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Mrs Christine Bower

Profile summary

Professional biography

Prior to working within academia, Christine has experience across a range of educational settings including early years, primary school, secondary school, special school and youth work contexts. Along with this experience, Christine has also worked within the political sector in Northern Ireland as both a local councillor and a policy and research manager.

In 2017, Christine was awarded a scholarship from the Department of the Economy in Northern Ireland to complete a PhD through Queen's University Belfast. Whilst completing her PhD, she was also employed as a Research Assistant on two large, funded research projects. The first project was funded by the Education Endownment Foundation and was an evaluation of the effectiveness of a Reciprocal Reading Programme as a whole class teaching method and as an intervention for children with poor comprehension skills. The second project was funded by a NGO in Belgium and required Christine and a colleague to explore how inclusive education was in educational centres for disabled students in Palestine. As a result of this research, Christine and her colleague went on to design, develop and deliver training for teachers and educational professionals in Palestine.

Christine's doctoral research focuses on friendships for young people with a learning disability and/or autism. She has taken a participatory action research approach and has co-produced this research with a small group of young people from Mencap NI. 

Christine joined the Open University in 2021 as a Lecturer.

Research interests

Christine's research interests are in inclusive education, philosophy of education, epistemic injustice, social justice, autism, disabilities, children and young people and participatory research methods. 

Teaching interests

Christine's teaching interests include education in general, inclusive education, social justice, disability, children and young people, participatory research, epistemic injustice, critical theory, autism and disabilities. 

Christine is Module Team Chair for EE814 'Addressing inequality and difference in education' and is currently chairing the rewrite of this module. She has written and chaired two microcredentials for the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport (ECYS) focused on educational leadership, and inclusion and special educational needs. 

Impact and engagement

Christine is a peer reviewer for two international journals focused on inclusion and research. 


‘Um, I was getting bullied at school because I didn’t believe in god’: one family’s experience of autism, school and home education (2021)
Bower, Christine
International Journal of Inclusive Education, 25(8) (pp. 914-927)

Barriers to Effective, Equitable and Quality Education: A Rights-based, Participatory Research Assessment of Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Palestine (2020-12)
MacKenzie, Alison; Bower, Christine and Owaineh, Mohammed
The International Journal of Children’s Rights, 28(4) (pp. 805-832)

Gratitude versus children's rights: An exploration mothers’ attitudes towards disability and inclusive education in Palestine (2020)
MacKenzie, Alison; Bower, Christine and Owaineh, Mohammed
International Journal of Educational Research Open, 1, Article 100001