Dr Cassie Earl

Lecturer in Education and Social Justice


My research interests span from social movements and activism, particularly educational activism and popular education, to higher education all through a lens of social justice and critical pedagogy. I am particularly interested in how individuals and collectives learn from political activity and why and how they produce autonomous spaces of learning. My research has covered social movements, co-operative higher learning providers, community groups, urban public pedagogy, universities (including student unions), free universities and public reading and discussion groups. I have also explored where and how young people create, engage with, and perform culture and what this does to their sense of agency and identity.

In my research I utilise participatory and political methodologies, such as bricolage, action research and arts-based methods and am particularly interested in film as a methodology and a medium for learning. Having worked for many years in community education and activism, and theatre before coming into higher education I am keen to work with a diverse range of learners in a diverse range of settings.

My research focusses around political sites of education including (but not limited to):

  • Social Movements
  • Community groups
  • Popular Education initiatives
  • Free Universities
  • Autonomous spaces of learning
  • Co-operative learning groups

I work with theories from

  • Critical pedagogy
  • Popular Education
  • Open Marxism
  • Anarchism
  • Social Movement Theories
  • Critical Urban Studies
  • Public pedagogy

I am also interested in innovative and creative methodologies, such as:

  • Bricolage
  • Action Research
  • Arts and performance based methods
  • Visual Semiotics
  • Co-Production and Militant Co-Research
  • Decolonial methodologies
  • And other forms of Radical Research
  • Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education