Associate Professor Robert Lawy
Honorary Associate Professor
Research group links
My research interests are centred upon questions concerning the learning of young people in formal and informal contexts, inside and outside of school and college and include questions about the democratic learning and citizenship of young people. I utilise predominantly qualitative and interpretative approaches in my research. Particular interests relate to questions of identity and the relations between different identities, also to questions of change and transformation and the impact that this has on knowing, understanding and practice. I am keen to pursue research and develop projects and initiatives that recognise the formal and informal dimensions of learning and identity ie., that are focused in the further education and young people in work and leisure and other contexts.
Together with Professor Gert Biesta (University of Stirling) I co-directed a project 'Citizenship learning in everyday life: the experiences of young people' . This was initially funded through the School of Education and Lifelong Learning with additional funding secured from the British Academy. A second strand of this work included a project funded by the Arts Council where we were able to work with gallery educators to look at gallery contexts as a site for democratic learning. A book including the full report has been published.
I have also completed (December 2007) a project concerning young people in 'Jobs without training' (JWT) which I directed with Professor Jocey Quinn (Plymouth University) . This was funded by the European Social Fund, the Learning and Skills Council and Connexions. Our aim was to understand the issues and problems of young people in JWT in the SW region and working with our partners provide a policy solution that will increase participation rates in formal training and education. The following report is now available:
Quinn, J. Lawy, R and Diment K. (2008) Young People in Jobs without Training in South West England: Not Just 'Dead-end Kids in Dead-end Jobs' Exeter, South West Learning Intelligence Module (SLIM).
In the autumn term of 2007 I bid sucessfully with Dr Michael Tedder (University of Exeter) for funding from the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETT) to undertake two linked projects concerned with Mentoring and Individual Learning Plans. The report (105 pages) together with a summary of the main findings (10 pages) is now completed .
In a follow up to this (also funded by the CETT), I used an action-based approach to develop an on-line mentoring and support programme for teacher educators. The research was completed in December 2009.
I am the co-ordinator of Living with Difference Reading Group.
I am a member of the Centre for Research in Higher Education
- 2009 Centre for Excellence in Teaching
The research builds on research conducted with Dr Michael Tedder with the aim of developing and researching an on-line mentor support programme.
- 2007 Centre for Excellence in Teaching
Disseminate models of good practice in mentor training
- 2007 Centre for Excellence in Teaching
Disseminating model Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)
- 2006 The British Academy
Citizenship learning in everyday life: the experiences of young people
Publications by category
Publications by year
External Engagement and Impact
Advice to Government, Parliament, devolved and English regional administrations, other national, international, regional or local agencies; advice to non-government organisations and to private practice
- College Governor (co-opted) Richard Huish 6th Form College Taunton Somerset. 2004-2007.
- Invited presentation to 14/19 Steering Group (Somerset and Devon)
Evidence of impact on policy and professional practice
- UCET Post-16 Committee member.
- Invited reviewer ESRC TLRP bids.
- Article reviewer Journal of Youth Studies: Teaching and Teacher Education. Research Papers in Education. Journal of Vocational Education and Training
- Board member Centre for Excellence in Teacher Education (CETT)
- Board Member Learning South West
External doctoral examining nationally and internationally
- External Examiner PGCE (PCE) Oxford Brookes University 2004-2007.
- External Examiner Institute of Education PGCE (PCE) 2006-2009
- External Examiner University of Sunderland (MA Pedagogy) 2009-
- External Reviewer University of Surrey (externally validated BA programme)
Keynote addresses or prestigious public lectures given in international forums
- Staff seminar presentation at the Centre for Labour Market Studies. University of Leicester 21st November 2003. 'Creeping knowledgeability': Identity and learning in work and non-work contexts.
- Invited paper presentation: The art of democracy: democratic learning in gallery education. On your doorstep: Using local galleries as a resource. Dartington January 21 2008.
- Invited workshop Cardiff February 29. (2008) Rathbone/Nuffield review. Engaging Youth Enquiry – Workshop 2: ‘Learning and Work Opportunities.’
- Invited staff/student presentation Young people in Jobs Without Training' University of Southampton. July 7 2008
- Invited presentation ILPs and Mentoring. Dillington November 4 2008
- Keynote presentation 'Mentoring in Further Education' Higher Education Academy Wolverrhampton March 6th 2013
Research-based contributions to practitioner and academic conferences
- ‘Drifting, desperate or just diverse? Researching young people in jobs without training’. Paper presented at the Centre for Education in Lifelong Learning (CRLL). The times they are a-changin’: researching transitions in lifelong learning. University of Sterling, June 22-24 2007.
- ‘Citizenship learning and democracy in the lives of young people’. Paper presented at the Adult Education Research Conference (AERC). Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax Nova Scotia. June 7-9 2007.
- ‘Citizenship learning in everyday life: Understanding the opportunities for democratic learning in the lives of young people’. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference. University of Warwick September 6-9m 2006.
- ‘Who needs research? The myth of meeting needs revisited’. Paper presented at the Standing Conference on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults (SCUTREA) Inter-Cultural Perspectives on Research into Adult Learning: A global dialogue Leeds July 4-6 2006.
- ‘Young people learning democracy: a UK perspective’. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Montreal Canada, April, 11-15 2005 (Education Policy and Politics, Division L).
Supervision / Group
- Rachel Wheeler