Professor Mike McLinden

Professor Mike McLinden

School of Education
Programme Lead (Vision Impairment)
Deputy Head of School

Contact details

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

Mike is Deputy Head of School in the School of Education. This role follows two periods as Director of Education in the School and interim Director of Educational Development for the University of Birmingham.

With over 25 years’ experience of teaching in schools and Higher Education (HE) Mike has extensive experience of curriculum design, delivery and evaluation as a teacher, lecturer, senior manager and a researcher. Mike’s research interests include developing and promoting ‘research-informed’ pedagogical practice within HE with a particular focus on student-centred approaches (including enquiry-based learning). With colleagues in the University he has led a number of funded projects that link to strategic developments within the institution and HE sector.

Mike's other professional role is concerned with the inclusion of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. He is co-Director of the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) in the Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) at the University of Birmingham and programme lead for the professional development courses in vision impairment. Approximately 100 students are registered on programmes offered within the Centre, making it the largest single provider of specialist courses in this field in Europe. 

Mike is involved in a wide range of research and knowledge exchange activities within and beyond the academic sphere (e.g. policy makers and practitioners in the field). These activities include:

  • contributing to strategic developments for project funders;
  • running workshops and training events for schools, services and other academic institutions;
  • invited sessions at national and international conferences;
  • national and international consultancy. 

In June 2013 Mike was conferred the status of Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) in recognition of a sustained record of effective strategic leadership in academic practice and development and wide-ranging strategic leadership responsibilities in connection with key aspects of teaching and supporting learning.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Birmingham,  2000
  • BPhil Special Education: Visual Handicap, University of Birmingham, 1993 
  • PGCE, Oxford Brookes, 1986
  • MEd Child Development, Institute of Education, 1985
  • BSc Psychology, Leicester, 1983

Teaching

Mike's main teaching role is Programme Director for the PG Diploma Mandatory Qualification (MQ) for Teachers of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment. Other teaching responsibilities include input to various programmes within the School of Education, as well as the supervision of MEd and PhD students.

For queries in relation to the programme, please either email  visionimpairments@contacts.bham.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0) 121 414 4837 

Postgraduate supervision

Postgraduate supervision

Mike is supervisor for PGR students with wide ranging backgrounds and research interests. The research areas of students he is currently supervising or has recently supervised include:

  • student centred pedagogical approaches within  higher education;
  • inclusive education and learners with disabilities/SEND;
  • the inclusive curriculum within higher education.

For more information on research degrees, please visit the Postgraduate Research pages.

Research

Research Interests

Mike's research interests in the field of inclusive education have been primarily concerned with the identification and reduction of potential barriers to learning and participation for children with sensory impairment including those with complex needs. Particular themes within this focus have included:

  • Role of touch in the learning experiences of children with vision impairment
  • Haptic exploratory strategies and children who are blind with additional needs
  • Early literacy/communication (including Moon, objects of reference, tactile symbols)
  • Role of Low Vision Aids for children with vision impairment and additional needs
  • Effective curriculum access for children with multiple disabilities 

As co-Director of VICTAR Mike is engaged in a wide range of funded research projects that relate to participation in education for learners with vision impairment. Recent funded projects he has contributed to within VICTAR include:

  • ‘Evidence of best practice models and outcomes in the education of children with vision impairment’
  • ‘Mobility and Independence outcomes for children with visual impairment’
  • 'Development of online enquiry-based learning resources'
  • 'Inclusion of children with vision impairment in developing countries' 

Mike was co-investigator for two reviews of literature funded by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) in Ireland (International review of literature in visual impairment and education and International review of approaches to measuring educational engagement, progress and outcomes for children with special educational needs). Following blind peer review, both reviews were launched at conferences in Dublin and are now published and presented on the NCSE website. On the back of these publications Mike was invited by the Government in Ireland to undertake a review of the Visual Impairment Visiting Teacher Service in collaboration with a colleague from the University of Manchester.

He also has a broad research interest in professional learning and pedagogy within Higher Education and has been involved in a number of funded pedagogical projects in partnership with colleagues in the University and HE sector. He was Strand Lead (Part Time Learners) for the 2013 'Flexible Pedagogies' project funded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and project lead for a 2016 HEA project examining how to promote equality of opportunity through flexible learning (Promoting Equality of Opportunity through Flexible Learning)

Knowledge Exchange

With colleagues in VICTAR and the School Mike is involved in a wide range of knowledge exchange activities within and beyond the academic sphere (e.g. policy makers and practitioners in the field of sensory needs). These activities include:

  • contributing to strategic developments for project funders;
  • running workshops and training events for schools, services and other academic institutions;
  • invited keynote sessions at national and international conferences 

Other activities

Mike was Joint Editor of the British Journal of Visual Impairment (SAGE) between 2006-2012. He serves as a reviewer for a range of peer reviewed journals including: 

  • Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness
  • British Journal of Ophthalmology
  • British Journal of Special Educational Needs
  • European Journal of Special Education
  • Australian Journal of Special Education
  • Studies in Higher Education

Publications

Recent publications

Book

McLinden, M, Hodges, E & McCall, S 2020, Learning Through Touch: Supporting Learners with Multiple Disabilities and Vision Impairment Through a Bioecological Systems Perspective. Second Edition edn, Routledge, UK.

Cleaver, E, Lintern, M & McLinden, M 2018, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Disciplinary Approaches to Educational Enquiry. 2 edn, SAGE Publications, London.

Article

Soni, A, Lynch, P, McLinden, M, Mbukwa-Ngwira , J, Mankhwazi , M, Jolley, E, Virendrakumar , B, Bedford , J & Gercama, I 2020, 'Facilitating the participation of children with disabilities in early childhood development centres in Malawi: Developing a sustainable staff training programme', Sustainability, vol. 12, no. 5, 2104. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052104

McLinden, M, Ravenscroft, J, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, McCann, E & Roe, J 2020, 'Promoting a balanced early years curriculum for young children with vision impairment: developing and sustaining personal agency through a bioecological systems perspective', British Journal of Visual Impairment, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1177/0264619619901036

Frank, H, McLinden, M & Douglas, G 2020, 'Accessing the curriculum; university based learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students', Nurse Education in Practice, vol. 42, 102620. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2019.102620

Hewett, R, Douglas, G, McLinden, M & Keil, S 2018, 'Balancing inclusive design, adjustments and personal agency: progressive mutual accommodations and the experiences of university students with vision impairment in the United Kingdom', International Journal of Inclusive Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2018.1492637

Lynch, P, Gladstone, M, McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Jolley, E, Schmidt, E & Chimoyo, J 2018, '‘I have learnt to love the child and give opportunities to play with peers’: A feasibility study of the training programme to support parents of young children with visual impairment in Malawi', Journal of Early Childhood Research, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718x18761219

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Cleaver, E, McLinden, M, Lintern, M & Birch, A 2020, The Enquiring University: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a Foundation for Strategic Educational Transformation. in RC Plews & ML Amos (eds),  Evidence-Based Faculty Development Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) (pp. 1-470). . doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-2212-7. IGI Global, Hershey, PA: IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-2212-7

McLinden, M, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, Thistlethwaite, J & Lynch, P 2019, Evidence-based practices for teaching learners with vision impairment. in Oxford Encyclopedia of Inclusive and Special Education. Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Education, Oxford University Press.

Chapter

McLinden, M, Grove, M, Green, J & Birch, A 2019, Developing and embedding inclusive policy and practice within higher-education institutions. in K Křčmář (ed.), The Inclusivity Gap. Inspired by Learning, Aberdeen, pp. 160-176. <https://www.inspiredbylearning.eu/book/10>

Douglas, G, Hewett, R & McLinden, M 2018, Transition from school to Higher Education: Research evidence and best practice. in J Ravenscroft (ed.), Handbook of Visual Impairment: Social and Cultural Research. Routledge.

Commissioned report

Hodges, E, Ellis, L, Douglas, G, Hewett, R, McLinden, M, Terlektsi, E, Wootten, A, Ware, J & Williams, L 2019, A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the effectiveness of educational interventions to support children and young people with multi-sensory impairment. Welsh Assembly Government. <https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/statistics-and-research/2019-11/effectiveness-educational-interventions-support-children-young-people-multi-sensory-impairment.pdf>

Terlektsi, E, Wootten, A, Douglas, G, Ellis, L, Hewett, R, Hodges, E, McLinden, M, Ware, J & Williams, L 2019, A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the effectiveness of educational interventions to support children and young people with hearing impairment. Welsh Assembly Government. <https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/statistics-and-research/2019-09/effectiveness-educational-interventions-support-children-young-people-hearing-impairment_1.pdf>

Douglas, G, McLinden, M, Ellis, L, Hewett, R, Hodges, E, Terlektsi, E, Wootten, A, Ware, J & Williams, L 2019, A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the effectiveness of educational interventions to support children and young people with vision impairment. Welsh Assembly Government. <https://gov.wales/effectiveness-educational-interventions-support-children-and-young-people-visual-impairment?_ga=2.38901859.1959838397.1574254763-739426866.1515487846>

Web publication/site

Hewett, R, Douglas, G & McLinden, M, Disabled Students' Allowance: Barriers experienced by students with Vision Impairment, 2019, Web publication/site, University of Birmingham. <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/thebirminghambrief/items/2019/02/disabled-students'-allowance-barriers-experienced-by-students-with-vision-impairment.aspx>

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