I have recently finished my doctorate at the University of Manchester and have been appointed as a Research Assistant at MMU. I am working on the evaluation of School Direct with Prof Tony Brown and Kim Smith. Broadly, we are interested in how the delivery of teacher education is changing both at MMU and nationally, as well as how these changes are affecting student teachers’ experiences and the nature of teacher knowledge.
Before studying for my doctorate, I was a youth worker and secondary school teacher. My PhD was concerned with the relationship between schools and communities and the role of schools in tackling deprivation. I carried out a case study of a community-oriented school, Weston Academy, which was sponsored by a large social housing provider who wanted to provide a more joined-up approach to regeneration and community development. I also used longitudinal case studies of ten families, to track the impact of the school’s efforts on their lives.
I am mainly a qualitative researcher who enjoys being out in the field, using ethnographic and creative approaches to collect data. I have a broad range of research interests that cover areas such as the policy process, the relationship between deprived urban areas and poor educational outcomes, place, space and neighbourhoods, inter-agency working and vulnerable families, community education and student voice.
ChildLine is another important passion of mine and I have been a counsellor there for the past four years. This has led to the development of some broader research interests outside of education that particularly vulnerable young people face. When I am not working, I like exploring new places, going to gigs and being on my bike.
Thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome in my first few weeks and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Welcome Harriet – you beat me to it – I normally try to write a short welcome note on the blog for new appointments – we’re really pleased to have you here and good luck with what is a very interesting and important project.
Thank you Harry, it is great to be here. It was thanks to the efficiency of James Duggan that the blog post was written so quickly!