Ayo Mansaray is a Senior Lecturer in the Cass School of Education and Communities. Prior to joining UEL, Ayo worked at Brunel University as a Lecturer (2013-2014) and the Institute for Policy Studies in Education (IPSE) at London Metropolitan University (2008-2013) as a Senior Research Fellow. Ayo is a sociologist of education, with research interests in educational policy, processes and identities and inequalities of race, class and gender, particularly as they are realised in urban contexts.
A key aspect of Ayo’s work is the exploration of how urban social change inflects educational identities and processes. Ayo’s work is informed by Bourdieusian concepts and concerns (including feminist developments and appropriations) with forms of social structuring. A further theoretical influence is the micro-sociological approach as represented by Erving Goffman, Frederick Erickson and others, and their emphasis on social interaction as a locus of agency and processes of mutual influence.
Ayo’s PhD thesis ‘The roles and positions of teaching assistants in two urban primary schools: An ethnographic study of educational work and urban social change’ won the Institute of Education Director’s Thesis Prize in 2013. He was the recipient of a prestigious Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2013 which has enabled him to develop a comparative and international dimension to his research on teaching assistants by visiting the USA and Finland. During spring and summer 2013, Ayo was a visiting scholar at The Paraprofessional Resource and Research Center, at the University of Colorado Denver; the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont; and the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Turku.
Ayo’s recent paper in Sociological Research Online, co-authored with Sumi Hollingworth of London South Bank University, entitled ‘Conviviality under the Cosmopolitan Canopy? Social mixing and friendships in an urban secondary school’ won the SAGE Prize for Innovation and/or Excellence 2013.