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Madeleine Arnot


Emerita Professor in Education

E-mail Address


44 (0)1223-767644


MA (Hons) in Sociology (Edinburgh University)
MA (Cambridge University)
PhD Sociology of Education (Open University)
Honorary Doctorate, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturing (FRSA)
British Sociological Association
British Educational Research Association
American Educational Research Association

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Madeleine Arnot is a Professor of Sociology of Education at Cambridge University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and a Professorial Fellow and Director of Studies (Education) at Jesus College.

As Visiting Professor, she has taught regularly at the University of Porto, Portugal and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece and has been Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education, Stockholm University (2005). She held the George A Miller Visiting Professorship of the University of Illinois, USA (2000). Other appointments include Noted Scholar, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia (1993), Visiting Scholar, Tromso University, Norway (1980); Visiting Scholar invited by Anglo-Israeli Study Group (1991); and Visiting Professor at OISE, Canada (1983. She has been consulted on the development of equal opportunities policy in education internationally, by the Ministry for the Advancement of Women, Luxembourg, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Culture and Education, Argentina, the Ministry to the Presidency, Greece, and the EC Project on Teacher Training: Ministry for Equality between the Sexes, Portugal. She has advised the Swedish Research Council, and the Chinese Advanced Leadership Programme and has been a member of expert research assessment panels on democratic values, gender and education for the Swedish Research Council and for the Equality Centre at University College Dublin. She is currently Chair of the Executive Editorial Board of the British Journal of Sociology of Education, a member of the editorial board of International Studies in Sociology of Education and joint editor with C. Colclough of the Routledge series on 'Education, Poverty and International Development'.

Her primary interest is in the development of sociology of education and in particular in the role of education in relation to social inequalities and the promotion of social equality and the promotion of democratic citizenship.  She is internationally known for her work on socio-cultural reproduction theory, her use of Bernstein's theory of pedagogy in relation to gender and education and pupil voice, and recent youth research in the Global South.

She began her career as part of the Schooling and Society team at the Open University in l975 (under the name MacDonald) focussing specifically on social class issues. Since the l980s she developed theories of gender codes and schooling focusing on the history of co-education, the curriculum, family and schooling, youth cultures and identities. This work is brought together in her collection Reproducing Gender? Essays on educational theory and feminist politics. She was commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission, with Gaby Weiner and Miriam David, to assess the national impact of Conservative educational reforms on equal opportunities in schools. In l996-7 she directed an OFSTED commissioned project (with J. Gray, M. James and J. Rudduck) reviewing research on gender and educational performance. In 2000 she joined the ESRC/TLRP network on pupil consultation and with Diane Reay researched what pupils say about learning in primary and secondary schools. This project has been written up in various articles and will form the basis of a book Social Inequalities Reformed: consulting pupils about learning (Routledge 2008/9)

In the l990s, she researched gender and citizenship issues through an EC funded project on student teachers' political awareness in Greece, Spain, Portugal and England and Wales. The study led to the publication of a co-edited international collection Challenging Democracy: international perspectives on gender, education and citizenship (with Jo Anne Dillabough). She was a member of the Steering Group for the Beyond Access: gender, education and development project and the International Steering Group for UNESCO Education for All: Gender Monitoring Project. In 2005 she joined the 'Improving Educational Outcomes for Pro-Poor Development' (DFID funded) project working on Youth, Gender and Citizenship study in India, Kenya, Ghana and Pakistan. She co-edited with Shailaja Fennell, Gender Education and Equality in the Global Context: conceptual frameworks and policy perspectives (Routledge, 2008) and published Educating the Gendered Citizen: sociological engagements with national and global agendas (Routledge, 2009)

In 2004 she established the Research Consortium on the Education for Asylum-Seeker and Refugee Children with the General Teaching Council, the National Union of Teachers and the Refugee Council. In 2010, she published with Halleli Pinson and Mano Candappa, Education, Asylum and the 'Non-Citizen' Child: the politics of compassion and belonging (Palgrave MacMillan) which won a Society for Educational Studies Prize 2011. In 2013 she is currently co-coordinator with Loraine Gelsthorpe the Cambridge Migration Research Network.

She is currently the Chair of the Executive Editorial Board of the British Journal of Sociology of Education and a member of the editorial board of International Studies in Sociology of Education.

Academic Area/Links

  • Sociology of Education and Education Policy
  • Gender Education and Equality
  • Citizenship Education and the Learner Citizen
  • Education and Pro-Poor Development
  • Migration, Diversity and Education

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Research Topics

  • Gender education and equality
  • Gender education, poverty and development
  • Bernstein's sociology of pedagogy
  • Adolescent masculinity and schooling
  • Pupil consultation and the social conditions of learning Youth, citizenship and citizenship education
  • The education of asylum-seeker and refugee children
  • Language education, social disadvantage of migrant children.

Recent Research Projects

DFID:  Gender and Education systematic literature review

Bell Foundation: Language Education and Social Disadvantage: School approaches and community values and their impact on the education of EAL students in England (EALead ). A project in collaboration with M.J.Evans and J. Liu. and Claudia Schneider at ARU

DFID: Youth, Gender and Citizenship as part of the Improving Educational Outcomes for Pro-Poor Development 2005-2010 with partners in Ghana, Kenya, India and Pakistan. Faculty of Education Development Fund: Schooling, Security and Belonging: relations between asylum seeker and refugee students, 2006 -7 with M. Candappa.

General Teaching Council: The Education of Asylum-Seeking and Refugee Children: a study of LEA and school values, policies and practices, 2003-2005.

ESRC: Pupil Consultation and the Social Conditions of Learning: race, class and gender, 2000-2002, with Prof. Diane Reay

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Course Involvement

  • Education Tripos (Sociology of Education)
  • MPhil: Educational Research
  • M.Phil Politics, Democracy and Education (from January 2008)
  • PhD supervision

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Major Publications

Swartz, S. and Arnot, M. (eds) (2012)
Youth Citizenship and the Politics of Belonging, London: Routledge.

Arnot, M. (ed) (2012)
The Sociology of Disability and Inclusive Education: a tribute to Len Barton, London: Routledge

Pinson, H., Arnot, M. and Candappa, M. (2010)
Education, Asylum and the 'Non-Citizen' child: the politics of compassion and belonging, London: Routledge.

Arnot, M. (2008)
Educating the Gendered Citizen: sociological engagements with national and global agendas, London: Routledge.

Fennell, S. and Arnot, M. (eds) (2008)
Gender Education and Equality in a Global Context: conceptual frameworks and policy perspectives, London: Routledge.

Moore, M. Arnot, M., Beck, J. and Daniels, H. (eds) (2006)
Knowledge, Power and Social Change: applying the sociology of Basil Bernstein, London: Routledge.

Arnot, M. and Mairtin Mac an Ghaill, M (eds) (2006)
Gender and Education Reader, London: Routledge.

Arnot, M., McIntyre, D., Peddar, D. and Reay, R. (2003)
Consultation in the Classroom: pupil perspectives on teaching and learning, Cambridge: Pearson Publishers.

Arnot, M. (2002)
Reproducing Gender? Critical essays on educational theory and feminist politics, London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Arnot, M. and Dillabough, J. (eds) (2000)
Challenging Democracy? International perspectives on gender, education and citizenship, London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Arnot, M., David, M., and Weiner, G. (1999)
Closing the Gender Gap: post-war education and social change, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Arnot, M. and Weiler, K. (eds) (l993)
Feminism and Social Justice in Education: international perspectives, Lewes, Falmer Press.

Policy Briefs

Oduro,G. Y. and Arnot, M. (2010) Sexuality and HIV/Aids Education: Addressing
the Knowledge - Practice Gap amongst Marginalised Ghanaian Youth

Lukalo, F.K. and Arnot, M. (2010) Schooling All Children: The Policy implications
of Mothers’ Educational Decision-making,
No. 13

Chege, F.,Arnot, M.  and Wainaina, P. (2010) Improving Educational Outcomes: Youth as Poverty Expert, No.14.

Casely-Hayford,L.,Arnot, M.,  Dovie, D., and Salifu, Ed. (2010) The Education-Outcomes Gap for Youth in
Ghana: Addressing Raised Expectations,  
No. 15.

Arnot, M., (2010) Promoting Substantive Gender Equality in Education: Youth Citizenship No. 17

Madeleine Arnot

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