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Stephanie’s journey into academia began within the charity sector through working with chronically ill, disabled and premature children, their families and relevant external agencies.  After five years, Stephanie shifted her focus towards the education sector completing an Education Studies Degree and working with pupils with a variety of different needs and backgrounds.  It was the tensions and problems that Stephanie encountered within both sectors that led her to want explore the wider, sociological, structures within which interactions are framed.  However, her identification of such issues worked hand in hand with the very human desire to change environments for the better. Stephanie still volunteers to tutor home-schooled children who identify as having an impairment and are unable to flourish in the current education system, as well as volunteering in OLASS education services, working with service users in the Justice System.  In addition, Stephanie volunteers as a DIsability Advocate facilitating the empowerment of service users in differing situations. 

Having established a career in acdemia lecturing in an Education Studies Degree Pathway at Bath Spa University, In 2016 Stephanie achieved a Senior Lectureship role at the University of WInchester working in the Interprofessional Studies Department.   Here she is a Module Leader writing courses and lecturing on issues such as Contemporary Health, Autism, Physical Impairments and Research Methods.  Each year Stephanie has been nominated for a teaching award by the students.

Stephanie's Higher Education started when she  graduated at Bath Spa University  with the highest results recorded in the University’s modular history.  She was nominated as the Student Valedictorian and delivered the Valedictory speach at the Graduation Ceremony. As a Post-Graduate Stephanie won a four year ESRC Studentship to complete an MSc and PhD at the University of Bristol; initially graduating with a distinction in MSc Education Research in 2014.  Having completed her Upgrade examination in 2016 Stephanie Transferred to the University of Cambridge to finish her PhD under the supervision of Susan Robertson. Stephanie’s PhD research considered the construction of disability through global (educational) policy. Using an ethnographic and critical emancipatory approach, the project explored the main political actors involved in defining policy instruments for those who identfy as impaired.  It considered the social justice implications that result from global policy instruments in defining and identifying people as disabled and advocated for a facilitatory approach to educational empowerment. 

Areas of expertise

  • Disability
  • Special Needs Education
  • SEND
  • Impairment
  • Empowerment and Advocacy
  • Globalisation
  • Political economy
  • Social Justice
  • Critical realism
  • Rights
  • Political Sociology
  • Reseach Methods


NB. Previous Surname was Brown.

Brown, S.  (2012) 'What's the Big Idea? How will the Big Society influence education policy?' 8th Annual BESA Conference: Changing Futures. The University of Hull, Hull, 28th-29th June 2012


Downes, G. & Brown, S. (2013). 'Information technology and learning in the global knowledge economy' In: Ward, S. (ed). A Student's guide to Educations Studies. Routledge: Abingdon


Downes, G. & Brown, S. (2014). ‘Community, Social Justice and Neoliberalism: Alternative Discourses of The Free School Model’ International Journal of Arts and Sciences Paris Conference.FIAP Conference Center, Paris, 3rdApril 2014.

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