research

A range of research papers, mainly by Teresa.

The Impact of Family Learning Interventions on schools and communities

This research, published in December 2010, was commissioned by Brighton and Hove Family Learning and details qualitative research into the impact of Family Learning on adults and for the production of good practice case studies that built upon the ongoing tracking work for the Family Learning Impact Funding (FLIF) programme, managed nationally through NIACE.

The purpose of the research was to consider the contribution of Family Learning programmes to:
• Continued involvement by participants in their children’s learning;
• Production of softer outcomes for participants, in particular the building of increased confidence;
• Participation in wider learning and training opportunities;
• Participation in volunteering;
• The building of greater community cohesion through the development of stronger social and cultural capital.
This research project also considered the above elements in the context of two case studies to demonstrate good practice in developing Family Learning/ School collaboration

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Family Learning in communities[FINAL V] copy

Scattered Lives: mediated landscapes of the Self.

This paper, co-authored by Teresa Cairns and  Denis Doran, was presented at Landscapes of the Self, Evora, Portugal, in November 2010; it draws upon a number of personal  narratives from Catch22 clients involved in the UK criminal justice system, to explore mediated landscapes of identity and self.

Scattered Lives is a documentary about the work of Catch 22, an organisation in the UK that works with people on the margins of the Criminal Justice System. This work explores the shifting identities of individuals who define themselves in part through the language of the Criminal Justice System, and the tensions that revolve around the professional relationships that Catch 22 has with its client base. This work has come out of our backgrounds in a Documentary Photography practice that is auto/biographically informed, and by an Oral & Life History approach to Narrative and Identity.

The individuals we interviewed articulate their experiences within their own notions of borders and boundaries, both real and imagined, that they negotiate in their daily lives. The conflicts, emotions and experiences that inform their attitudes towards those boundaries and borders, both emotional and physical, are often spoken about in the language of the Criminal Justice System. As Eakin (1999) argues, the sense of self that we sustain draws upon, “models of identity provided by the cultures we inhabit,” that can be life enhancing or not. This individual sense of identity is embedded within concrete social experiences, (Vigotsky in Burkitt, 1991) and is reflected in the discursive construction of their narratives through movement between the life worlds of client, agency, and criminal justice system.

Scattered Lives

Spaces of learning: the challenges of policy frameworks for the personal and professional identities of adult educators in England; thoughts from a field in transition.

This is the keynote address I gave to the Women in Lifelong Learning Group of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL) at their conference in 2009.

In my presentation I interrogated some of the implications of the Skills for Life strategy in the Learning and Skills Sector in England for Literacy, Language and Numeracy (LLN) practitioners’ professional identities, and the achievement of a required professional profile. I drew upon the subjective experiences of practitioners as tutors, managers and trainers through their working life histories, to explore the creation and maintenance of personal and professional identities within policy discourses that problematised the skills and knowledge base of the workforce and radically altered workplace practices. I also offered some thoughts regarding the issue of gender in the context of both continuing professional development and the impact of policy shifts on women’s position in a sector experiencing ’[e]ndless change’ (Edward et al, 2007).

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Past traces, present memories: exploring life history accounts from the Mass-Observation Archive.

This research paper was presented at the Women’s History Network conference, Glasgow, September 2008. It draws upon my Doctoral research, in which I interrogated the education life histories of correspondents to the Contemporary Project of the Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex Library. The paper explores the complexities of working class family responses to education during the interwar period in England, and considers the impact of the Second World War on their education and occupational trajectories.

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Widening participation and progression issues: lessons from a learning partnership in the southeast

In this article, written in 2007 for a LSC publication by NIACE, I draw upon my experience of adult and community education in Brighton and Hove, and the lessons from across a range of projects, about how people participate in learning, what they judge to be progression and the lessons providers  (and governments) should draw from their reflections. The key points I  made in 2007 are still relevant now, as institutional memories fade.

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Out on the Margins: sexual orientation, discrimination and social exclusion

This  research, published in October 2005, sought to develop some of the themes explored in ‘In or Out?’ December 2004, and focused on making contact with LGBT organisations in other parts of the UK,  to share the findings from our research and engage in dialogue. We looked at previous research carried out in both Scotland and Wales amongst the LGBT communities that extended our reading of the background literature on aspects of LGBT community history and activity. We also conducted deskbased research about the broader policy agenda, exploring material suggested by our earlier work. We returned to some of our original informants to review the situation within the LGBT community in Sussex, consider the findings of our original Sussex-based case study within a wider social policy context and to draw out some key messages for funders and policy makers.

This research was co-produced with Anne Bellis.

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In or out? Sexual orientation and the employability agenda; a SEQUAL Research Report

This research report, published in December 2004, focused on labour market discrimination linked to sexual orientation, and presents a comparative case study of Brighton and Hastings – two seaside resorts on the south coast of England. They are both areas of significant disadvantage in relation to Sussex, the South East and nationally. The research findings have mainly come from interviews with members of the LGBT communities in both areas, and with representatives from local voluntary and statutory organisations. These findings highlighted significant differences between the two localities, and in the profiles of their LGBT communities.

I worked as part of a collaborative research team, with Anne Bellis and Susan McGrath, to produce this report.

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Citizenship and Regeneration: Participation or Incorporation?

In this chapter, published in 2003, I explore the experiences of local community activists involved in regeneration initiatives in a large seaside town on the sout coast of the UK, and indicate their complex, fractured and sometimes contradictory nature. Their experiences are also set against changing definitions of community and of citizenship and refracted through government regeneration narratives. Activists’ voices frame the concepts of participatory spaces, community representation processes and activists’ identity as I explore community participation in regeneration forums.

published in 2003 as Ch.7,’Citizenship and Regeneration; Participation or Incorporation?’, in P.Coare & R Johnston, Adult Learning, citizenship & community voices, NIACE; Leicester.

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Tales from the margins: Learning beyond teaching

This paper, co-authored with Juliet Merrifield, was presented at the SCUTREA conference, University of East London, 2001.

It draws upon the work of the Learning from Experience Trust (LET) into informal learning and LET’s Informal Learning Search Conference in 2000. The paper argues for the value of ‘learning architecture’ or ‘enabling infrastructures’ to support and nurture learning and argues the case for more inclusive and embedded learning through life.

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Informal Learning

The Learning from Experience Trust (LET), in partnership with NIACE, received funding support from the Lifelong Learning Foundation to explore informal learning.  A search conference was convened to bring together researchers, practitioners and policy people involved with informal learning in different domains (work, community, family and independent learning). The goal was to take stock of what was known about informal learning, its policy implications, and what needed to be done. This research report (July 2000) summarised the key debates in the literature at the time & documented how the participants explored those issues & others over the period of the Search conference.

LET-Final Report -Informal Learning-Oct 2000 copy