About

Welcome to my web page. My name is Dimitrina Kaneva, but I am mostly known as Dimi among my friends. I am a PhD student atManchester Institute of Education, situated within the School of Environment, Education and Development at The University of Manchester. I also work as a research assistant on several research projects at the University and beyond. You can read more about these in my Projects page.

I am on the final run of completing my PhD this coming September and trying to enjoy every bit of it! In this blog I aim to document my journey, particularly lessons I have learnt and strategies that may be useful to fellow PhD-ers. I also tweet at @dimi_kaneva.

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My research in a minute or less:

My study aims to understand the multi-layered experiences of children with English as an additional language (EAL) in the course of transition from primary to secondary school by adopting their own perspectives and voice. Exploring transitions in both social and academic aspects of schooling the research draws upon in-depth personal accounts of the school context where children navigate daily. Obtained in a range of contexts and situations, the accounts are co-constructed with children and triangulated through qualitative methods. The academic and social aspects of schooling are addressed by looking at contrasting curriculum areas and the experiences and interactions of children outside the classroom. Essentially, the project involves the use of student voice and outlook as a powerful mechanism to understand perspectives from within and communicate these to teachers and schools in order to make use of the richness of evidence and improve practice.

Series of case studies are developed to present options within transition explained with children’s experiences – aspects of visibility and invisibility in school, communication misconnections at the classroom level in the multiple transitions some children face and a notion of rich data available but not fully utilised by teachers as a result of inconsistent knowledge of children’s lives. The implications and impact relate to raising awareness about different ways to obtain information and the value of listening and understanding students from a broader perspective than academic learning.

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