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Kaleidoscope 2021

Kaleidoscope is an annual two-day conference hosted by research students at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

Kaleidoscope poster 2021

Kaleidoscope 2021

18th Annual Kaleidoscope Conference at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

3 - 4 June 2021

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After almost a year of extreme uncertainty and ruptures in our educational experiences - in schools, in preschools, in higher education institutions, in informal and non-formal learning settings - we invite you to reflect with us on the current and future state of education globally.

Changes to daily lives and to educational needs prompt us to reevaluate the purpose and essentials of education. Additionally, crucial conversations are happening globally about racial injustice, the climate crisis, public health and democracy. As educators and researchers, it is our responsibility to respond promptly, aptly and reflexively to the state of our world, our countries, our cities, our local communities, and our institutions. We are uniquely positioned to be proactive in imagining and contouring new ways of learning and of being together or, perhaps, to learn from each other and those educational practices and ontologies that we may have previously overlooked.

Thus, we invite you to join us online on the 3rd and 4th of June 2021 for the 18th Kaleidoscope Conference at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. This time of change is an opportunity for reflection and response. Through this conference, we hope to create a diverse and uniquely situated community of peers and colleagues, to think together and to learn from each other, to evaluate and to (re)imagine.

Theme: Responding to ruptures: speaking back to power

This year’s conference theme is Responding to ruptures: speaking back to power. We welcome submissions representing inter-, multi- and trans- disciplinary projects, empirical and non-empirical, finished and unfinished. We look forward to learning from your theoretical and methodological advances, as well as original contributions to practice and/or pedagogy.

To better guide the flow of our thinking and conversations, we hope to host discussions on the following sub-themes:

  • Connecting theory and practice in times of change;
  • Linking politics, policy and research;
  • Addressing the ethics of care and community;
  • Engaging in reflexivity;
  • Moving from opacity to transparency: revealing power structures;
  • Re-thinking the essentials of education in schools;
  • Higher Education: revelations from crises;
  • Creating research and practice in and through the arts;
  • Envisioning futures;
  • Understanding and dismantling racism in education: anti-racism organising in schools and higher education institutions;
  • Decolonising research and practice.

Keynote speakers

Professor Linda Tuhiwai SmithProf Linda Tuhiwai Smith

Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith PhD is Professor of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. She is Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou and Tuhourangi. Professor Smith has a distinguished academic career. She has led many of the developments in Māori and Indigenous research, establishing research centres, building international networks and mentoring researchers. She is known for her work on decolonizing and Indigenous Methodologies and Kaupapa Māori Research.

Professor Smith was joint founding Director of Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga, the Māori Centre of Research Excellence and a former President of the New Zealand Association of Research in Education. Professor Smith is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal. She has served on a number of advisory and governance boards in the public sector and for community organisations. She has received a number of Awards including a New Zealand Honour as Companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and of the American Education Research Association. In 2017 she received the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Education. In 2018 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Winnipeg, Canada and the Te Puawaitanga Research Excellence award, the highest honour from the Royal Society of New Zealand for research in Māori and Indigenous knowledge. Professor Smith is a daughter, mother and grandmother.

Prof Kalwant BhopalProf Kalwant Bhopal

Kalwant Bhopal is Professor of Education and Social Justice, and Director of the Centre for Research on Race and Education.

Kalwant’s research focuses on the achievements and experiences of minority ethnic groups in education. She has conducted research on exploring discourses of identity and intersectionality examining the lives of Black minority ethnic groups as well as examining the marginal position of Gypsies and Travellers. Her research specifically explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly White spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. Kalwant's recent book, White Privilege: the myth of a post-racial society was published by Policy Press. She is working on a new book (with Martin Myers) exploring elites, privilege and higher education, which will be published by Routledge in 2021.

Call for abstracts

Please submit an abstract of maximum 250 words by the 19th of March 2021. Choose a sub-theme to submit your abstract to. You can choose one of the following formats for your contribution:

15 minute presentation

This can be a general overview of your work, or can focus in detail on one or two aspects of it. If the latter, you could address one or two of the following: results and conclusions, methodological processes or innovations, contributions to your field, theoretical developments and original theories, or pedagogical/practice advances - depending on the type of your work and what stage you are at. Such a presentation should develop an argument or a central thread that is elaborated throughout the presentation. Avoid jargon: communicate key ideas so that they are understandable to someone who does not know your field. Focus on the big ideas and the contribution your work makes, rather than on details. You could use the conclusion to draw questions/directions for future research and/or practice. The presentation should have an introduction and conclusion, and be linked to the conference theme or, at least, with one of the sub-themes. You can choose to use a slideshow or not. Where appropriate, presentations will be organised in panels.

5 minute presentation

This can be a short overview of your work, or can focus in more detail on one aspect of it. It could also be a provocation for the audience and does not need to present a fully-developed argument. The key is keeping the presentation brief and clear: focus on key ideas rather than details. Avoid jargon: use language and visual illustrations that are accessible to participants of any background, including those who may not be familiar with your field. The presentation should be clearly linked to the conference theme or, at least, with one of the sub-themes. You can choose to use a slideshow or not. Where appropriate, presentations will be organised in panels.


Posters will be displayed in an online gallery. They should be easily read as images rather than as text documents, but maintain an academic standard. They should represent a brief, visual summary of your work or a part of your work. Feel free to include images, graphics, diagrams etc. Your poster should be clearly linked to the conference theme or, at least, with one of the sub-themes.

Please submit your abstract by 19 March 2021 using this submission form.

Key dates

Submission deadline
19 March 2021
Notification of acceptance
Early May at the latest
Registration now open 1 April 2021

Conference Venue

Due to Coronavirus the conference will be online.


Registration for Kaleidoscope 2021 is now open.

Get in Touch

Twitter: @CambridgeKScope
Facebook: @KaleidoscopeConference2021
Instagram: @KaleidoscopeCon