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Pranks & Punishment: exploring school (mis) behaviour in Black Country schools, 1870-1988

February 24 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Female Teacher at Chalk Board
With Dr Elizabeth J Done (University of Plymouth, UK), Helen Knowler (University of Wolverhampton, UK), Dr Jenny Gilbert (BCLM) and Sharan Dhanda (BCLM).

Join the BCSC as we launch a collaborative research project exploring naughtiness in the Black Country.

Do you remember your school days with fondness or fear? Many people can recall the ways that discipline and behaviour was organised in their school with rules, regulations and consequences.  Lots of people will also have memories about getting into ‘trouble’ and playing pranks at school with their friends and fellow pupils. Who was the naughtiest pupil in your class? Who was the strictest teacher? What happened to you or your friends if you got into trouble?

During this interactive online event, education experts Dr Elizabeth Done (University of Plymouth) and Helen Knowler (University of Wolverhampton) will explore the ways that school behaviour and discipline developed in schools in the Black Country and reflect on the role of schools in supporting children and young people in their school years. They will look at representations of school behaviour in popular culture, as well as reflecting on the development of education policies to promote positive behaviour in schools. We’ll also be joined by colleagues from Black Country Living Museum who will share historic research into experiences of schooling, education and childhood in the Black Country. The session will end by questioning how some 21st century approaches to behaviour might not be as effective as we think…

Please note that this is an online event, hosted on Zoom. The link to join the event will be sent to you 24hrs before it starts.


Dr Elizabeth J Done is a Lecturer in Inclusion in the Plymouth Institute of Education at the University of Plymouth and Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Exeter (G.S.E).  Liz specialises in inclusion, critical theory and teachers’ professional development. She supervises doctoral students researching inclusion-related topics. She is Deputy Programme Lead on the MAEd programme and leads modules related to inclusive education. A key interest is senior leaders’ and educational professionals’ negotiation of conflicting governmental imperatives.

Helen Knowler is a Senior Lecturer in Special Educational Needs, Disability, and Inclusion Studies (SENDIS) at the School of Education, University of Wolverhampton. She researches school exclusion, Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs and the ways that education professionals can work together to prevent permanent exclusion from school.


February 24
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Black Country Studies Centre
01902 322561


Online – Zoom