Research Interests

Joan’s research interests include gender and leadership, and teachers' lives and careers.  She is also engaged in pedagogical research focussed on developing postgraduate students' critical writing skills and methodological understanding. She has a particular interest in narrative research and feminist perspectives on Education.

Current Research Projects

Developing doctoral students' critical writing skills through peer assessment

This project, which is funded by HEA Social Sciences (Teaching Research Methods) and the University of Leicester College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, focuses on effective pedagogies to enable doctoral students to develop critical writing skills through their engagement in peer assessment and review.  Students volunteered to take part in an intensive critical writing weekend when they were engaged in peer assessment activity.  The weekend culminated in students forming an editorial board and creating their own online journal 'The Bridge', written for and by EdD students.  We are currently engaged in a third phase of data collection and analysis, in order to ascertain the long-term impact of the project on students' learning. 


Reflecting on an era of reform: older teachers' insights on school sector restructuring and teachers' work

This project is funded by the University of Leicester College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  Using career life history interviews, we are investigating older (50+) teachers' perceptions of the impact on their work of the last 20-30 years of policy change in the schools sector.

Topics available for doctoral supervision include:

Joan welcomes doctoral students in the following areas:

  • Women teachers
  • Teachers' and headteachers’ careers
  • Gender and leadership
  • Women’s and girls’ experiences of school


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