Why we are members of CARE Why we are members of CARE

Anna Robinson-Pant (CARE Director)
An advert for a lectureship in CARE initially drew my attention – at a time when I was not particularly considering an academic career due to my fear of being tucked away in an ivory tower and my identity becoming defined by a specific discipline. CARE seemed to offer the opportunity to develop my interest in participatory methodology, to embrace interdisciplinary research and to pursue ways of ensuring that research was relevant and ‘spoke' to people outside academia too. Coming to CARE has been an enriching experience in terms of having this space to explore new theoretical and methodological ideas, with people who share similar values and a real commitment to inclusive research and teaching practices. Through interrogating and developing ideas that I first engaged with as a researcher/educator in Nepal, I have enjoyed being able to collaborate and learn from CARE colleagues about educational contexts here. This work has included participatory research with children in Norfolk schools (see ‘Empowering Children' and ‘Children Decide' projects with Sue Cox) and intercultural research with international students in UK Higher Education (see UEA Teaching Fellowship projects with Anna Magyar and Nalini Boodhoo). A constant source of learning and stimulation has been the experience of working within such a diverse community of researchers – particularly doctoral students coming from so many different cultures (institutional as well as geographical) and studying an incredible range of topics that might loosely be called ‘education'. a.robinson-pant@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 592857

I am a member of CARE because I have often had very helpful advice from various members of the CARE community about methodology issues, and problems arising out of research involving teachers and pupils.  My links with CARE have also broadened my understanding of the breadth and range of research approaches which are possible. My connections with CARE have also strengthened my belief in the usefulness and validity of (well thought out and well constructed) small scale practitioner research, and my doubts and reservations about the integrity of some larger scale research enterprises. T.Haydn@uea.ac.uk   +44 (0)1603 59 3150  
 
I was appointed to a lectureship in CARE in 2000 and it has played a central part of my growth in academia. I have found it both a supportive and challenging place to dwell in because of the diversity of approaches/perspectives it manages to hold under its umbrella. Its commitment to democratic values and critical scholarship and innovative methodology has been a constant over the years but I mostly appreciate it as an intellectual space which values critique of its own espoused ethos and principles - 'a critique of what one cannot not want', as Spivak would put it! This means I can aim for a participatory approach to research relationships while at the same time remaining alert to the dangers/risks from the rhetoric and practice of participation. CARE has been a space where such persistent critique is a way of life, and I value the productive unease of this position both for my work as well as that I have carried out with other CARE colleagues. I also appreciate CARE as a space where methodological discussions don't just centre around 'methods' or 'best fit' tools/instruments/design, but go to the heart of the politics and ethics of producing knowledge. e.priya@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 592858
 
I was invited to join CARE when I started as a Lecturer in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning back in 2007. The Centre was entering  in a transition phase and seemed to be open to  a large range of methodologies and areas of interest,  with a strong focus on engagement and change.  I am researching higher education communities and academic identities  and I have found through workshops and conferences organised by CARE, opportunities to explore and discuss some dimensions of HE (international student experience, ethics policies, etc.) that have influenced my own research agenda. In 2010, I co-organised  in UEA (with CARE colleagues and others) the biannual conference of the British Association of International and Comparative Education on the theme "Education and Social Justice in Challenging Times". The ways in which papers, workshops and  keynotes from all continents engaged with the theme reflected well  the image I have of CARE as inclusive forum and innovative research catalyst.
y.lebeau@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 592754
 

CARE's early interest in the links between teacher development and curriculum change influence my research. I have a longstanding interest in poetry in language and literature curricula, and used Conversation Analysis in my doctoral study considering pupils' responses to oral poetry. Through my role as a teacher-educator I have also developed an interest in teachers' knowledge, especially how beginning teachers match their ‘content' knowledge with curricular detail and pedagogy. CARE's work suggests to me a commitment to the close and strong influence of research on teaching practices and processes, and thus an ethos worth sustaining. John.Gordon@uea.ac.uk   +44 (0)1603 59 3921 

As a founding member of CARE my identity was clear. It has not changed much over the years although it may sound somewhat redundant, given the forces that have shaped CARE increasingly in the last decade and a half. I came to CARE as a curriculum developer and researcher. The focus in the Centre was on doing research to bring about curriculum and pedagogical change in the service of educational values. Many of CARE's early projects focused on understanding the problems of effecting educationally worthwhile curriculum change at different levels of the system, from classrooms and schools to local and central government decision-making. Some engaged educational practitioners as active participants in the research process. Others were designed to engage policy makers and stake-holders in a dialogue about the problems of change in the context of particular programmes. The first kind of ‘applied research' was broadly cast as action research and the second kind as ‘democratic evaluation' in contrast to ‘autocratic' and ‘bureaucratic' evaluation. The considerable number of funded projects established in CARE from 1970 to 2000 embraced one and sometimes both of these strands. I tended to become associated with the first although my experience as an applied researcher in CARE embraced both in almost equal amounts. Although each was regarded in academic circles as methodologically innovative, these approaches were largely disciplined in the early years by CARE's educational change agenda and the funded projects that expressed it. Research methodology was not abstracted from concrete attempts to innovate and bring about change. This was the context in which case study and qualitative research evolved in CARE. It did not imply a negative attitude towards quantitative research and experimental trials. Some CARE projects embraced both, such as The Humanities Project  and Teaching about Race Relations. It was only during the 90's that ‘methodology' in CARE began to get ‘dissociated' from the discipline of bringing about change in particular educational settings and became an end in itself. Applied research became somewhat  pathologised as ‘qualitative/ethnographic' research. I did not easily adapt to the new post-modern research identity that began to take shape, although there have always been a few CARE members who remained unreconstructed.  But then I have managed to maintain something of my old CARE identity through a variety of research networks, nationally and internationally, that have been touched by CARE. john.elliott@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 592859
 
Geoff Hinchliffe's interest in educational research started with teaching in adult education in the 1990's (before which he had been a systems analyst). Drawing on a background in philosophy, his principle research currently explores the role of authority and liberty in educational provision. Geoff also draws on capability theory in order to develop research interests in student employability.  A comparatively recent member, Geoff already finds CARE a supportive environment in which to test ideas and stimulate intellectual curiosity. Although much of his publications are ideas and theory-driven, he strongly believes that  educational research has to be grounded as well and CARE helps to make this possible.
 
Nalini Boodhoo
For a number of years I worked as a foreign languages secondary school teacher and middle manager. Somewhat disenchanted by the then permeating new managerialism and the commodification of education in schools, I left to pursue a doctorate at the University of Sussex. It is there that I first learnt about some of the research carried out in CARE. My supervisor (Prof Harry Torrance) had himself been a doctoral student in CARE and had recommended reading ‘The Ethics of Educational Research' edited by Robert Burges – several chapters focusing on research which had been carried out in CARE.  Shortly after completing my doctorate I applied to UEA for a post as a Modern Foreign Languages teacher educator - a longshot as my doctoral research had been in school improvement and school effectiveness in Guyana! However, I was offered the post and since joining UEA  have found CARE (and more generally the School of Education and Lifelong Learning) generates an environment which supports scholarship as it brings together a diverse set of colleagues who contribute to my ongoing intellectual development. 
 

Teresa Belton 
I have been a member of CARE since 1993 when I came here as a post-graduate student and took the five-week Introduction to Research Methods course that CARE organised at that time, when all School of Education and Lifelong Learning research students embarked on their courses in the autumn.  Since completion of my part-time PhD in 1998 I have worked on a succession of research projects in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning and have always valued the possibility of collaborating with CARE colleagues to generate and try out new ideas for research and other related activities. t.belton@uea.ac.uk   

Susan Cox
CARE is a place where values that can seem under threat remain integral to its culture and practices. In the current educational and political climate, it can seem increasingly difficult to sustain the sorts of commitment that are embodied by CARE and the people in it: open-mindedness; democratic values and social justice, diversity and inclusivity; collaboration; criticality; creativity and innovation, for instance. CARE provides a forum and community that has helped to keep these alive for me both personally and professionally. My research and teaching has mainly been related to children, their learning and their primary education, schools and both initial and continuing teacher education. I am interested in how children and teachers might find creative ways of interpreting, challenging and re-constructing practices – which seems as necessary today as in the early days of CARE. I find the ethos of CARE supportive of the theoretical, methodological and pedagogical connections I try to make between my research (including the participatory research with children and teachers in Norfolk primary schools: ‘Empowering Children' and ‘Children Decide' projects with Anna Robinson-Pant and my Creative Partnership work with schools), my writing and my work with teachers. s.p.cox@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 593157
 
Nick completed his doctoral thesis in 2010 in which he adopted an ethnographic methodology to examine evolving community sentiments for participants on a residential fieldtrip. Previously a quantitative Geographer, his involvement with members of CARE led him to become involved in qualitative educational research, from which he has delivered conference papers and published journal articles that advocate the merits of sensory ethnography. Through his teaching on the BA Education, he encourages students to deliver and reflect upon a breadth of approaches to outdoor pedagogy.
 
Penny Lamb
As a new member to CARE I am looking forward to broadening my knowledge and understanding of methodological approaches to qualitative research, within a mutually supportive and collaborative environment. My interests lie in applied research in Education (mainly but not exclusively within Physical Education) and centres on pupil voice, exploring pedagogy in relation to minority groups, such as Gifted & Talented pupils, disengaged and disaffected pupils and pupils with Special Educational Needs. Through my role as a teacher-educator I have also developed an interest in teacher identity, especially how trainee teachers develop their abilities to reflect on their own and others' professional practice. In order to pursue my interests I have worked with other CARE members (Terry Haydn, Kathleen Lane, Esther Priyadharshini and Craig Avieson). Current projects include working with Esther and Amy Godoy-Pressland on Gender and pedagogy in competitive cheerleading; working with John Elliott exploring self-assessment and peer feedback through Lesson Study to engage trainee teachers in their learning; and Craig Avieson, exploring Physical Education as a tool to foster a passion for Modern Foreign Languages. I am about to embark on a project with a local secondary school, exploring the use of Social Media to enhance teaching and learning.
Penny.Lamb@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 59 3151
 
Kathleen Lane
I am a member of CARE because I have felt that it has been a stimulating place to pursue a variety of research in a setting which welcomes methodological challenges and embraces the pursuit of new and/or unconventional research interests.  The work of my CARE colleagues is hugely stimulating; it continues to inform and enrich my own work. kathleen.lane@uea.ac.uk +44 (0)1603 592860
 
 
I started in CARE as a PhD student in the 1990s. It was an exciting and stimulating place to be in those years. I attended the excellent and unique five week introduction to educational research devised by CARE staff. I then had the privilege of participating in an evaluation project with Barry Macdonald and a European action research project with John Elliot- an enabling and inspirational apprenticeship. It felt to me like CARE was on the cutting edge, an intellectual space which encouraged innovation and debate in every aspect of the research process. During that time, I discovered a passionate interest in research methodology, its connection to action and change in an educational context and its relationship with values and ideology. In these more stringent times, being a member of CARE is a reminder that educational inquiry can have practical outcomes and challenge dominant ideologies. It is also still a place where it is okay to be passionate about research! A.Magyar@uea.ac.uk  
 
Nigel Norris
I first joined the Centre as a research student in October 1976 to do a PhD in evaluation under the supervision of Barry MacDonald.  At the time MacDonald was directing two major projects.  The first was SAFARI (Success and Failure and Recent Innovation). It was an investigation of the fate of four curriculum projects and the related methodological issues of researching innovation through evaluative case studies.  The second was one of the first programme evaluations ever funded in the UK: the educational evaluation of the National Development Programme in Computer Assisted Learning (NDPCAL).  The evaluation was known as UNCAL - Understanding Computer Assisted Learning.  I was fortunate to get involved in both projects and to subsequently work closely with the founding members of CARE and many of the researchers and academic visitors who came to work with them. In 1979 I was appointed as a Senior Research Associate to work on an evaluation of a curriculum research and development project that was funded by the British Library Research and Development Department.  I was appointed to a Lectureship in the Centre in 1984 specialising in programme and policy evaluation. Since then I have been involved in a variety of national and international evaluation projects most notably: a Fundamental Review of Police Probationer Training in England and Wales (1984 – 1986); the evaluation of the Interactive Video in Schools Project (1987 – 88); the evaluation of the ESRC's Information Technology in Education Research Programme (1990 – 94); an investigation of the politics and ethics of programme evaluation and social policy research (1991 – 1993); an evaluation of police recruit training in New South Wales, Australia (1990 – 91); an evaluation of the reform of the Finnish comprehensive school curriculum (1995 -96); an evaluation of School Breakfast Clubs (1999 – 2001) and an evaluation of Children's Trust Pathfinders (2004 – 06).  An important theme running through many of these evaluations has been understanding the nature, potential and limitations of innovation as a form of social action. My current research interests are focused on the history of educational research, the history theory and practice of educational evaluation, and the history of the curriculum reform movement.n.norris@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 592620
 
I have been associated with CARE since 1987 when I spent a sabbatical in CARE to work on my D.Phil., because I was attracted to its unique philosophy in the UK academic context at that time. The members of CARE were cutting a fresh new path in relation to the development of alternative educational research methods. I was struggling at the time with developing my own distinct educational research methods for my D.Phil. and attempting to construct more teacher centred practice-based investigation, which was emerging from my psychology background. Action research seemed then to fulfil what was necessary for teachers to understand their practices and to make essential, yet supported changes within it. My career in the Universities of Ulster and Birmingham allowed me to introduce new research methods into study for higher degrees, which has subsequently led to substantiated and enhanced professional practice in many educational settings. Although the CARE philosophy is often interpreted as creating new qualitative methods, however, quantitative methods are legitimately combined in CARE research to achieve more beneficial and effective results. My identity framed within this innovative and creative environment has created a growing diaspora of educators and professionals willing to strengthen and advance the research foundations initially laid by Stenhouse from 1970 onwards, and magnified into the 21st century by CARE staff. c.o-hanlon@uea.ac.uk   +44 (0)1603 592628
 
When I moved into Norfolk in 2003, I was invited by John Schostak, the then Director of CARE, to become an honorary member of the Centre. I was glad to do so since my own work has involved participatory training for learning programmes in international (adult and non-formal) educational contexts; this includes a research dimension (action research; participatory ethnography) into informal learning. The Centre has been a great focus which has enhanced my own work substantially and provided a forum of like-minded but critical friends with interests which bridge both international and UK-based education contexts. 
 
I am a member of CARE because I believe in engaged and transformative social research and praxis. In my thus far career I have benefited enormously from my participation in and active engagement with academic and non-academic communities in the UK and internationally. CARE is well-placed to sustain this engagement and support me in fostering new connections. As a member of CARE I am interested in working with others in developing research capacity, exploring new ideas and theories, researching challenging issues and disseminating the findings of and benefits from applied social and educational research as widely as possible.  I have conducted research in different countries and contexts. While at the University of Ioannina, Greece, I took part in a research project on school integration of Roma pupils. As a member of the Centre for Social Justice and Change (former Centre for Institutional Studies, UEL) I conducted programme evaluations on Youth Inclusion Programmes and extensive research with young people. As a postgraduate student at Bristol University, I undertook research on the education of immigrants. During my long time at the Institute of Education, London, I received extensive training on social and educational research (MRes), completed a PhD on the role of educational qualifications in people's social mobility (recently converted into a monograph) and taught a course on 'Minorities and education'. Through research fellowships, e.g. in the Center for Contemporary Immigration Studies, University of California, San Diego, USA, or as a Marie Curie Fellow in Romania and Hungary, I had the chance to develop further my research interests, take part in international conferences, meetings and research colloquia and expand on my theoretical and methodological interests. Currently, I am researching and publishing on social mobility and education, Roma education in Europe and the student movement. S.Themelis@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 59 1733
 
I have had two lives in CARE. Rob 1 was in the early 1970s when I worked on various evaluation and action research projects. Rob 2 dates from 2000 when I was appointed by UEA to develop what is now the MA in Higher Education Practice. I have worked on research projects for the NSF and the Ford Foundation in the US and been a distance educator in Australia. Now retired, I continue to teach the ICT module in the MAHEP and I retain an active research interest in visual methods for research. In other parts of my life I work as a conservation volunteer for the Broads Authority and follow an interest in rock art (Palaeolithic rather than heavy metal). https://www.uea.ac.uk/education/people/profile/rob-walker
 
My long-term research focus is on spiritual development and religious education in schools - with a special interest in secular and Humanist voice - although I'm increasingly interested in interdisciplinary education for professionals who address spirituality in their professional roles. I've also worked in other research fields including art education - through several projects with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts – and, in collaboration with CARE colleagues, research with children and young people on the global dimension of citizenship education, and the aspirations of children from migrant families. Many of these projects have been concerned with investigating and including children and young people's participation and voice. I am a member of CARE because of my interest in adventurous and experimental research methodology involving people, and especially research with children and young people.  I welcome the support and expertise CARE offers, particularly in relation to participatory and democratic research methodology and its values and methods.  When I first arrived at UEA as a post-graduate student in 1996 I was lucky enough to enrol in the CARE Methods Course, and its guiding principles carried through into my research about spirituality in people's lives, in my collaborative approach to research with colleagues and children and young people at the SCVA, and in participatory research with children and young people undertaken with Anna Robinson-Pant, Sue Cox and Patrick Yarker, and with Esther Priyadharshini. CARE methodology has also informed by approach to teaching research methods and methodology on post-graduate programmes, and in giving advice to post-graduate and under-graduate students in conducting their own research projects. jacqueline.watson@uea.ac.uk  +44 (0)1603 592924
 
I am a member of CARE because Anna welcomed me into membership and so conferred an identity and perhaps confirmed one, and because everyone else continues to make me welcome.  Lawrence Stenhouse understood teaching to be an art, and teacher-judgement to be central to that art.   So the education-researcher must attempt to reach and engage with those beliefs and values which form the basis for the decisions—the judgements—teachers make all the time in their work, and thereby enable on the part of the teacher enhanced understanding of teaching as indeed an art and not a craft, science, skill or technology. Stenhouse writes (in Research as a Basis for Teaching): 'The assertion is that the improvement of teaching rests upon the development of the art of the teacher and not through the teacher's adoption of uniform procedures selected from competing alternatives'.  As the political tide continues to run strongly counter to the tradition within which CARE was founded and against the perspective its originators outlined and pursued, all the more reason (if one believes in it) for trying to keep that perspective alive.