University of Hertfordshire

Dr Bushra Connors

Bushra Connors

Dr Bushra Connors

Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom


Bushra Sharar, is the pen -name of Bushra Connors, who joined the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire as a senior lecturer in September 2005. She has worked as an external examiner on the masters in professional learning at Canterbury Christchurch University. She has also examined two Doctorates at the University of Glasgow and two at the University of Bedfordshire. She is currently supervising a number of doctoral students and has supervised five successful doctorates to date.

Bushra earned her PhD at the institute of Education in 2015, her MA in Education at the Open University in 2005, her Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Didsbury College Manchester in 1979 and her BSc in Physics at Manchester University in 1976. Prior to her appointment at the University of Hertfordshire she worked at the Open University and before that as a physics teacher in Manchester, East London and Milton Keynes.

Born in Pakistan, daughter of parents from Aligarh in Utter Pradesh, India, Bushra grew up in Sudan and completed her studies in England. She brings her experiences of learning and culture across three continents to her main research interest which is pedagogy in all the forms it can take. From a realist and emancipatory philosophical perspective, her current work takes a critical realist position. She has conducted case study research into the pre-school experiences within families in England; teachers’ perspectives on bilingualism in secondary school; the use of Augusto Boal’s drama techniques and the use of narrative techniques in the development of novice science teachers.

Bushra completed a book on Emergent Pedagogy in Higher Education in England with Routledge in 2016. This involves a consideration of structure/agency interactions in the lives of University lecturers in England as they struggle to develop pedagogical approaches that develop their students’ learning against the backdrop of current drives to marketization and performativity regimes in the higher education sector.

Currently Bushra is involved with research into pedagogical issues arising in the use of computational methods in teaching undergraduate Physics. This involves an application of Critical Realist principles in the analysis of the various processes and mechanism involved in students' development of various concepts as they study space dynamics. All aspects of pedagogy and learning underpinned by a critical realist philosophical approach interest Bushra

In 2019 Bushra was shortlisted for the Vice Chancellor's award for Colleague of the year and also for team player of the year.

Doctoral Supervision:

Previous Doctoral Students:

Dr Mala Arunasalem: Malaysian Nurses Motivation To Study on Transnational Higher Education Programmes.

Dr Mary Simpson :Exploring accounting students’ interaction with their assessment feedback in a UK post-92 university.

Dr David Turner: Surfing the turbulence: Fluctuations in self-perceptions of expertise in the long term developmental journeys of expert-like sports coaches.

Dr Jean Brennan: Student Stories about Mathematics: A tool to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Dr Fahd Kahlaoui: Influences of time of day on teaching and learning of adolescents in secondary school.

Current Doctoral Students:

Tor Ryning Torp: The impact of EU Directive 2005/36 EU/EEA, the Bologna Process and the European Qualifications framework, and the interaction between them on the Norwegian Nurse Education.

John Donaghy: The student experience of university paramedic education/training-from classroom learning to situational understanding.

Claire Warren: A study of the impact of the Primary Science Quality Mark on teacher and science subject leader identity and agency.

Wen Qin: Exploring Communication in English as a Foreign Language Teaching in China—Cross-cultural Comparison.

Yalli Gao: Infusion of Critical Thinking into Pedagogy to Improve the Students’ Intercultural Competence.

Yu Wenhua: Perceptions of Blended Learning in a Chinese Higher Education Context.

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