Dr Alison Fox

Dr Alison FoxSenior Lecturer in Education

BSc (Durham); MSc (Aberdeen);
PGCE (Cambridge); MEd (Cambridge); PhD (Open University); Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy

Tel: 0116 2297526

Email: af173@le.ac.uk

Alison Fox is an experienced researcher who, before coming to the University of Leicester, worked on a wide range of projects at both the University of Cambridge and at the Open University including inter-University collaborations, commissioned research, and work funded by a charitable trust. These included the following research projects:

'Beginning teacher development and support' (2006-2011) funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation

‘Schools and Continuing Professional Development in England: the State of the Nation’ (2008) commissioned by the TDA

' National College: Online Evaluation of Impact Study' (2006) commissioned by the National College

‘Learning how to learn in classrooms, schools and networks’ (2001-2005) funded by the ESRC/TLRP

She is currently engaged in research projects with colleagues interested in Teachers' Use (and not use) of Social Media, Research Ethics and supporting local Teaching School Alliances in their research and development.

Alison is convenor of the British Educational Research Association Leadership and Management SIG, working with colleagues within BERA and BELMAS to organise Educational Leadership Research-related events and involved in reviewing the BERA Research Ethics Guidelines. She is also an active member of the Association for Learning Technology.

In 2014 Alison organised and led a schools' debate about the value and challenges of using social media for education at the National Space Centre as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science (November 2014) which led to a schools' charter for social media use. Event website: http://www2.le.ac.uk/colleges/socsci/smile-2014-event.

Alison is currently working on the Knowledge Exchange project 'Promoting Inquiry Informed Practice: bridging the gap between theory and practice for participants of pre-service teacher education in Pakistan' funded by British Council Pakistan, along with colleagues Sue Davis, Saeeda Shah and David Pedder, which is revising a teacher education programme in Islamabad/Rawalpindi (2015-2018). This project is a partnership between the University of Leicester, the Fatima Jinnah Womens University, the Government College for Elementary Teachers, the Islamic International University Islamabad and the Federal Directorate of Education.

Alison consults as a Senior Associate for CFE on the research project 'Evaluation of the National College’s Leadership Curriculum and Licensed Provision' (2013-2016) commissioned by the Department for Education. She is convenor for the department's  'Educational Leadership Learning and Change' and co-convenor of the 'Technology-Enhanced Learning' Special Interest Groups.

Her current research interests concern:

  • Leadership development
  • Professional learning through networking and collaboration, including a recent focus on the role of social media
  • Ethics in educational research
  • Practitioner Enquiry
  • Formative Assessment practices

Alison is the current Director of Studies for the School of Education: responsible for postgraduate teaching and learning other than initial teacher education. She is particularly interested in the development of technology-enhanced learning as part of blended and distance learning provision. In March 2016 she chaired Inside Government's debate on 'Delivering Teaching Excellence across UK Higher Education'.

Alison was originally a Science teacher in Secondary Schools and Further Education for 10 years and taught Science teachers on PGCE courses for six years. She has led in-school INSET about Assessment for Learning including as the Biology specialist at the 4th International Teacher Conference of the University of Cambridge International Examinations in Malaysia (2007). She then moved into HEI teaching specialising in Masters level course provision at the University of Cambridge. At the University of Leicester formerly programme leader on the MA in Education: Learning and Teaching, she is course leader for the 'Professional Enquiry' module and teaches on the 'Developing Leadership in Education' course and leads the collaboratively offered PGCert Effective Middle Leadership with the national Union the Association for School and College Leaders. She is a core member of the MSc in Educational Leadership (distance learning) programme, having led its revision in 2012 and is module leader for the 'Educational Leadership, Learning and Change' module. She supervises and contributes to the teaching of the EdD programme and PhD programme.

Alison is also the University of Leicester representative on the Brooke Weston Teaching School Alliance executive board and research and development committee. She is committed to supporting school-University partnership work and supports school-based inquiry through informal as well as workshop sessions.

Alison is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Workplace Learning and Journal of Research in Social Sciences, and reviewer for a number of international journals (Educational Research Review, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Teaching and Teacher Education, Teacher Development, The Curriculum Journal, Vocations and Learning). She was awarded 'Outstanding Reviewer for Journal of Workplace Learning in the Emerald Literati Network 2016 Awards for Excellence. She is an external examiner for the University of Sussex MEd/MAE programme (2013-2017), the University of Aberdeen (2013-2017) MSc in Leadership in Professional Contexts and the University of Hertfordshire/Herts Cam Network (2015-2019), has acted as external validator for the University of East Anglia/University of Essex and is an external evaluator of doctoral theses for the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad.


Teaching Interests

Alison’s teaching interests include:

  • Practitioner inquiry
  • Teachers' professional learning
  • Teacher collaboration and networking
  • Leadership development
  • Classroom-based assessment
  • Research methodology and methods
  • Research ethics. Please visit and feel free to use the resources on the 'Doing Ethical Research' website.

Alison teaches on the following modules at the School of Education:

Alison also contributes to the EdD programme and PhD programme.

Selected Publications

Fox, A. and Bird, T. (2015) The challenge to professionals of using social media: teachers in England negotiating personal-professional identities, Education and Information Technologies, Available online from 12th October 2015 - DOI 10.1007/s10639-015-9442-0

Fox, A. and Wilson, E. (2015) Networking and the development of professionals: beginning teachers building social capital, Teaching and Teacher Education, 47: 93-107.

Kontopoulou, K and Fox, A. (2015) Designing a consequentially based study into the online support of pre-service teachers in the UK, Educational Research & Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice, 21(2): 122-138.

Owen, N.I, Fox, A. and Bird, T.M. (2015) The development of a small-scale survey instrument of UK teachers to study professional use (and non-use) of and attitudes to social media, International Journal of Research & Method in Education,1-24 (published online 5 May 2015).

McCormick, R., Fox, A., Carmichael, P. and Procter, R. (2010) Researching and Understanding Educational Networks (New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction series), London: Routledge.

Fox, A., Wilson, E. and Deaney, R. (2011) Beginning teachers’ workplace experiences: their perceptions and use of support, Vocations and Learning, 4 (1),1-24 Available from Online First August 2010.

Fox, A., Deaney, R. and Wilson, E. (2010) Examining beginning teachers' perspectives of workplace support, Journal of Workplace Learning, 22 (4), 212-227.

Stutchbury, K. and Fox, A. (2009) Ethics in Educational Research: introducing a methodological tool for effective ethical analysis, Cambridge Journal of Education, 39 (4), 489-504.


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