Jane O'Mahony


The decision by the electorate of the United Kingdom (UK) in June 2016 marked the first time in its history that a member state of the European Union (EU) voted to leave. For the EU, its story is no longer primarily one of cooperation and integration but also of disintegration. For the UK, implementing Brexit has thrown its economic, geopolitical and territorial models into question in an unprecedented way. From the moment of the referendum result it was clear it was no longer going to be business as usual for scholars and teachers of the EU in the UK.  Drawing on an action research approach, this article explores how the referendum result affected what and how this educator teaches the EU at a time of uncertainty and change for the UK. This is best encapsulated in the idea of responsiveness. This included responding to students’ desires to broaden and deepen what they study as they try to make sense of myriad complex and continuously changing political events in an age of the internet and social media, as well as navigating new social dynamics that have emerged in the classroom at a time when the politics of identity is increasingly salient.


Article Keywords

EU, Brexit, Responsive teaching, Action research, Identity, Politicisation, Social media

Teaching, Learning and the Profession
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