Professor Ian Grosvenor

Professor Ian Grosvenor

School of Education
Emeritus Professor of Urban Education History
Director of the Voices of War & Peace Centre

Contact details

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

Ian Grosvenor is Professor of Urban Educational History. He is author of numerous articles and books on racism, education and identity, the visual in educational research, the material culture of education and the history of urban education. Books include, Assimilating Identities. Racism and Education in Post 1945 Britain (1997), Silences and Images. The Social History of the Classroom (1999) with Martin Lawn and Kate Rousmaniere, The School I’d Like (2003) and School (2008) both with Catherine Burke and Materialities of Schooling (2005) with Martin Lawn.

Postgraduate supervision

Ian is interested in the following research topics:

  • material cultures of schooling;
  • cultural diversity and race equality;
  • anti-racist and refugee education;
  • black history;
  • museum and heritage education; the teaching of history.

He currently supervises a number of students including the following:

  • Izzy Mohammed - Public archives, Representation and Integration in Post-War, Multicultural Urban Contexts: Birmingham and Manchester
  • Alison Laitner - Discovering Childrens’ Voices and Experiences; Changes from family to institutional care for children and young people with disabilities , Birmingham 1770 to 1870.
  • Kate Spencer-Bennett - Libraries in Women’s Lives


Current research focuses on new ways of conceptualising and presenting the educational past through consideration of issues relating to space, design, technology, the visual in education, artefacts and identity formation.

Research projects include:

AHRC 2014-2016 Voices of War and Peace

This study day explored the Black community's contribution to the Great War.

AHRC award 2012-2016 Cultural Intermediation: connecting communities in the creative urban economy led by Dr Phil Jones, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography at the University of Birmingham. 

AHRC Museums and Galleries Research Grant award 2008-2010, ‘Suburban Birmingham: spaces and places: 1880-1960’ with Dr Richard Clay and Dr Fran Barry

British Academy 2009-2010, ‘Documentary Film in Educational Research’ with Dr Paul Warmington, Professor Martin Lawn, Dr Catherine Burke, Professor Frank Simon, Dr Bruno Vanobbergen, Dr Angelo van Gorp and Dr Jeremy Howard.

Heritage Lottery Fund 2012 Children’s Lives Research for an exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 2012.

AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship 2007-2009, Birmingham Stories: from communities of interpretation to communities of understanding

Other activities

He is Managing Editor of the international journal Paedagogica Historica, Secretary General of the European Educational Research Association and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


Selected Publications

Grosvenor, I (2021) ‘No power without image control: ‘at school we learn to read, but we do not learn to look,’ Totalitarismos europeos, propaganda y educación ed. Eulalia Collelldemont (Gijon: TREA), 11-21.

Grosvenor, I. and Pataki, G.  (2021) ‘The Enigma and Value of “Found” School Photographs for Historians of Education,’ in Appearances Matter : the visual in educational history ed. Tim Allender et al,  (De Gruyter) 

Grosvenor, I and Gauld, N. (2021) ‘The role of commemoration in history and heritage: the legacy of the World War One Engagement Centres,’ in Historical Justice and History of Education, ed. M. Keynes et al (London: Palgrave) 

Grosvenor, I. (2021) “Engaging with ‘the act of looking back, (and) seeing with fresh eyes’: the colonial experience and pedagogies of display,” Liber Amicorum Marc Depaepe (London: Palgrave). 

Grosvenor, I. (2021) ‘Around the table,’ in Media Matter: Images as Public Agents and Means of Shaping Identities ed Francisca Comas Rubí, Karin Priem and Sara Gonzalez (eds.)(De Gruyter) 

Grosvenor, I. (2021) Populism, Nationalism and the Past. An English story of History in the Present

Grosvenor, I. and Myers, K. (2020) ‘Dirt and the child: a textual and visual exploration of children’s physical engagement with the urban and the natural world,’ History of Education, 49, 4, 517-35. 

Grosvenor, I., Lloyd, S., Gauld, N., and Hammerlin, A. (2020) Making Histories, Sharing Histories. Putting University-Community Collaboration into Practice (Hatfield) 

Grosvenor, I. (2015) 'En el "Colegio de Ciencias Morales": espacios, sentidos y emociones en la historia de la educación urbana' Revista Mexicana de Historia de la Educación 3, 5, 1-25

Grosvenor, I. and Macnab, N. (2015) ‘Photography as an agent of transformation: education, community and documentary photography in post war Britain’, Paedagogica Historica 51, 1&2, 117-135.

Grosvenor, I. and Burke, C. (2015) The School I’d Like Revisited, London: Routledge

Grosvenor, I., Burke, C. and Norlin, B. (eds.) (2015) Engaging with Educational Spaces Umea: University of Umea, e-book.

Grosvenor, I., Haenggeli-Jenni, B., Tabacchi, E.., Thyssen, G., Ribeiro de Castro, H. and Verstraete, P. (eds.) (2014) Education across Europe: a visual conversation Berlin: EERA, e-book

Grosvenor, I. (2014) ‘El profsorado y la Escuela Renovadora: vida de una profesora en imágenes’ in E. Collelldemont  (ed.) Investigar la historia de la educación con imágenes,Euomgrafic: MUVIP, 21-23

Grosvenor, I. (2014)  ‘Dr Dhani Prem’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online

Grosvenor, I. and Myers, K. (2014) ‘Cultural learning and historical memory: a research agenda Encounters/Encuentros/Rencontres on Education, 15, 3-21

Braster, S., Grosvenor, I. and del Mar de Pozo, M. (eds) (2012) Inside the Black Box of the Classroom. Berlin: Peter Lang, pp 330.

Grosvenor, I. (2012) To Act on the Minds of Children’: Paintings into School and English Education’ in Braster, S., Grosvenor, I. and del Mar de Pozo, M. (eds) Inside the Black Box of the Classroom, Berlin: Peter Lang, 39-58

Grosvenor, I. and Hall, A (2012) Back to School from a holiday in the slums!: images, words and inequalities, Critical Social Policy, 32, 1, 11-30. Doi: 10.1177/0261018311425197

Goodman, J. and Grosvenor, I (2011) The history of education: a curious case? In John Furlong and Martin Lawn (eds) Disciplines of Education. Their Role in the Future of Education Research Abingdon: Routledge, 67-84.

Myers, Kevin and Grosvenor, Ian (2011) Birmingham Stories: local histories of migration and settlement and the practice of history. Midland History, 36 (2). pp. 149-162. DOI: 10.1179/004772911X13074595848915

Myers, Kevin and Grosvenor, Ian (2011) Exploring supplementary education: margins, theories and methods. History of Education, 40 (4). pp. 501-521. DOI: 10.1080/0046760X.2010.529835

Warmington, P. Van Gorp, A. and Grosvenor, I. (2011) Education in motion: uses of documentary film in educational research Paedagogica Historica, 47, 4,457- 472. DOI: 10.1080/00309230.2011.588239

Warmington, P. and Grosvenor, I. (2011) A very historical mode of understanding': examining editorial and
ethnographic relations in The Primary (2008), Paedagogica Historica, 47, 4, 543-558 DOI:

Burke, C. and Grosvenor, I. (2011) The Hearing School: an exploration of sound and listening in the modern school, Paedagogica Historica, 47, 3., 323-340 DOI: 10.1080/00309230.2010.530273

Burke, C., Cunningham, P. and Grosvenor, I. (2010). Putting education in its place’: space, place and materialities in the history of education, History of Education, 39, 6, 677-80.