Rebecca Wood

Rebecca Wood

School of Education
Honorary Research Fellow

Contact details

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

Rebecca is an experienced teacher and trainer who has worked in both the mainstream and special educational needs (autism) sectors. She completed her first degrees at the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford and is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN). Rebecca was Project Manager for the Transform Autism Education (TAE) project, a three year research and development project involving Greece, Italy and the Uk and funded by the European Commission through their Erasmus Plus programme. She is also a doctoral researcher in the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) and she holds a full scholarship from the School of Education. The focus of Rebecca’s PhD is on the inclusion of autistic children in mainstream primary schools.

Rebecca has given presentations at both national and international conferences and seminars such as Autism Europe 2016 and the Globalisation of Autism: Historical, Sociological, and Anthropological Reflections 2017. A keen ‘The Archers’ fan, she has also presented at the ‘Academic Archers’ conference at the University of Lincoln 2017, and has a co-authored chapter in the book ‘Custard, Culverts and Cake: Academics on Life in The Archers’ (Courage and Headlam [eds], 2017) about disability issues in ‘The Archers’.

She is currently writing a book based on her research, which is due to be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in 2018.

She has also written for The Conversation, Network Autism and the Times Educational Supplement and the Birmingham Brief.

Qualifications

M.A.: University of Edinburgh

M.st.: Jesus College, Oxford University

Biography

In her professional work, Rebecca’s focus was increasingly on the training of staff who support autistic children in pre-school and primary school settings by devising and delivering her own programmes which aimed to engender a holistic, informed and positive approach to the education of autistic children. She worked within a diverse and multi-cultural environment and was also involved with the assessment and diagnosis of autistic children as part of a multi-disciplinary team, as well as providing individualised education programmes and running support and information groups for parents of newly diagnosed children.

In her research, Rebecca’s core aspiration is to facilitate the inclusion of autistic children in mainstream school settings by enabling school staff to understand how autistic children might think, learn and communicate. In a multi-perspective account which includes the views of autistic children, their parents, school staff and autistic adults, her research considers not only how and if autistic children are participating in the different aspects of school life, but how effectively they are being supported, the ways in which this is experienced by them and what their aspirations are. In addition, her study incorporates an analysis of how participants perceive and understand autism, and whether this impacts on their attitudes to the education of autistic children.

Rebecca is passionate about helping to create greater understanding about the needs, rights and abilities of autistic children through research and practice, and her goal is to realise this through both her research.

Rebecca is passionate about helping to create greater understanding about the needs, rights and abilities of autistic children through research and practice, and her goal is to realise this through both her research and her role as Project Manager of the Transform Autism Education project.

Doctoral research