Laura Birkinshaw

I graduated from the University of Hull with a First in BA (Hons) History in 2017.  Then I pursued my passion for teaching and History and completed a PGCE Secondary (11-16), specialising in History.  Since then I have gained versatile experiences teaching ages of 11-19.  I am currently completing a Master’s in History at the University of Hull.

I believe strongly in the importance of raising awareness of the histories and cultures of disempowered, or previously voiceless, groups to both academic and public audiences, particularly within educational or heritage settings.  As a Research Support Intern I am using both my research and teaching experience to plan and facilitate a Penpal exchange between schools in Bristol and Bath, and Indigenous schools in Canada and the US.

I hope by taking part in this project I will be able to raise awareness of the research done by the Treatied Spaces research cluster and foster and contribute to cultural exchange and understanding between educational settings worldwide. 

I have also researched how Indigenous History is, and has been, presented in the UK History curriculum, with a particular focus on past exam questions.  This research will form part of a campaign by the Treatied Spaces Research Group to change UK Exam Boards’ Indigenous practice and improve historical accuracy in the teaching of the History of Indigenous Peoples.

Due to my own personal heritage, being a third-generation Hong-Kong Chinese immigrant, I am particularly interested in furthering understanding of post-war migration from Hong and the New Territories to Britain, and the experiences of the British-Chinese.  Whilst the British-Chinese have been one of the most long-standing ethnic minorities in the UK, I feel that awareness of both their histories and contribution to British society has been understudied.  I hope ultimately to generate greater knowledge of the British-Chinese community and raise their public profile by pursuing a PhD in this area.