Dr Dimitra Tsakalou

Teaching Fellow in Education


I graduated with a first class honours degree in Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology before undertaking my MSc in Inclusive and Special Education at the University of Edinburgh. I then began a PhD in Education (University of Edinburgh). Having worked as a secondary teacher in Greek Classics and as a special teacher, I draw on experience in schools to inform both my research and teaching. I have taught across a range of Educational Studies courses (MA, Bed, MSc) in the University of Edinburgh. Before coming back to the University of Edinburgh, after a short separation, I worked in the School of Interdisciplinary studies at the Manchester Metropolitan University as an associate lecturer in the BA/BSc Combined Honours programs (Education Studies, Childhood and Psychology courses). However, I am also passionate about educational research. My research profile began to be established  while I was working through my PhD research exploring the social construction of inclusive educational communities in special and mainstream schools. From this, my work has been developed in relation to different frameworks towards inclusion, the social construction of education, the policy and politics of education, the attitudes, beliefs and values of school professionals (teachers, head teachers, SEN specialists, parents) to inclusion of students with SEN, along with the institutional identity and the struggle for inclusion both in the Greek context and worldwide. I have a strong background in qualitative research and have a particular interest in the use of case study. 

Undergraduate teaching

I am currently teaching on a range of Initial Teacher Education courses, for the MA Primary and MA Physical Education programmes including:

Educational Studies 1a

Educational Studies 1b

Educational Studies 2a 

Educational Studies 2b (course organiser)

Educational Studies 4

Research summary

Inclusive education.

Teachers' attitudes, beliefs and values towards inclusive practice.

Parents' attitudes towards inclusion.

Social construction of educational communities.

Social construction of institutional identity and  teachers' layered narratives towards the understanding, formation and implementation of inclusion.

Educational policy and politics of education.

Current research interests

I have recently been involved in research exploring the social construction of schools, as vivid organisations, through school stakeholders' (teachers, head teachers, parents) layered narratives of self which reflect a dynamic view of identity and the importance of contextual narratives and the interactions within and out with schools.

Tsakalou et al. (2018) Institutional narratives and the struggle for inclusive communities in the Greek context