IUME Welcomes Fulbright Scholar Katharine Vincent
Fulbright Scholar 2011-2012
This Fall the Institute for Urban and Minority Education is proud to welcome Fulbright Scholar and doctoral candidate Katharine Vincent to the Teachers College community. Katharine was born in Cheltenham, grew up in Leicestershire and graduated with a BA (Hons) in English from Cambridge University in 1999. Prior to completing a PGCE at London University’s Institute of Education (IOE), she then spent two years teaching English in rural Japan as a participant on the JET program. Katharine joined the UK government’s Fast Track Teaching scheme in 2002 and became an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2006. She was awarded a Best Practice Research Scholarship in 2004 for her study of students with literacy difficulties, and was a Lead Practitioner for the Specialist Schools Trust between 2004 and 2006.
At present, Katharine is Assistant Head teacher at an east London secondary school where, as well as teaching English, she is responsible for curriculum development and for the school’s Sixth Form. Having completed a Master of Teaching with Distinction at IOE in 2006, she now also works as an Associate Tutor on the course, which provides theoretical and practical research training to teachers working in London schools. For her Masters dissertation, Katharine focused on the difficulty of teaching poetry from different cultures to students from a white working class community, exploring issues of language, identity and culture.
Katharine first became interested in the American education system while working on a summer camp in Massachussets during her undergraduate studies, as part of the Camp America program. She was particularly struck by the confidence of American teenagers and their ability to work effectively in to overcome obstacles and create innovative solutions to problems. In 2007, Katharine was awarded a Walter Hines Page scholarship by the English Speaking Union to visit schools in California, Texas and Louisiana, investigating the similarities and differences between the US and UK school systems. This included visits to charter and magnet schools, and provided insight into strategies used to support integration within diverse school communities and to overcome under-achievement in deprives inner city areas.
Katharine is now studying for a Doctor in Education at IOE, and was recently awarded a Research Fellowship by the London Education Research Unit (LERU). She is currently working on a narrative research project, exploring the construction of educational success by Bangladeshi girls living in a socio-economically deprived area of east London. As a Fulbright Scholar with Special Student Researcher status at Teachers College, Columbia University, Katharine plans to carry out fieldwork for her doctoral thesis in New York City schools and will work closely with the Institute for Urban and Minority Education. Her research has a strong focus on social justice and addressing inequality, and she is keen to gather evidence about the impact of girls’ education on the economic and civic well-being of local and national communities.
Alongside her work and studies, Katharine enjoys traveling and learning languages. She has spent several months in the Middle East teaching Palestinian refugees with British charity Unipal, for whom she also recruits and trains volunteers. She is part Italian and is looking forward to re-connecting with her Italian heritage while living in NYC. Katharine is delighted to have been awarded a scholarship by the US-UK Fulbright Commission, part of the Fulbright programme which was conceived by Senator J William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Created by a treaty in 1948, the Commission is a bi-lateral, transatlantic scholarship programme that aims to develop the future leaders for tomorrow and to support the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK.