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Professorial Lecture Series: Parental Engagement - Professor McKenna.

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Professor Lynne Mckenna

Parental Engagement - Relationships, Research, Rhetoric and Reality with Professor McKenna will reflect on over twenty year’s research in the fields of family learning, parental engagement and engaging with fathers.

Professor McKenna is Dean of the Faculty of Education, she joined the University of Sunderland in 2015 as Head of the School of Education and was successfully appointed as Dean of the Faculty in April 2018. Prior to joining the University of Sunderland, she had a number of roles in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, the last as Director of Initial Teacher Education.

She has had a wide and varied career, graduating with a B.Ed (Hons) from this University in 1991, whereupon she commenced her career as a primary teacher.  A qualified teacher with 28 years experience as a teacher, advisory teacher, academic and senior university manager, Lynne is a member of the MillionPlus Deans of Education/DfE network and UCET and is currently working with Million Plus and the DfE to progress a new model of teacher training as part of the governments' plans to develop the teaching profession. Lynne is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Regional Network Leader for #WomenEd North-East.

Lynne’s teaching focuses on family learning, parental engagement, engaging with fathers, social impact assessment, early intervention, early years education and qualitative research methods.  She has published nationally and internationally in these fields.  

‘Parental Engagement: Relationships, Research, Rhetoric and Reality’

In this lecture, Professor McKenna will reflect on over twenty years research in the fields of Family Learning, Parental Engagement and Engaging with Fathers. She is particularly interested in two aspects of this work: the first is research around engaging parents in their children’s lives, wellbeing and education, and the second is examining how this research can be translated to professional practice. Combining her strong ethos of professional practice with children, families and communities with her personal experience of applying this in her roles in Higher Education Institutions, this lecture will explore the rhetoric and reality of effective parental engagement.   It will use ‘stories as research products’ (Koch, 1988) to illustrate ‘perspective transformation’ (Mezirow, 1997) - not only for the parents, children and teachers involved in engagement activity, but also in terms of her own leadership journey translating these experiences to inform her own professional practice.

The lecture takes place on Monday 6 November at 6pm at Prospect Building, room 009, St Peter’s Campus, Sunderland, SR6 0DD.


Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm in Prospect Building.

University of Sunderland’s Professorial Lecture Series provides a platform to showcase and celebrate the University’s new professors. Each lecture represents a significant milestone in an academic’s career and is an opportunity for each professor to present an overview of their academic contributions so far and their future plans, while also introducing their work to a wider audience.