Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Understanding Upper Secondary School Choices in Urban Contexts
Editor: Aina Tarabini

Transitions to upper secondary education are crucial to understanding social inequalities. In most European countries, it is at this moment when students are separated into different tracks and faced with a ‘real choice’ in relation to their educational trajectory.

Based on a qualitative driven approach with multiple research techniques, including documentary analysis, questionnaires and over 100 interviews with policy makers, teachers and young people in Barcelona and Madrid, this book offers a holistic account of upper secondary educational transitions in urban contexts. Contributors explore the political, institutional and subjective dimensions of these transitions and the multiple mechanisms of inequality that traverse them.

Providing vital insights for policy and practice that are internationally relevant, this book will guarantee greater equity and social justice for young people regarding their educational trajectories and opportunities.

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The Poetics of Letting Go

This book invites the reader to think about collaborative research differently. Using the concepts of ‘letting go’ (the recognition that research is always in a state of becoming) and ‘poetics’ (using an approach that might interrupt and remake the conventions of research), it envisions collaborative research as a space where relationships are forged with the use of arts-based and multimodal ways of seeing, inquiring, and representing ideas.

The book’s chapters are interwoven with ‘Interludes’ which provide alternative forms to think with and another vantage point from which to regard phenomena, pose a question, and seek insights or openings for further inquiry, rather than answers. Altogether, the book celebrates collaboration in complex, exploratory, literary and artistic ways within university and community research.

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A Multi-agency Approach

Schools play a vital role in safeguarding children and young people, yet there has been little research into how schools identify and respond to child protection concerns, and their engagement with local authority children’s services.

This book highlights the findings of a major ESRC-funded study on the child protection role played by schools, their decision-making processes and involvement in inter-agency working. Crucial reading for academics, practitioners and managers in children’s social care and education, it evaluates the impact of recent policy developments, including the Academies and Free Schools programme, as well as the restructuring of local authority children’s services.

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Pedagogies of Hope and Social Justice
Authors: Rob Smith and Vicky Duckworth

Based on the Transforming Lives research project, this book explores the transformative power of further education.

Outlining a timely and critical approach to educational research and practice, the book draws extensively on the testimonies of students and teachers to construct a model of transformative teaching and learning. The book critiques reductive ‘skills’ policies in further education and illuminates the impact colleges and Lifelong Learning have on social justice both for individuals, their families and communities.

For trainee teachers, teachers, leaders, researchers and policymakers alike, this is a persuasive argument for transformative approaches to teaching and learning which highlights the often unmeasured and under-appreciated strong holistic social benefits of further education.

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Shifting Boundaries Globally and Locally

Increasingly it is not just the state that determines the content, delivery and governance of education. The influence of external actors has been growing, but the boundaries between internal and external have become blurred and their partnerships have become more complex.

This book considers how schooling systems are being influenced by the rise of external actors, including private companies, NGOs, parent organisations, philanthropies and international assessment frameworks.

It explores how the public, private and third sectors are becoming increasingly intertwined. Introducing new theoretical frameworks, it examines diverse sites – including Cambodia, Israel, Poland, Chile, Australia, Brazil and the US – to study the role of policies, institutions and contextual factors shaping the changing relationships between those seeking to influence schooling.

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An Action Guide for Change
Editor: Arun Verma

How is your institution enabling Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and students to thrive? Is your institution effectively tackling racism?

Following the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement, the higher education sector has started making bold commitments to dismantling structural racism. However, big questions remain about how higher education can combat institutional racism and achieve real change.

This book disrupts the higher education sector through ambitious actions and collective, participatory and evidence-informed responses to racism. It offers a roadmap for senior leaders, staff and students to build strategies, programmes and interventions that effectively tackle racism.

Arising from current staff and recent student experiences, this book supports institutions driving equality, diversity, inclusion and intersectional programmes in higher education.

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Perspectives from across Europe

ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Amid debates about the future of both higher education and Europeanisation, this book is the first full-length exploration of how Europe’s 35 million students are understood by key social actors across different nations.

The various chapters compare and contrast conceptualisations in six nations, held by policymakers, higher education staff, media and students themselves. With an emphasis on students’ lived experiences, the authors provide new perspectives about how students are understood, and the extent to which European higher education is homogenising. They explore various prominent constructions of students – including as citizens, enthusiastic learners, future workers and objects of criticism.

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Collectively Crafting the Rhythms of Our Work and Lives in STEM

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines face a gender gap that has been exacerbated during COVID-19.

Drawing on research carried out by the Women in Supramolecular Chemistry (WISC) network, this essential book sets out the extent to which women working in STEM face inequality and discrimination. The authors use approaches more commonly associated with social sciences, such as creative and reflective research methods, to shed light on the human experiences lying behind scientific research. They share fictional vignettes drawn from research findings to illustrate the challenges faced by women working in science today. Additionally, they show how this approach helps make sense of difficult personal experiences and to create a culture of change.

Offering a path forward to inclusivity and diversity, this book is crucial reading for anyone working in STEM.

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Practical Tools for Improving Teaching, Research, and Scholarship

Despite progress, the Western higher education system is still largely dominated by scholars from the privileged classes of the Global North. This book presents examples of efforts to diversify points of view, include previously excluded people, and decolonize curricula.

What has worked? What hasn’t? What further visions do we need? How can we bring about a more democratic and just academic life for all?

Written by scholars from different disciplines, countries, and backgrounds, this book offers an internationally relevant, practical guide to ‘doing diversity’ in the social sciences and humanities and decolonising higher education as a whole.

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Tackling the Crisis of Mass Higher Education
Author: Peter Scott

Although higher education in the UK has expanded opportunities for much of the population, in many ways it remains stubbornly elitist.

In order to address this crisis in education, Peter Scott, a leading expert and unique voice, examines the development of mass higher education and proposes a ‘radical escape-forward’. He calls for more robust action to secure fair access at all levels and changes in the governance and management at both system and institutional levels to ensure more democratic accountability.

Setting out a clear and radical programme for reform, this book makes an important contribution to current debates in education in the context of the evolution of the UK economy and wider society.

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