Benjamin Johnson


Dr Ben Johnson is a lecturer in Education at Newman University. He has over eight years’ experience of teaching and leadership in Primary schools setting across the UK. He completed his PhD in 2020 conducting a narrative inquiry into teachers’ perceptions on creating communities of practice that disrupt heteronormativity in primary schools. His research interests include, critical pedagogy, developing equality, inclusivity and diversity provision in schools, social justice and issues of teacher agency and empowerment.


Research Interests

Ben’s research interests including answering the questions what does a socially just education system look like? How can teachers develop and support more inclusive and democratic learning environments? And how can the disruption of heteronormativity be sustained in schools?


Ben’s areas of expertise include Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, Social Justice and Critical Pedagogy.

Conferences and Other Research Activity

  • Johnson, B. (2023) Supporting the inclusion of Trans Children and Young People in Education: An Appreciative Inquiry Workshop. BERA Annual Conference. Aston University Birmingham
  • Johnson, B., Dixon, S.,and Edgar, A. (2023) Co-constructing critical change: An interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the lived experience of Education Studies Students in a Neoliberal World. BESA Annual Conference. University of Derby.
  • Johnson, B. (2022) Rawls’ theory of the Veil of Ignorance and its implications for the role of lecturer. Teaching and Learning Conference. Newman University.  
  •  Johnson, B. (2022) Sustaining LGBTQ+ inclusive communities of practice. BERA conference. University of Liverpool.  
  • Johnson, B. (2022) Once we start talking, then we can make progress: A Critical Pedagogy approach for engaging Education Students in ‘difficult’ Social Justice Conversations. Pedagogies of Discomfort Conference. University of the West of England.
  • Johnson, B. (2021) Teacher Perspectives on Creating and Sustaining LGBTQ+ Inclusive Communities of Practice. Newman staff research Conference. Newman University.
  • Johnson, B. (2019) Towards a Post-heteronormative habitus: Exploring LGBT+ inclusivity in UK Primary Schools. Gender and Education Conference. University of Plymouth.
  • Johnson, B. (2019) How Bourdieu’s conceptual tools can help disrupt heteronormativity Post-graduate research Conference. University of Birmingham

Peer Reviewed Publications:

  • Johnson, B., Dixon, S., Edgar, A. (2024) The Transformative Potential of Critical Pedagogy for Education Studies students in interrogating Neoliberalism. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies. 21(3)
  • Johnson, B. (2023) Exploring the impact of Panoptic Heteronormativity on UK Primary School Teachers advocating for LGBTQ+ Inclusive Education. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice.
  • Johnson, B. (2022) Creating and sustaining LGBTQ+ inclusive communities of practice in UK primary schools: an interpretative phenomenological analysis, Journal of LGBT Youth, DOI: 10.1080/19361653.2022.2032529
  • Johnson, B., and Mughal, R. (2024) Towards a Critical Pedagogy of Trans-inclusive Education in UK Secondary Schools. International Journal of Inclusive Education.