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Mrs Christine Bower

Profile summary

Professional biography

Christine has experience across a range of educational settings including early years, primary school, secondary school, special school and youth work contexts. Along with this experience, Christine has also worked within the political sector in Northern Ireland as both a local councillor and a policy and research manager.

In 2017, Christine was awarded a scholarship from the Department of the Economy in Northern Ireland to complete a PhD through Queen's University Belfast. Whilst completing her PhD, she was also employed as a Research Assistant on two large, funded research projects. The first project was funded by the Education Endownment Foundation and was an evaluation of the effectiveness of a Reciprocal Reading Programme as a whole class teaching method and as an intervention for children with poor comprehension skills. The second project was funded by a NGO in Belgium and required Christine and a colleague to explore how inclusive education was in educational centres for disabled students in Palestine. As a result of this research, Christine and her colleague went on to design, develop and deliver training for teachers and educational professionals in Palestine.

Christine's doctoral research focuses on friendships for young people with a learning disability and/or autism. She has taken a participatory action research approach and has co-produced this research with a small group of young people from Mencap NI. 

Christine joined the Open University in 2021 as a Lecturer of Microcredentials and an Associate Lecturer on EK313.

Research interests

Christine is particularly interested in participatory research with children and young people. Her wider research interests include philosophy of education, social justice, inclusion, equity and diversity, education and children's rights.

Teaching interests

Christine is currently producing new Microcredentials in the area of education. She teaches on EK313 Issues in Research with Children and Young People.

Impact and engagement

Christine is a peer reviewer for two international journals (one is focused on educational inclusion and the other is focused on educational research).


‘Um, I was getting bullied at school because I didn’t believe in god’: one family’s experience of autism, school and home education (2021)
Bower, Christine
International Journal of Inclusive Education, 25(8) (pp. 914-927)

Barriers to Effective, Equitable and Quality Education: A Rights-based, Participatory Research Assessment of Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Palestine (2020-12)
MacKenzie, Alison; Bower, Christine and Owaineh, Mohammed
The International Journal of Children’s Rights, 28(4) (pp. 805-832)

Gratitude versus children's rights: An exploration mothers’ attitudes towards disability and inclusive education in Palestine (2020)
MacKenzie, Alison; Bower, Christine and Owaineh, Mohammed
International Journal of Educational Research Open, 1, Article 100001