I research educational policy and practice, particularly in technical, professional and vocational education (including at higher education levels): and how these shape and are shaped by contemporary employment relationships and practices. I'm interested in the work and identity of educators in the workplace, or preparing young people directly for work; in policies that direct this activity, for example in further and higher education; and in the way that this activity is also framed by social inequalities and the employment relationship.
I also seek to help others who want to research, for example by supporting and supervising doctoral theses in the areas of further, higher and vocational education, either in the UK or internationally; and I work to build the research capacity of the Institute of Education and its partner organisations.
I have taught on the University's successful PGCE and currently support students pursuing a specialist postgraduate Diploma option
The interface between the Further Education & Skills (or 'technical and professional education') sector and employment.
Skills policies and the institutions that contribute to their successes and limitations in different countries
Educator roles in and in preparation for employment, including notions of 'dual professionalism' and the practices of workplace learning.
College-based higher education: the role of vocational institutions in higher education systems: teaching practices and teacher identities in differentiated institutions.
Membership of professional bodies
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2014-
Association for Research into Post Compulsory Education
British Educational Research Association
Doctor of Education, University of Sheffield
Postgraduate Certificate in Online Education and Training, Institute of Education, University College London
Masters in Business Administration, Sheffield Hallam University
British Educational Research Association Conference, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, September 2017.
Journal of Vocational Education and Training Eleventh International Conference, Worcester College, Oxford, July 7th-9th, 2017.
International Pathways Collaborative: Higher vocational education, pathways and social inequality: implications for research and policy, Worcester College, Oxford, July 6th, 2017.
British Sociological Association Sociology of Education Study Group Conference, ‘Grit’, Governmentality & the Erasure of Inequality? The Curious Rise of Character Education Policy. King's College, London, 11th July 2016.
Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education Second International Research Conference, Harris Manchester College, Oxford, July 8-10th, 2016.
Journal of Vocational Education and Training Eleventh International Conference, Worcester College, Oxford, July 4th, 2015.
Research in Post-Compulsory Education Inaugural International Research Conference, Harris Manchester College, Oxford, July 11th, 2014.
Experience in industry
Before joining the University, I taught in the Further Education sector for twelve years, including teaching on the University's teacher training programmes in a partner college. Prior to this, I worked in various industrial roles, including construction supply and vehicle manufacture.
Additional interests and activities
Higher Education (Springer)
Journal of Vocational Education and Training
Papers & Publications
2017: ‘They get a qualification at the end of it, I think’: incidental workplace learning and technical education in England. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, published 20th October. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2017.1393000.
2017: More Morphostasis than Morphogenesis: The 'Dual Professionalism' of English Further Education tutors (with H. Wood). Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 69 (2): 229-245. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2017.1309568
2015: Part-time Higher Education in English Colleges: Adult identities in diminishing spaces. Studies in the Education of Adults, 47 (1), 23-34.
2015: Research methods teaching in vocational environments: developing critical engagement with knowledge? (with C. Gray, R. Turner, C. Sutton, C. Petersen, S. Stevens, J. Swain, C. Schofield & D. Thackeray) Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 67 (3): 279-293. DOI:10.1080/13636820.2015.1050443
2012: ‘I don’t make out how important it is or anything’: Identity and identity formation by part-time higher education students in an English further education college. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 64 (3), 351-364. DOI:10.1080/13636820.2012.691537
2014 Higher Vocational Education: Unequal or Different? London, Association of Colleges.
Selected peer-reviewed conference papers:
'Anticipating moral order in the vocational workshop,' British Sociological Association Sociology of Education Study Group Conference, ‘Grit’, Governmentality & the Erasure of Inequality? The Curious Rise of Character Education Policy. King's College, London, 11th July 2016.
'Cross-sectoral teacher education in England: a study of vocational workshop tutors,' Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education Second International Research Conference, Harris Manchester College, Oxford, July 8-10th, 2016.
'Skills and higher education: teaching, knowledge and innovation.’ Research in Post-Compulsory Education Inaugural International Research Conference, Harris Manchester College, Oxford, July 11th, 2014
‘Vocational institutions and practices in the higher education field.’ Journal of Vocational Education and Training Tenth International Conference, Worcester College, Oxford, July 5th, 2013.
‘Statements of identity: narratives of transition through further/higher education,’ Learning and Skills Research Network Conference, London, December 11th, 2009 (Winner of award for best paper at conference).