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Ms Alison Baker

Senior Lecturer

Cass School of Education and Communities

Primary PGCE lecturer. English subject leader. Research interests: Social class in children's fiction; representation and picture books; developing reading for pleasure with Primary teachers

    Alison Baker is a senior lecturer in the School of Education and Community Studies, where she teaches modules on inclusion and subject knowledge in the Early Years, Primary English and reflective practice in Primary Teaching. She has published chapters in books on social class and inheritance in Harry Potter, and children’s comics, and journal articles on developing critical reading pedagogy in Higher Education, developing children’s literature subject knowledge with PGCE students and her fieldwork in primary school.

    Fellow of the Higher Education Authority

    - Children's programme coordinator, Eastercon 2019 (Ytterbium)

    - Editorial Board, Journal of Historical Fiction

    BA Hons English with Education and Community Studies, University College of Ripon and York St John; PGCE, University of Leeds; MA, Victorian Studies, Birkbeck, University of London; (pending) PhD, University of East London


    - White working-class children and children’s fantasy fiction
    - Reading pedagogies
    - Social class and reading
    - Reading pedagogies for Higher Education

    The use of social networking to support trainee teachers' reading for pleasure (with Caroline Elbra-Ramsay, York St John University) York St John and UEL Goodiscussion group:

    "Every child should be able to relate to their literature": Trainee teachers investigating cultural diversity in picture books


    Fieldwork in a Year 6 (10 and 11 year olds) classroom, finding out whether children can identify social class in children’s fantasy fiction



    Baker, A (2018) ‘You have your mother’s eyes: Inheritance and Social Class’ in Bell, C. E. (Ed) Inside the World of Harry Potter Jefferson, N. C.: McFarland
    Baker, A (2019) ‘Comics and Graphic Novels’ in Gamble, N. Exploring Children’s Literature 4th edn London: Sage
    Baker, A (2020) ‘Step-Parents in two novels by Diana Wynne Jones’ in Butler, C and Mendlesohn, F eds (2020) Proceeds of the Diana Wynne Jones Conference 2019 Manifold Press
    Baker, A (2020) ‘Do children perceive social class in children’s fantasy texts? Initial findings from research in a Year 6 classroom’ RiTE Vol 10 No 1

    Ed. Christopher, E. Bell. 2018. McFarland & Co.

    Presentation: "Using social networking to develop trainees teachers’ subject knowledge of children’s literature and the importance of reading for pleasure" Cass School of Education Research and Knowledge exchange



    My interests include children’s literature; reading for pleasure; social class; inclusive practice; international and comparative education.

    Children's sense of genre and development of reading taste. Social Capital in children's fantasy fiction. The use of social media in extending and supporting trainee teachers' knowledge of children's literature. UEL Goodreads discussion group.

    "Every child should be able to relate to their literature": Trainee teachers investigating cultural diversity in picturebooks — Alison Baker

    I am in the final year of my PhD on white working class children in children's fantasy fiction. I am interested in the representation of social class in fantasy, and how child readers perceive it.
    I have carried out research with trainee teachers on representation in picture books, and their perceptions of the importance of children seeing diversity. 



    - English Teaching in Primary Schools
    - Mental Wealth: School Based Training
    - Professional Practice: School Based Training
    - Pedagogy in Practice
    - Assessment and Subject Knowledge in Early Childhood Education and Care

    Primary PGCE
    Module leader for Assessment and Subject Knowledge in Children's Fantasy Fiction