Dr Ralph Leighton

retired course leader for PGCE Citizenship Education, Canterbury Christ Church University; author (jointly with Laila Nielsen) The Citizen in Teaching & Education (2020)

Ralph taught in high school, grammar school, further and higher education in Kent 1981–2019. A former GCSE chief examiner, he developed and led the pre-service course for Citizenship Education teachers at Canterbury Christ Church University 2002-19. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His most recent book is a comparative study which scrutinises opinions and insights of young people in Sweden and England concerning their perceptions of opportunities and barriers to political participation.

He was a member of the working group which developed the Olympic Values Education Programme for the International Olympic Committee. His published research concerns the realities of school provision of citizenship education and factors which influence it, as well as the potential for social change which the subject presents. His recent work concentrates on the contrast between the formal [what official versions of what happens] and the real [people’s lived daily experiences]. Ralph has spoken at conferences in the UK and in Germany, Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Spain. He is widely published in peer reviewed journals and edited collections.

Recently retired, Ralph continues to research and write, judge Debating Matters, watch non-league football, read detective fiction, and struggle to learn Swedish and Russian – but not simultaneously.