More by Pat Thomson
It is clear that many doctoral candidates find research writing complicated and difficult, but the advice they receive often glosses over the complexities of writing and/or locates the problem in the writer. Kamler and Thomson provide a highly effective framework for scholarly work that is located in personal, institutional and cultural contexts.
The pedagogical approach developed in the book is based on the notion of writing as a social practice. This approach allows supervisors to think of doctoral writers as novices who need to learn new ways with words as they enter the discursive practices of scholarly communities. This involves learning sophisticated writing practices with specific sets of conventions and textual characteristics. The authors offer supervisors practical advice on helping with commonly encountered writing tasks such as the proposal, the journal abstract, the literature review and constructing the dissertation argument.
The first edition of this book has helped many academics and thousands of research students produce better written material. Now fully updated the second edition includes:
Examples from a broader range of academic disciplines
A new chapter on writing from the thesis for peer reviewed journals
More advice on reading and note taking, performance and conferences,
Further information on developing a personal academic writing style, and
Advice on the use of social media (blogs, tweets and wikis) to create trans-disciplinary and trans-national networks and conversations.
Their discussion of the complexities of forming a scholarly identity is illustrated throughout by stories and writings of actual doctoral students.
In conclusion, they present a persuasive and proven argument that universities must move away from simply auditing supervision to supporting the development of scholarly research communities. Any supervisor keen to help their students develop as academics will find the ideas and practical solutions presented in this book fascinating and insightful reading.
The book comprehensively assists anyone concerned about getting published; whether they are early in their career or moving from a practice base into higher education, or more experienced but still feeling in need of further information. Avoiding a ‘tips and tricks’ approach, which tends to oversimplify what is at stake in getting published, the authors emphasise the production, nurture and sustainability of scholarship through writing – a focus on both the scholar and the text or what they call text work/identity work. The chapters are ordered to develop a systematic approach to the process, including such topics as:
What’s the contribution?
Refining the argument
Engaging with reviewers and editors
Writing for Peer Reviewed Journalsuses a wide range of multi-disciplinary examples from the writing workshops the authors have run in universities around the world: including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. This international approach coupled with theoretically grounded strategies to guide the authoring process ensure that people at all stages of their career are addressed.
This lively book uses a combination of personal stories, student texts, published journal abstracts and excerpts from interviews with journal editors and publishers. Written in an accessible style, one which does not use the patronising ‘you’ of advice books, it offers a collegial approach to a task which is difficult for most scholars, regardless of their years of experience.
Because new digital technologies have made it easier and cheaper to work with visual media, Pat Thomson brings together an international body of leading researchers who use a range of media to produce research data and communicate findings. Situating their discussions of visual research approaches within the context of actual research projects in communities and schools, and discussing a range of media from drawings, painting, collage and montages to film, video, photographs and new media, the book offers practical pointers for conducting research. These includewhy visual research is used how to involve children and young people as co–researchers complexities in analysis of images and the ethics of working visually institutional difficulties that can arise when working with a ‘visual voice’ how to manage resources in research projects
Doing Visual Research with Children and Young People will be an ideal guide for researchers both at undergraduate and postgraduate level across disciplines, including education, youth and social work, health and nursing, criminology and community studies. It will also act as an up-to-date resource on this rapidly changing approach for practitioners working in the field.
Pat Thomson is Professor of Education and Director of Research in the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK. She is a former school principal of disadvantaged schools in Australia.
The book addresses the problems that most doctoral researchers experience at some time during their candidature – being unclear about their contribution, feeling lost in the literature, feeling like an imposter, not knowing how to write with authority, wanting to edit rather than revise. Each chapter addresses a problem, suggests an alternative framing, and then offers strategies designed to address the real issue.
Detox Your Writingis intended to be a companionable work book – something doctoral researchers can use throughout their doctorate to ask questions about taken-for-granted ways of writing and reading, and to develop new and effective approaches.
The authors’ distinctive approach to doctoral writing mobilises the rich traditions of linguistic scholarship, as well as the literatures on scholarly identity formation. Building on years of expertise they place their emphasis both on tools and techniques as well as the discursive practices of becoming a scholar.
The authors provide a wide repertoire of strategies that doctoral researchers can select from, rather than a linear lock step progression through a set of exercises. The book is a toolkit but a far from prescriptive one. It shows that there are many routes to developing a personal academic voice and identity and a well-crafted text. With points for reflection alongside examples from a broad range of disciplines, the book offers thinking tools, writing tools, linguistic tools, and reading tools which are relevant to all stages of doctoral research.
This practical text can be used in all university doctoral training and composition and writing courses. However, it is not a dry how-to-do–it manual that ignores debates or focuses solely on the mechanical at the expense of the lived experience of doctoral research. It provides a practical, theorised, real-world, guide to postgraduate writing.
Place-Based Methods for Researching Schools shows how multiple methods can be used together to research schools, rather than dealing with decontextualised methods, one by one. Taking a novel theoretical approach to the school as a 'place', the book offers grounded illustrations of schools as places from real case study and ethnographic research conducted in both Australia and the UK. A practical guide, this book explores the on-the-ground questions researchers are likely to face in the order they are likely to face them. The chapters not only look at data generation approaches, but also address analysis of the data and writing about the school, topics that are often ignored. Methods explored for use include those drawn from urban planning and geography to explore neighbourhoods, visual surveys, mapping, classroom observation, ethnographic observation, interviews, focus groups, sociograms and linguistic corpora.
Including research tips from the authors, case studies, a glossary and annotated further reading list, this book is essential reading for students and scholars approaching their research project.
When the arts are taken seriously, schools become different - and better - places. Using research evidence to promote greater awareness of the capacity of the arts to promote educational change, this text captures four key themes that run through all of the chapters:
• Inspiration - sharing experiences and the way they happened, documenting inspiring pedagogy by understanding the reason it was done, the factors and the people involved in making it work.
• School change - the need for schools to better prepare young people for the lives they will live in the twenty-first century; to engage young people more effectively and so educate them better, and the recognition that in an unequal society schools can contribute to making things fairer.
• Creative arts - demonstrates, through international research, how the arts can facilitate whole school learning, meet core agendas, such as attainment, inclusion and promote lifelong learning.
• Transforming education - marshals the arguments and evidence for a form of education in, through and with the arts that moves beyond individual projects to become central to teaching, learning and school reform.
Tackling the hot topics of parent and pupil engagement, standards and accountability in a fresh way, Inspiring School Change offers those engaged in the research and practice of improving teaching and learning with insight into the educational value and possibilities of arts-based teaching and an arts-rich curriculum
'A gripping insight into the local struggles facing disadvantaged schools and a compelling account of the injustice of their place in the bigger picture.' - Professor Geoff Whitty, Director, Institute of Education, University of London
Schools in disadvantaged areas are struggling in the current economic and political environment. Like schools everywhere they are being asked to do more with less, but they face more obstacles.
In recent years education policy has shifted from a holistic approach to learning to a focus on narrow educational outcomes: spelling, reading and writing. Thomson shows that this approach penalises disadvantaged schools and argues that educational and social disadvantage are inextricably linked in children's everyday lives.
Examining primary and secondary schools in disadvantaged areas in a post-industrial ('rustbelt') city, Schooling the Rustbelt Kids reopens the debate about inequality in schooling. It provides concrete evidence that typical government policies in the Western world are not working, and that they are helping to create a permanent underclass. Thomson outlines an alternative whole of government approach to policy, which builds on those school programs that do make a real difference to educational outcomes.
Thomson also emphasises the influence of local geography. Schools are coloured by particular neighbourhoods, permeated by national and global events, and tangled in complex networks of social relations. Interventions which work in one school may not work in others.
Though frequently used in educational research, Bourdieu’s work has had much less take up in Educational Leadership, Management and Administration. Educational Leadership and Pierre Bourdieu argues that ELMA scholars have much to gain by engaging more thoroughly with his work. The book explains each of the key terms in Bourdieu’s thinking tool kit, showing how the tripartite concepts of field, habitus and capitals offer a way through which to understand the interaction of structure and agency, and the limits on the freedom of an individual – in this case an educational leader – to act.
Educational Leadership and Pierre Bourdieuoffers an analysis of dominant trends in ELMA research, examining the kinds of questions asked, projects undertaken and methods used. It provides alternative questions and methods based on a Bourdieusian approach, further readings and a range of exemplars of the application of these tools. The book will be of interest to those whose primary focus is the utility of Bourdieu’s social theory.
Key features of the book:
draws on a wide range of material, ranging from published research, interviews and media clippings to popular films and children’s novels
makes extensive use of headteachers’ words and stories
based in the author’s own experiences of headship, tackling issues that leadership books often ignore.
The book will be of interest to headteachers, headteachers’ professional associations, teachers and those who study teaching. It will be useful to policy makers, those responsible for the education of potential heads and for headteacher professional development.