. Teachers are apprehensive about HRE due to misunderstandings, misconceptions and myths surrounding human rights in the UK.

Work for the Centre for Human Rights in Practice

In January 2015, I published a report for the Centre for Human Rights in Practice entitled 'Building Blocks for Improving Human Rights Education within Initial Teacher Education in Scotland' (Centre for Human Rights in Practice, University of Warwick, 2015).

The report contained recommendations for improving the extent and quality of Human Rights Education within Initial Teacher Education in Scotland. The research project that led to publication of the report carried out in-depth analysis of the current extent and nature of HRE provision at each of the Scottish universities currently offering programmes of ITE, and the final report sets out important recommendations for reform based on the findings from this research.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Struthers, A., ‘The Underdeveloped Transformative Potential of Human Rights Education’ Journal of Human Rights Practice [under review]

Struthers, A., ‘Breaking Down Boundaries: Voice and participation in English primary classrooms’ The International Journal of Children’s Rights [under review]

Struthers, A., ‘Teaching British Values in Our Schools: But why not human rights values?’ Social and Legal Studies [under review]

Struthers, A., ‘Human Rights: A Topic Too Controversial for Mainstream Education?’ (2016) 16(1) Human Rights Law Review 131-162

Struthers, A., ‘Building Blocks and Beyond: How Human Rights Education in Initial Teacher Education May Help to Change the Human Rights Landscape in Scotland’ (2015) 47(2) Scottish Educational Review 5-19

Struthers, A., ‘Human Rights Education: educating about, through and for human rights’ (2015) 19(1) The International Journal of Human Rights 53-73

Other Publications

Struthers, A., ‘Teaching Human Rights in Schools: ‘Who am I to say that democracy is the right way?’ OUPblog [forthcoming]

Struthers, A., ‘Faltan 43: Can Human Rights Education Heal Mexico’s Deep Wounds?’ (Lacuna Magazine, April 1, 2015)

Struthers, A., ‘Building Blocks for Improving Human Rights Education within Initial Teacher Education in Scotland’ (2015, Centre for Human Rights in Practice)

Gretton, G.L. & A.J.M. Steven, Property, Trusts and Succession (2nd edition, Bloomsbury 2013 & 1st edition, Tottel 2009) [contributed chapter on human rights]

Struthers, A. & E. Watts, ‘A Review of Human Rights Education in Schools in Scotland’ (2013, BEMIS))


Alison Struthers

A dot E dot C dot Struthers at warwick dot ac dot uk