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Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy, Lancaster University

I am based in the Department of Educational Research where I co-direct the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning. I am also an Associate Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre; member of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, The Centre for Gender and Womens' Studies and the Centre for Ageing Research at Lancaster.

I take a social practice approach to literacy studies and work with concepts from actor network theory, institutional ethnography and linguistic ethnography. I have taken part in UNESCO and European Community initiatives on literacy. I am a founder member of the national network, Research and Practice in Adult Literacy (RaPAL).

I am interested in innovative research methodologies particularly qualitative and participatory models of research, on-line research, practitioner research, media analysis. I have a special interest in Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis and the use of visual images and multi-modal data sources in research.

Funded research projects have included literacy in the workplace (Leverhulme Trust); literacy practices in the local community (funded by the ESRC); Open Learning in Adult Basic Education (Universities Funding Council); Public Images of Literacy in the Press (Nuffield, Leverhulme) as well as a range of policy oriented and evaluation projects funded by UK government sources, local and national. I co-ordinated a DfES/ESF funded network of Practitioner-led Research Projects for the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.


  • –present
    Professor of Adult Learning and Literacy, Lancaster University