Dr Valentina Migliarini

Dr Valentina Migliarini

School of Education
Assistant Professor in Education Studies

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr. Valentina Migliarini is an Assistant Professor in Education Studies in the School of Education in the Department of Education and Social Justice.

Her work, both in research and teaching, focuses on increasing access to equitable education for students from multiply marginalised communities, specifically disabled students from migrant and forced migrant backgrounds, in secondary education. She is at the forefront of researchers using the Disability Critical Race Theory in Education (DisCrit) framework as an intersectional lens to examine inclusive policies and practices in education systems in Europe and in the United States. Through her research agenda, she addresses mainstream conceptualisations of inclusion, highlighting how these reproduce micro-exclusions for students living at the intersections of multiple forms of oppression.

ORCID Profile


Doctor of Philosophy, Univ Roma Tre


Master of Arts, Institute of Education

Bachelor of Education, Univ Roma Tre


In 2017, I completed the Ph.D (magna cum laude) in Theory and Research in Education at Roma Tre University. In the doctoral dissertation, I illustrated the increasing overrepresentation of asylum-seeking and refugee students in the macro-category of Special Educational Needs (SEN). I then connected these racial disproportionality trends in Special Educational Needs to the specific SEN policies and laws, introduced by the Italian government in 2012 in response to the increasing number of migrant students in mainstream classrooms.

From August 2017 until May 2018, I was a Fulbright Schuman Visiting Scholar in the Department of Special Education, at the University of Kansas. Under the supervision of Dr. Annamma, first author of DisCrit, I have worked as a PI on a qualitative research project exploring the benefits of applying the Dis/ability Critical Race Studies (DisCrit) in Education framework to inclusive policies and practices, to avoid macro- and micro- exclusions of students situated at the intersection of multiple differences. During my time at the University of Kansas, I taught an undergraduate course on classroom and behavior management for pre-service teachers, titled Motivating and Managing Learners in the Middle and Secondary Classrooms. 

In September 2018,  I joined the Department of Education at the University of Bologna as a post-doctoral researcher. I worked on an an Erasmus Plus-funded project, using video-analysis as tool to support Early Childhood practitioners in the co-construction of inclusive practices.

From October 2019 until October 2021 I was a Lecturer in Education and Sociology at the University of Portsmouth. 

On October 15th 2021, I have joined the department of Education and Social Justice at the University of Birmingham as a Lecturer in Education Studies.

Postgraduate supervision

I accept doctoral students whose research interests focus on educational equity and justice, centering the lived experiences of marginalised communities living at the intersection of multiple forms of oppressions.


I am an Assistant Professor in Education Studies in the Department of Education and Social Justice. My work sits at the crossroads of inclusive education, bilingual special education, justice and equity studies, culturally sustaining and trauma-informed pedagogies for disabled, migrant and refugee children, and teacher education.

My research focuses on increasing access to equitable education for students identified with disabilities and from migrant and forced migrant backgrounds in secondary education. I have developed significant research and teaching expertise in Italy, England, Lebanon and the United States. 

I use the Disability Critical Race Theory in Education (DisCrit) framework as an intersectional lens to examine inclusive policies and practices in education systems in Europe and the United States. This work provides a window to explore how neoliberal reforms in education, combined with increasing immigration, are influencing education for those children who face exclusionary practices. 

The nucleus of my research agenda is problematizing, both in policy and practice, mainstream conceptualizations of inclusive education, which reproduce micro-exclusions of multiply-marginalized children in ‘Western’ nations, and new forms of colonization in ‘non-Western’ countries. 

My first line of research includes (1) exploring how intersections of race, disability, migratory status, and language determine educational and social pathways of inclusion for asylum-seeking and refugee students.

My second line of research focuses on analyzing how DisCrit can contribute to understanding the outcomes of UK and US inclusive education policies and practice, with particular attention to the enabling and disabling processes that target multiply marginalized children. 

My third line of research aims to shift teachers’ paradigms of inclusive education, through reframing classroom and behavior management, curriculum and instructions through DisCrit. 

What ties these three lines of inquiry together is my commitment to educational equity and justice through an interdisciplinary research design and methodology.

In research and teaching I commit to creating a meaningful, equitable, and inclusive learning experience for diverse communities. My stance towards teaching, research and service activities is liberatory.  

Other activities

Program Co-Chair

Disability Studies in Education Special Interest Group

American Educational Research Association (AERA)


Recent publications


Migliarini, V & Elder, B 2024, The Future of Inclusive Education: Intersectional Perspectives. 1 edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-49242-6


Migliarini, V, Beneke , MR & Cioè-Peña, M 2024, 'Solidarity on the screen and six feet apart? Discrit mothering amid multiple social crises', International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2024.2318314

Migliarini, V, Ferri , B & Migliore , S 2023, 'DisCrit and Anti‐Fascist Education: Lessons from Gobetti’s Story of Sebastiano the Rooster, Otherwise known as the Thirteenth Egg', Italian Journal of Special Education for Inclusion , vol. XI, no. 1, pp. 112-127. https://doi.org/10.7346/sipes-01-2023-11

Migliarini, V, Elder, B & D'Alessio, S 2022, 'A DisCrit-informed person-centered approach to inclusive education in Italy', Equity & Excellence in Education , vol. 54, no. 4, pp. 409-425. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2021.2047415

Migliarini, V & Cioè-Peña, M 2022, 'Performing the good (im)migrant: inclusion and expectations of linguistic assimilation', International Journal of Inclusive Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2022.2112770

Stinson , C & Migliarini, V 2022, '‘Race had never been an issue’: examining white supremacy in English language teaching', British Journal of Sociology of Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/01425692.2022.2145933

Migliarini, V & Stinson , C 2021, 'A disability critical race theory solidarity approach to transform pedagogy and classroom culture in TESOL', TESOL Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 708-718. https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.3028

Elder, BC & Migliarini, V 2020, 'Decolonizing inclusive education: a collection of practical inclusive CDS- and DisCrit-informed teaching practices implemented in the global South', Disability and the Global South, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1852-1872. <https://disabilityglobalsouth.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/07_01_04.pdf>

Migliarini, V 2020, 'Inclusive education for disabled refugee children: a (re)conceptualization through Krip-Hop', The Educational Forum. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131725.2020.1798703

Migliarini, V & Stinson , C 2020, 'Inclusive education in the (new) era of anti-immigration policy: enacting equity for disabled English language learners', International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/09518398.2020.1735563

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Migliarini, V 2023, Inclusive Education from the DisCrit Perspective. in S Seitz, P Auer & R Bellacicco (eds), International Perspectives on Inclusive Education: In the Light of Educational Justice . Verlag Barbara Budrich, pp. 193-210. https://doi.org/10.3224/84742698

Migliarini, V & Stinson , C 2023, Who is Worthy of Rights? An analysis of children living at the intersections of disability, citizenship and migration in the United States and Italy. in AE Beckett & A-M Callus (eds), The Routledge International Handbook of Children's Rights and Disability . 1st edn, Routledge International Handbooks, Routledge, pp. 632-647. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003056737-47

Migliarini, V, Stinson , C & Hernandez- Saca, DI 2022, “It feels like living in a limbo”: exploring the limits of inclusion for children living at the global affective intersections of dis/ability, language, and migration in Italy and the United States. in SA Annamma, B Ferri & D Connor (eds), DisCrit Expanded: Reverberations, Ruptures, and Inquiries. Teachers College Press, pp. 62-80. <https://www.tcpress.com/discrit-expanded-9780807766347>

Migliarini, V & Nur, R 2021, La video-intervista a Rahma Nur e a Valentina Migliarini sull’intersezionalità. in A Frisina , F Farina & A Surian (eds), Antirazzismo e scuole. vol. 1, Padova University Press, Padova , pp. 168-171. <http://www.padovauniversitypress.it/publications/9788869382710>

Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Migliarini, V, Allan, J, Van Hove , G & De Schauwer , E 2022, Legislation and Policy in Europe. in R Tierney, F Rizvi & K Ercikan (eds), International Encyclopedia of Education. 4th edn, Elsevier, pp. 58-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-818630-5.12034-2

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