Dr Claire E. Crawford

Dr Claire E. Crawford

School of Education
Assistant Professor in Education
Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes (Campus FT)

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Claire joined the University of Birmingham in 2016 as the first ‘BRIDGE Fellow’ (‘Birmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, Engagement and Education’). The 3-year research fellowship formed part of a larger transatlantic partnership between the University of Birmingham and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA.

Claire’s research interests focus on the critical examination of the ‘attainment gap’ in schooling – how it is constructed, managed, perpetuated and policed. More specifically, Claire’s research seeks to apply Critical Race Theory and ‘QuantCrit’ (quantitative critical methodologies) to shape an examination of government education policies, domestic practices, and the construction of inequity in schooling, across multiple contexts.

Claire is an Associate Editor of the leading international peer reviewed journal Race, Ethnicity and Education and is an active member of the Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE). Prior to joining the University of Birmingham, Claire worked as a qualified teacher with several years teaching experience at both further (post-secondary) and higher education levels.

Feedback and office hours

Office hours vary throughout the academic year. Please contact Claire via email to arrange an appointment.


  • PhD Social Sciences (Education) ESRC Funded, Cardiff University, UK
  • MSc Social Science Research Methods
  • PGCE Further/Higher Education
  • BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance


Claire is Programme Director of the MA Education in the School of Education. Claire teaches on the BA Education undergraduate courses Education Policy & Social Justice and Identity, Politics and Everyday Life, the MA Education masters course Education, Policy and Society (module leader), and the EdD doctoral course (Understanding education policies and practices in global, national and local contexts (module leader).

Postgraduate supervision

Claire currently supervises MA, EdD and PhD students working on a wide range of issues (race, ethnicity, attainment, education policy, and structural inequality in schooling). Please contact Dr Crawford directly if you are interested in pursuing doctoral research in an area related to her specialisms.


Birmingham-Illinois BRIDGE Fellowship

As part of the University of Birmingham and University of Illinois BRIDGE Fellowship, Claire applied the principles of Critical Race Theory and Quantitative Critical Race Theory (‘QuantCrit’) to shape an examination of government issued testing data in both the U.K. and U.S. More specifically, Claire explored the potentially racist, classist, and gendered assumptions contained within government published attainment statistics and related policy pronouncements. This work continues to build into a detailed cross-national study of how the ‘achievement gap’ is constructed, managed and policed on either side of the Atlantic. 


Claire’s ESRC funded (+3) PhD research focused on the critical examination of education policy, standardised testing data, inequity of opportunity, and educational outcomes by race and ethnicity (as intersected with gender, sexuality, class, and dis/ability). Utilising Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Critical Whiteness Studies, Claire explored the quantitative manifestations of the so called ‘achievement gap’ between black and white (non-Hispanic/Latino[a]) high school students in the U.S., demonstrating how permissive re-segregation of poorer-blacker ‘mainstream’ students and wealthier-whiter (competitive-entry) ‘magnet’ students, was based almost exclusively on a student’s performance on ‘high stake’ standardised tests and subjective ‘teacher recommendation’.

Additionally, Claire’s critical race examinations of federal and state-level education policies, illustrated how ‘gifted’ students standardised test scores had significantly increased since the inception of ‘No Child Left Behind’ (2001), despite the Act having the specific aim of ‘closing the gap’ by race, poverty, disability and language proficiency (U.S. Department of Education, 1998).

Other activities

Associate Editor, Race Ethnicity and Education


Crawford C.E. (2019) Athleticising young black lives: confusing education with commerce in high school sports, in. S. Dagkas, L. Azzarito, & K. Hylton, (eds.) ‘Race’, ‘Racism’ and ‘Race logic’ in youth sport, physical activity and health: Global perspectives. London: Routledge https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351122948 

Crawford C.E. (2018) The One-in-Ten: Quantitative Critical Race Theory and the Education of the ‘New Oppressed’ in England, Journal of Education Policy, 34(3): 423-444 https://doi.org/10.1080/02680939.2018.1531314 

Crawford C.E., Demack, S., Gillborn, D. & Warmington, P. (2018) Quants & Crits: using numbers for social justice (or, how not to be lied to with statistics), in. DeCuir-Gunby, J.T., Chapman, T.K., & Schutz, P.A. (eds.) Understanding Critical Race Research Methods and Methodologies: Lessons From the Field. New York: Routledge https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315100944 

Crawford, C.E. (2017) Promoting 'fundamental British values' in schools: a critical race perspective. Curriculum Perspectives, 37(2): 197-204 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs41297-017-0029-3 

Crawford, C.E. (2017) Researching race and racism in education during a 'Whitelash'. BERA: Research Intelligence,132: 26-27.

View all publications in research portal

Media experience

Recent media information

Claire’s research on the performance of ‘White working class males’ was discussed by Chris Havergal in the Times Higher Education 

An Inside Higher Education article by Rebecca Reid and Todd Curry mentioned Claire’s work on quantitative misrepresentations of attainment data that produce, legitimise and perpetuate racism. 

The NEON (National Education Opportunity Network) report Understanding access to higher education for white students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, also cited Claire’s research on attainment. 

Claire was interviewed by Dr Marci Rockey of the Office for Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL) for the Democracy’s College Podcast series https://occrl.illinois.edu/our-products/democracy (Episode 28 - Transnational Whitelash in Educational Policy and Practice). Transcript available https://occrl.illinois.edu/docs/librariesprovider4/podcast/episode-28-cc.pdf?sfvrsn=47fd8389_4


Sociology of education, critical theories of race and class, education policy, educational inequalities and, critical quantitative methodology.