Elizabeth a Professor of Education with an interest in inclusive education. She is the co-convenor of the Unesco chair for Teacher Education for Diversity and Development and is also a visiting Professor at the Wits School of Education in Johannesburg South Africa.
Her research interests include:
- Teacher education for inclusive teaching;
- The field of inclusive education - its history, knowledge, and knowers
- Exposing exclusion and enabling inclusion in education.
She is currently funded by the British Academy as Principal Investigator on these projects:
She is the author of The Language of Inclusive Education (Routledge, 2016) and co-editor of Teacher Education for Diversity: Conversations from the Global South (Routledge, 2018) and Pedagogical Responsiveness in Complex Contexts (Springer, 2022). Other publications can be found here.
Elizabeth is an editor of Pedagogy, Society & Culture, an editorial board member of the International Journal of Inclusive Education and the European Journal of Inclusive Education; an associate editor for Intervention in School and Clinic and an advisory board member for the Springer series Inclusive Learning and Educational Equity
She started her professional career in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she qualified and was employed as a secondary school English and History teacher. She became a school leader and focused on developing inclusive practices in a Johannesburg school. She moved to higher education in 2010 and until 2018, taught and supervised students in inclusive education in South Africa. There she worked with the national departments of Basic and Higher education on a number of initiatives to promote inclusive education, including developing professional standards for inclusive teaching for beginner teachers. She now serves on the South African Human Rights Committee on the right to read and write.
Elizabeth's approach to teaching is centred on the principle of inclusivity. She describes her teaching philosophy as follows: "With inclusive education as my field of interest, I seek to embody and… read more
My research applies diverse theoretical perspectives to understand exclusion and enable the realisation of more inclusive and equitable education systems.
In pursuit of this, the following are areas of focus and interest:
Teacher education for inclusive education
Funded projects include:
- Teaching and learning for inclusive education (Funded by the European Union)
- Developing knowledge and practice standards for inclusive teaching in South Africa (Funded by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training)
- University engagement with a full-service school to develop Professional Learning Communities (Funded by the South African National Research Foundation)
- Teacher education for inclusive education (Funded by the South African National Research Foundation)
Identifying and addressing exclusionary practices and pressures in education institutions and systems
Funded projects include:
The field of inclusive education - its history, knowledge, and knowers
The language of inclusive education
WALTON, ELIZABETH and DIXON, KERRYN, 2020. Googling inclusive education: a critical visual analysis DISCOURSE-STUDIES IN THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF EDUCATION. WALTON, ELIZABETH and RUSZNYAK, LEE, 2020. Cumulative knowledge-building for inclusive education in initial teacher education EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION. 43(1), 18-37
WALTON, ELIZABETH, 2018. Decolonising (through) inclusive education? Educational Research for Social Change. 7(0), 31 – 45
I would welcome enquiries from prospective students interested in qualitative research on the following topics:
- Educational inclusion and exclusion
- Teacher education for inclusive education
- Language and representation in inclusive education and disability studies
- Decolonial education
I work with a range of critical theories, critical discourse and multimodal analysis, legitimation code theory, and complexity theories.
I have successfully supervised four students to completion as first or sole supervisor:
- Shakira Akabor (Full time) PhD, University of the Witwatersrand
- Douglas Andrews (Part time) PhD, University of the Witwatersrand
- Sibonokuhle Ndlovu (Full time) PhD, University of the Witwatersrand
- Veronica Moodley (Part time) PhD, University of the Witwatersrand
Elizabeth's approach to teaching is centred on the principle of inclusivity. She describes her teaching philosophy as follows: "With inclusive education as my field of interest, I seek to embody and enact the attitudes and practices that I teach. I take seriously my responsibility for my influence in curriculum and pedagogical choices, and for the impact of my assessment beliefs and practices. These have the potential to enable or constrain access to learning. To this end, I critically reflect on my teaching practices and value feedback from students and peers that enables me to improve. I remain abreast of research-informed and innovative teaching practices and implement these as appropriate. I immerse myself in my field and consider what it means to pedagogise its knowledge, simultaneously recognising student diversity and diverse learning needs as I teach and assess. I ensure that students engage with theoretical knowledge that can be applied and inform professional judgment in practice as well as enabling students to take part in the practices of the field and produce legitimate knowledge. Through all my teaching endeavours, I challenge myself and students to recognise and address educational inequality and exclusion."