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Dr Craig Johnston's teaching and research interests lie in the study of disability and children and young people who exist on the margins of society, as well as theories of the social and sociality affecting individuals and communities. His priority has been to engage in research with a strong social justice agenda that addresses social inequalities of all kinds, and, thus, is currently interested in alternative provision and school exclusion. His most recent research includes; disabled 'bad boys' and the habitus of disability in alternative educational settings; the volunteering pathways of working-class young people in disadvantaged communities; and, professional mis-recognition in statutory settings.

Craig has over 25 years' experience working in the fields of Psychology, Education, Youth and Community Work, Social Work, and Health and Social Care across England, Scotland and the United States. he has managed and led teams in various settings, including social services and adolescent psychiatric Units. He has also held MA and BA teaching commitments at Brunel and Coventry Universities on Education, Youth Work, Social Work, Childhood and Youth and Social Science programmes. He currently supervises Doctoral students focusing of social networks, interprofessional practice and in/formal learning.

Areas of expertise

  • Youth and families
  • Education and school exclusion
  • Children's services
  • Mental Health (Abnormal Psychology)


Recent Articles 

  • Dis/locating Futures: The habitus of disablity in Alternative Provision, People, Place and Policy Special Issue
  • Alternative Spaces of 'Failure': Disabled 'bad boys' in alternative Further Educational Provision Disability and Society 34, (9)
  • Playwork goes to school: professional (mis)recognition and playwork practice in primary school:Pedagogy, Culture & Society 26, (3)  Read Article Here
  • Unintended volunteers: the volunteering pathways of working class young people in community sport: International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics 8, (2)  Read Article Here
  • Review: Young Working-Class Men In Transition Journal of Applied Youth Work Studies 
  • Where are the men?: A gender gap in care-based degrees Journal of Critical Education (Forthcoming)

International Media

  • Being working class in the academy - Featured article, Times Higher Education: Read feature here
  • How alternative provision in FE is changing lives, Times Educational Supplement
  • Winchester Research News - Meet up and coming researchers in education

Book Chapters

  • Playwork on the Margins: International perspectves Routledge (Forthcoming)

Technical Reports

  • Building a Participation Legacy from the London (2012) Olympic and Paralympic Games in Disadvantaged Areas (in partnership with Streetgames and Coke-Cola)
  • Evaluating Playwork in schools (in partnership with Brunel University) 2016
  • Partcipation of Male (working-class) Higher Education students in Care-based degrees 

Keynote and Panel Invitations

  • (2020) Children and Disability: Local and National Perspectives, University of Liverpool 
  • (2019) Tacking Educational Disadvantage, University of Winchester
  • (2019) Alternative Spaces of Failure: Young disacled people in alternative provision: Open Access week, University of Winchester

Conference Contributions

  • (2020) Young lives on the Margins, Online Symposium St. Mary's University, London (June) Dis.locating Futures: young disabled people in Alternative Provision
  • (2019) European Sociological Assocation: Sociology in Education, Manchester August
  • (2019) Being Working Class in The Academy: Working Class Studies Conference, University of Kent, September
  • (2019) Kaleidoscope of Exclusion, University College London, May
  • (2019) Youth Transitions - University of Stirling, April
  • (2019) Pacific Rim International Conference, Disability and Diversity, March 5th. University of Hawaii. USA
  • (2018) New spaces of Failure: Disabled Bad Boys in Alternative Further Educational Provision: Contemporary Childhood Conference: Children in Space, Place and Time, University of Strathclyde on the 6th and 7th September: Read Abstracts Here
  • (2017) 'They have a bit of banter going on': Professional (mis)recognition, man-to-man chats and play work practice in primary school Gender & Education Association Conference, Middlesex University, London: download full programme here
  • (2017) Professional Misrecognition and Play Work practice in schools: Interdisciplinary Research conference: University of Northampton, Sept. 2017
  • (2017) Responding to adolescent risk: Research in Practice Partnership Conference Good Practice Learning Event: De Vere Venues Colmore Gate, Birmingham University
  • (2016) "Context Matters: Reaching Youth in Disadvantaged Communities" Institute of Youth Sport, Conference, Loughborough University
  • (2016) Youth Transitions in Troubled Times British Sociological Association and the British Library, University of Kent
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