Dr Celia Jenkins is a Principal Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Westminster where she has taught for nearly thirty years. She is a Feminist Sociologist specialising in Education, Religion, Migration and Research Methods. She helped to establish cutting-edge interdisciplinary MAs in Women’s Studies, Globalisation and Higher Education.
Her leadership roles are associated with student support, including Faculty Senior Tutor and Disability Tutor and participating in university committees on learning, teaching and student experience, about which she cares deeply. As course leader for Sociology, she steered it successfully to a 100% National Student Survey score in 2015 and second place in London in the 2016 Guardian league tables. She led the UK research team on an Erasmus project on graduate outcomes in the labour market which won the Turkish National Agency prize.
Celia first studied Sociology at an FE college where an inspirational teacher encouraged her passion for the subject, fuelling a commitment to social justice that still informs her teaching, research and activism. Her doctoral research was on social class and progressivism in the New Education Fellowship, an international, interdisciplinary movement for democratic education and she is now the leading UK expert on the organisation.
Her teaching philosophy entails an inclusive curriculum and a commitment to social justice, providing her mostly ‘non-traditional’ students with the critical knowledge, skills and abilities to exercise their pedagogic rights to personal enhancement, inclusion and political participation, and has written about this in a recently edited book on ‘Socially Just Pedagogies in Higher Education’.
Celia’s ongoing collaborative Religion and Identity project with the transnational Alevi community and local schools successfully counters the marginalisation that the second generation experienced in schools by introducing Alevism into their RE lessons The pilot schools were the first in the world to introduce Alevism into the core RE curriculum withpositive outcomes for pupils, parents and the wider community. The research won the BERA prize for collaboration between universities and schools in 2014 and provides a model of good practice for other minority faith communities. She has co-edited a book on ‘Alevism as an Ethno-Religious Identity’.
Principal Lecturer in Sociology
University of Westminster