I am Senior Lecturer in Inclusive Education and Special Educational Needs and member of the Centre for Inclusive Education and Disability Studies here at Manchester Met.
I teach at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including the SEN option on the BA (Hons) Primary Education, the BA (Hons) Education Studies and the BA(Hons) Inclusive Education and Disability Studies,
I also teach on the MA in Specific Learning Difficulties na the Doctor of Education programme
I have over 30 years' teaching experience in primary and secondary schools in both mainstream and special school settings, together with experience as a specialist dyslexia teacher and as a local authority advisor for Special Educational Needs and Inclusion.
My doctoral research focussed upon the provision and use of reading support in GCSE examinations and my research interests continue to be around the development of inclusive practice in mainstream schools and the impact of staff training in this development.
I have authored several journal articles based upon this research work, as well as presentations at national and international conferences and I reamain active in research and publication in the field.
BA (Hons) English (Wales); PGCE, Primary Education (Leeds); Diploma in Specfic Learning Difficulties (RSA); PG Dip. Specific Learning Difficulties (MMU); PG Dip Specific Learning Difficulties (FE/HE) (MMU): MEd, Special Educational Needs (MMU); PhD (Manchester)
Senior Lecturer in Special and Additional Educational Needs, Glyndwr University, Wrexham 2013-2014
Associate Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester 2003-2013
Senior Advisory Teacher, Tameside Local Authority Education Psychology and Learning Support Team 2002-2013
Inclusion Advisory Teacher, Tameside Learning Support Service 1998-2002
Lecturer in Special Educational Needs (Seconded), Manchester Metropolitan University 1996-1998
Specialist Teacher, Tameside Specific Learning Difficulties Support Service 1991-1996
Assistant Teacher, Sibford School, Banbury Oxfordshire 1986-1991
Assitsant Teacher, Nanhurst Special School, Cranleigh, Surrey 1984-1986
I speak French, Welsh... and some rather rusty Spanish and German (!)
Developing schools' capacities to welcome the diversity of the children in their communities must be one of the central priorities of any society that wants to consider itself as equitable and inclusive.
This presents schools, local authorities and governments with challenges (and opportunities), to move forward their cultures, policies and practices in education to build their capacities to 'do' inclusion.
My teaching aims to challenge the notion that some children need a 'separate pedagogy' and aims, instead, to see that inclusive pedagogy is about teaching with the diversity of learners in mind and seeing the comonalities of approaches that are suitbale for the range of so-called 'special educational needs' (SEN)
In particular, I am keen to demystify the notion of 'special educational needs' , to develop students' understanding of different 'syndromes' in SEN, but also to problematise the notion of these as separate, water-tight 'categories'
I want to develop pre-service and in-service teachers' confidence in meeting this diversity in learning and to develop their orientation as teachers who are members of collborative problem-sloving 'communities of practice'.
I also aim to develop students;' understanding that inclusive education is not just about about addressing diversity in learning, but of engaging with the wider diversity of a school's community and that inclusion is about challenging the barriers that 'disable' certain individuals and groups in society.
BA (Hons) Inclusive Education and Disability Studies
Second Year: Understanding Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Dyslexia
Second Year: Becoming Researchers
Third Year: Dissertation
BA (Hons) Educational Studies
Second Year: What's the Difference: Experiences of Exclusion and Inclusion
MA in Specific Learning Difficulties
First Year: Specific Learning Difficulties: Nature, Assessment and Intervention
Second Year: Management of SpLD
Doctor of Education
Introduction to Critical Realism
Using Theory to inform Research
6 students currently undertaking the Doctor of Education Dissertation
1 PhD Student who is examinig the teachers' support for young children experiencing early difficulties in literacy.
University of Hull: External Examiner for the BA (Hons) Social Inclusion and Special Needs 2013-2018
My research interests are in the field of developing schools' and colleges' capacities for inclusive educational practice and what the 'enabling' and 'blocking' factors might be in this process .
In particular I am interested in how teaching and other staff to develop their confidence in engaging with inclusion. Part of this issue is the way that staff perceive what many consider a rather 'other' world of 'special educational needs' (SEN). I am keen to inversigate what lies at the heart of these views and to explore ways of 'demystifying' and deconstucting the discourses of 'SEN expertise'.
Instead, I am keen to explore whether it is better for teachers, parents and students look beyond SEN labels and their assumed 'categories' and 'syndromes' and to consider the more fluid concept of the 'neurodiversity' of every individual and to see if using this as a guiding concept will transform how teachers approach assessment and support in the mainstream classroom.
'The Dyslexia / Specific Learning Difficulties Support Project' Department for Education-funded training and evaluation project in collaboration with the British Dyslexia Association. March 2016- March 2018.
March 2017 Evaluation Report on the BDA-led 'Teaching for Neurodiversity Training Programme.http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/common/ckeditor/filemanager/userfiles/TtTevaluation2017.pdf
February 2018: Case Studies of Four Dyslexia Friendly Secondary Schools and Colleges http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/common/ckeditor/filemanager/userfiles/4765_BDA_Case_Study_Document.pdf
March 2018: Scoping Review of the Literature on Processes for Change for Inclusive Practice and the Evidence for Success in Enabling Achievement http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/common/ckeditor/filemanager/userfiles/Scoping_Review_of_the_Literature_on_Processes_of_Change_for_Inclusive_Practice_.pdf
DGM. Griffiths, . Hall, L. Hazlam, Y. Wilikin (2001). Assessing the Needs of Bilingual Pupils: Living in Two Languages. David Fulton.
D. Griffiths, K. Kelly (2018). Beyond the broom cupboard: teaching assistants’ reflections upon the wider impact of their specialist dyslexia training. Reflective Practice. 19(3), pp.345-357.
D. Griffiths (2016). Harry Potter and the paradox of the ‘expert’. Support for Learning. 31(3), pp.202-207.
D. Griffiths, R. Dubsky (2012). Evaluating the impact of the new National Award for SENCos: transforming landscapes or gardening in a gale?. British Journal of Special Education. 39(4), pp.164-172.
D. Griffiths, K. Woods (2010). School processes in providing reading support in GCSE examinations. British Journal of Special Education. 37(4), pp.180-189.
D. Griffiths, K. Kelly (2019). Dyslexia/SpLD friendly practice in the secondary school and FE sectors. In: The Dyslexia Handbook 2019. British Dyslexia Association,
D. Griffiths, L. Horobin (2018). Neurodiversity: paradigm shift or 'comfy euphemism'?. In: British Dyslexia Association Dyslexia Friendly Schools Good Practice Guide 2nd Edition. British Dyslexia Association,
M. Hulme, S. Ainsworth, D. Griffiths, K. Wicker (2019). EAS Support for Newly Qualified Teachers. ESRI: Manchester Metropolitan University, Education Achievement Service of South East Wales (EAS).
'Neurodiversity: an idea whose time has come? Keynote address at the British Dyslexia Association Research Conference, London, UK November 9th 2018
'Working memory in the Inclusive Classroom: Issue and responses'. Keynote address given at the One Education SEND Conference. Manchester, UK. March 17th 2017
Teaching For Neurodiversity: Training Teachers To See Beyond Labels. paper presented at the European Conference on Education Research, University of Hamburg, germay, September 4th, 2019.
“He’s suffering from Neurodiversity”: how do teachers understand this term and how does this affect their practice? Paper presented at the 9th Biennial Lancaster Disability Studies Conference, Lancaster University, UK. 12th September 2018.
Teaching for Neurodiversity: training teachers to see beyond labels'Paper presented with Dr Kath Kelly and Liz Horobin at the 11th British Dyslexia Association International Conference, Telford, UK, 12th April 2018
'Teaching for Neurodiversity: training teachers to see beyond labels' Paper presented with Dr Kath Kelly at the Europoean Dyslexia Association Autumn Seminars, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany 7th October 2017
'Beyond the Broom Cupboard': examining the impact dyslexia training for teaching assistants. Paper presented at the 5th All European Dyslexia Conference, University of Maodena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Itlay. 22nd September 2016.
'Beyond the Broomcupboard:' examining the wider impact of dyslexia training for teaching assistants. Paper presented at the 13th British Dyslexia Association International Conference, Oxford, UK. 11th March 2016
Providing Reading Support in GCSE examinations: can we work smarter? Paper presented at the 7th Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress. Queen’s University Belfast,UK. 3rd August 2010.
Evaluating the impact of the new National Award forSENCOs: Transforming landscapes or gardening in a gale? Poster presented at the 8th Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress. University of Lisbon, Portugal. 27th July 2015
'Time to unpack the SEN Shoeboxes? The case for a properly neurodiverse alternative'. Workshop led at the One Education SEND Conference, Manchester, UK. 17th March 2017.
'Beyond the Broom-cupboard:Maximising the Impact of specialist-trained teaching assistants in your school' Workshop led at 6th Special Educational Needs Coordinators' Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. July 1st 2016.
'How Manchester Metropolitan University is Addressing Inclusive Practice' Workshop led at the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee (SASC) 2nd Annual Conference. London, UK. 15th June 2016
‘Developing a dyslexia-friendly classroom’ Workshop led at the 3rd Special Educational Needs Coordinators’ Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University UK. July 12th 2013
‘How research informs practice: maximising the impact of your NASENCO
training’. Workshop led at the 2nd Special Educational Needs Coordinators’ Conference. Manchester Metropolitan University. March 30th 2012
‘Providing access arrangements in examinations: challenges and responses’. Workshop led at the 1st Special Educational Needs Coordinator’s Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University. March 2011
‘Fischer Family Trust Wave 3 Literacy intervention’. Workshop led at the Tameside Wave 3 Literacy and Numeracy Conference.4th April 2006
‘Using Tablet PCs to enhance literacy learning’. Workshop led at the North West Excellence in Cities Conference. City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester 10th February 2005
‘Tameside talking computers project’. Workshop led at the 4th Tameside Inclusion Conference, 21st November 2004
‘Supporting Key Stage 2/3 Transition for children with Special Educational Needs’. 3rd Tameside Inclusion Conference. 13th November 2003
Organisation / Chair
2nd Dyslexia Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University. 9th September 1996
Local Organising Committee 52nd Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Lingusitics, Manchester Metroplitan University, 29th-31st August 2019
I regularly review book proposals for SAGE Publications.
I have peer-reviewed journal article submissions to The University of Wales Journal of Education and Teaching and Teacher Education
I have published book reviews in The British Journal of Special Education and in The NASEN Journal
In March 2016, along with a group of Specific Learning Difficulties charities, led by the British Dyslexia Association, I and colleagues at Manchester Met were successful in winning a Department for Education research contract, worth £750,000, for developing mainstream school and post 16 institution staff expertise in supporting studets with dyslexia through a series of 'Train the Trainer' events throughout England with the aim of trainees cascading this training to their school and college colleagues.
The project aimed to help tens of thousands of school and colllege staff to access dyselxia and specific learning difficulties support training across the country.
I led the team from Manchester Met in the evaluation of the 'Dyslexia Support Project' project, whose duration was March 2016-March 2017.(See 'Academic Collaborations' above)
The project was awarded a second year of funding from March 2017- March 2018 involved the production of two scoping literature reviews as well as research to develop four Case Studies of dyslexia-friendly practice in secondary schools and further education colleges. (see 'Academic Collaborations' above)
Between February and November 2019 I was involved as part of a research team at Manchester Met's Education and Social Research Institute (ESRI) evaluating the Wesh Government's support model for newly qualified teachers in Southeast Wales. The project reprt was released in November 2019 (see Publications , above).
I am currently involved in a second reseach project with ESRI for the Welsh Government-funded Education Achievement Service Wellbeing Project. Running from September 2019 to July 2020, the project is reaserching wellbeing strategies for vulnerable groups developed in schools and other settings in South East Wales. The project team will be producing a series of 24 Case Studies of good practice to be disseminated to the education workforce.
In September 2019 I was involved in consultancy with Blackburn with Darwn Local Authority Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Support Service.
Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA)
Member of the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN).
Executive Commitee of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)