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About Dr Chandrika Devarakonda, SFHEA

I am an Associate Professor  in the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services. I am also the disability link tutor for the faculty, link tutor for the partner colleges.    

Before arriving at the University of Chester, I worked in an FE college as a main grade lecturer in Child Studies during for 10 years. I was responsible for developing short courses and teaching on mainstream courses in the college and in the wider community.

I obtained my PhD degree from the University of Manchester. My research explored perceptions of parents and teachers about appropriate educational provision for children with Down’s syndrome.

I have taught on a wide range of programmes at undergraduate and post - graduate level. The modules focussed on wide range of issues such as inclusion and diversity, international perspectives of early childhood, leadership and management, changing face of childhood. Work based learning, parent partnerships. I have collaborated with colleagues from University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida and Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania in USA to organise placements for their international experience in early childhood module. I have been invited to give key note speeches by several organisations such Equaliteach, Belfast Childcare partnership, Laicester Early years in the UK and universities in USA, Spain, Netherlands and India. I have been invited to give talks at Autonomous University of Barcelona, Millersville University, HU institute of Applied Sciences, keynote speeches at Amity University, Pondicherry University in India, Constanz University, Germany, Pearson.

I have supervised dissertations of EdD students successfully. I have supervised dissertations on a wide range of topics I have supervised a Commonwealth Scholar Dr Krishna Duhan.   

External examiner

I was the external examiner for the school of education in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University.2016-2020)

Currently I am the external examiner at the University of Worcester for FdA Inclusive Education (TLI) and FdA Learning and Education (TLI) awards run collaboratively with the Learning Insitutte from September 2020 to December 2024.

I have examined doctoral thesis in various universities in as well as other countries outside the United Kingdom.

I am a reviewer for different journals such as Power and Education, Disability, CBR and inclusive development, Critical Studies in Education, American Education Rresearch Association, UNESCO reports.

Lead Faculty Research interest group (RIG) Lead for Early Years, Children and families group 

Co - Chair for Chairs - Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE)  Research & Development Communities (RDCs) including Social Justice, Equity and Diversity

Memeber of UCET Equality group committee

Editorial board member - The Norland Educare Research Journal.




  • ED4806 Understanding constructions of childhood 
  • ED 5705 Every Child Special
  • ED 5709 International experiences of early childhood
  • ED 5802 International approaches to early childhood
  • ED 6708 International perspectives of early childhood
  • ED5805 Inclusive practice in early childhood
  • ED6802 Early childhood in a global context 
  • ED6806 Early childhood research


  • PR 8008 Cultural practices 
  • PR8009 -Thesis



Doctoral supervision:

I have supervised three EdD students successfully:

Dr. Elaine McCarthy, Premature Labour: A New Mother's Return to Teaching (2016)

Dr.Sharon Smith ‘Discourses of incapacity and emancipation: an autoethnographic study of CPD courses delivered by Western educators in a Ugandan context’.

Dr. Debbie Scott - The impact of work based learning:  a creative exploration of learners’ experience

I am currently supervising 5 EdD  students 

Julie Mashall - 'An exploration of the role of amateur craft making in shaping identity'

Dominic Gallaghar - 'Youth Clubs , being , identity' 

Gayle Brewer - 'Invisible but Exposed: The Lived Experience of Disabled Academics in Neoliberal Universities'

Heather Marshall - Vegan Children in UK Schools: How do they challenge the hidden curriculum omnivore norm?'

Rachel Black - 'How practitioners/teachers who are on the Autistic Spectrum experience their role in practice and/or adults with ADHD'

I am supervising PhD students 

Chiedza Ikpeh - 'BAME  children and attainment' 

Cesar rozmus  'Integration of foreign language acquisition using  artistic education in primary schools'. 

I welcome enquiries for research at doctoral level in any of my research areas listed above or from students wishing to explore other areas within:

  • Issues related to diversity and inclusion
  • early childhood perspectives
  • Children’s rights
  • International perspectives of childhood
  • Marginalised children
  • I have also received grants from British Academy, UKIERI and University of Chester research grants



Phase 2 of the GCRF funding (2021) ‘Pilot Implementation of a Child Psychosocial Framework in Southern India - Phase 2
Qualitative investigation to Build Children’s Resilience in South India during the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond’

Co- investigator in collaboration with Prof Steve Jones from Chester Medical School and Dr Murali Krishna (FRAME - Mysore India

Research projects:

Pilot Implementation of a Child Psychosocial Framework in Southern India (2020) 

Principal investigator in collaboration with Prof Steve Jones from Chester Medical School and Dr Murali Krishna (FRAME - Mysore India

THis project is funded by Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). This study is a scoping exercise that aims to capture the views and experiences of children from marginalised communities and stakeholders in Mysore located in South India. These children live in areas of extreme disadvantage and restricted access to education and health services available in the community due to stigma and deep-rooted negative attitudes.

  • Exploring Inclusion and Diversity within Undergraduate Teacher training programmes 

This project has been funded by University of Chester research grants (2018-19). This research will obtain data from Associate teachers (ATs) on their final year on the BA Early Years - Primary Education (3-7) with QTS - Teacher Education BA (Hons) and some teacher educators at University of Chester directly engaged with this cohort of students as well as programme leaders, year leaders, and other staff who provide enriching experiences related to diversity from other teacher training programmes. Proposed research aims to explore the confidence of Associate Teachers in their final year to teach pupils from diverse contexts

  • Perceptions of Associate teachers and NQT’s about inclusion in England (2014)

The research examined how perceptions of associate teachers might differ in relation to their knowledge and understanding around the concept of inclusion at different stages of the Initial training courses. This research will also explore how associate teachers will translate their perceptions of inclusion when they are with children from diverse backgrounds in their placements and the influence of policy at different levels.

  • Cross cultural construction of childhood among students and staff from India and England (2012).

A wide variety of childhood exists across the world but the interpretation of this concept may differ from one country to another from the perspective of how children are different and expectations placed on them would change depending on their culture and society in which they live. The knowledge and understanding of childhood in another country is mainly influenced by the exposure they had from media (newspapers, television) or books or films or through first hand experiences of travelling etc. These influences will determine the perceptions of individuals about childhood in different countries. In order to investigate the perceptions of childhood in different countries, a survey exploring the construction of childhood and children has been distributed electronically. A questionnaire with open questions has been used to obtain the perceptions on children in England and India from students and staff engaged in studying and teaching in the Faculty of Education. Some of the conclusions from this research indicated that children are children irrespective of political, social and economic boundaries, culture influences perception of childhood and that children need to be nurtured and stimulated for their holistic development. Some of the issues impacting children are globalization, stereotypes, impact of media, Expectations of adults, stress of education and restricted opportunities to play.

International collaboration:

Student exchange collaboration with University of North Florida. First batch of five students visited Chester for two weeks in June 2017. They had opportunities to visit settings to experience provision for children at foundation stage, Key stages 1 and 2. They also had opportunities to listen to some experts within the faculty about key issues around the educational provision for children in England. They have experienced discussing and presenting their ideas comparing and contrasting provision in USA (especially Florida) and England. It is hoped that level 5 students will be reciprocating Florida students’ visit

There are also ongoing collaborations with academics from Millersville University, Pennsylvania, USA, Kagawa University Japan and Federation University Australia.


Published Work


Devarakonda.C. (2020)  Promoting Inclusion and Diversity in Early Years Settings -A Professional Guide to Ethnicity, Religion, Culture and Language, London,, United Kingdom :Jessica Kingsley

Devarakonda, C. (2013). Diversity and inclusion in early childhood: An introduction. London: SAGE.

Book Chapters

Devarakonda (forthcoming) Contexts of culture influencing SEND and inclusion. In Key issues in SEND and inclusion: International Perspectives across six continents

Devarakonda.C. and Powlay.L. (2016) Inclusion and Diversity in Wyse, D., & Rogers, S. (2016). A guide to early years and primary teaching. London, United Kingdom: SAGE

Journal articles

Tan.R., Devarakonda.C. & Antje Rothe ((Forthcoming)  How is inclusion defined on the early childhood level in China, England, and Germany: a systematic review of the literature from 2000 to 2020

C. Devarakonda, S. McGrath, D. Chaudhary (Forthcoming) C. Devarakonda, S. McGrath, D. Chaudhary

C. Devarakonda, S. McGrath, D. Chaudhary (2019) Exploring inclusion and diversity within undergraduate teacher training programmes in England, Edulearn19 Proceedings, pp. 1947-1956. Available at:

Duhan.K. and Devarakonda.C. (2018) Teacher Trainees’ Perceptions of Inclusion of and its Challenges, Disability, CBR and inclusive development,  Vol. 29, No.1, 2018; doi 10.5463/DCID.v29i1.649

Duhan.K. and Devarakonda.C. (2016) Comparative perspective of Inclusion: India and England, International Journal of Applied Home Science, Volume 3 (11&12), November & December (2016) : 470-479

Hodkinson, A. & Deverakonda, C. (2011).For pity’s sake: comparative conceptions of inclusion in England and India, International Review of Qualitative Research, 4 (2) : 255-260

Hodkinson, A. and Devarakonda, C. (2011) Conceptions of Inclusion and Inclusive Education: a Critical Examination of the Perspectives and Practices of Teachers in England. Educational futures, [online] Vol. 3(1). Available at:

Devarakonda.C(2010) Practitioners’ perceptions on the delivery of services provided to children and their families in a disadvantaged area in an Indian context, Early Childhood Practice : The Journal for Multiple-Professional Partnerships, Vol 11, Nos 1&2, 80-92

Hodkinson and Devarakonda (2009) Conceptions of Inclusion and Inclusive Education: a Critical Examination of the Perspectives and Practices of Teachers in India.’ Research in Education, No. 82, pp85-99, doi: 10.7227/RIE.82.7

Book Chapters

Devarakonda.C. and Powlay.L. (2016) Inclusion and Diversity in Wyse, D., & Rogers, S. (2016). A guide to early years and primary teaching. London, United Kingdom: SAGE

Devarakonda, C. (2013). Diversity and inclusion in early childhood: An introduction. London: SAGE.

Devarakonda,C. (2013) India - Who are the early years educators and with whom do they work? In Georgeson.J and Paylor.J (eds) International Perspectives of Early childhood education and care, Maidenhead, United Kingdom: Open University Press

Devarakonda.C. (2009) Global Dimension in Foundation Stage in Pickford.A (Ed): Get Global- A practical guide to integrating global dimension in the primary curriculum, Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books.

I have also presented papers in several national and international conferences on a wide range of topics.


Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) 

PhD (University of Manchester, UK)


Msc and MPhil (Sri Venkateswara University, India)