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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Reimagining Education for Global Challenges and Alternative Futures
Author: Anke Schwittay

How can higher education contribute to tackling today’s complex challenges?

In this wide-ranging book, Anke Schwittay argues that, in order to inspire and equip students to generate better responses to global challenges, we need a pedagogy that develops their imagination, creativity, emotional sensibilities and practical capabilities.

Schwittay proposes a critical-creative pedagogy that incorporates design-based activities, experiential teaching, serious play and future-oriented practices. Crucially, she demonstrates the importance of moving beyond analysing limitations to working towards alternatives for more equitable, just and sustainable futures.

Presenting concrete ideas for the reimagination of higher education, this book is an essential read for both educators and students in any field studying global challenges.

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Rethinking Contemporary Myths of Meritocracy
Author: Alice Bradbury

The COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, but this hiatus provided an opportunity to rethink the fundamental principles of our education system.

In this thought-provoking book, Alice Bradbury discusses how, before the pandemic, the education system assumed ability to be measurable and innate, and how this meritocracy myth reinforced educational inequalities – a central issue during the crisis.

Drawing on a project dealing with ability-grouping practices, Bradbury analyses how the recent educational developments of datafication and neuroscience have revised these ideas about how we classify and label children, and how we can rethink the idea of innate intelligence as we rebuild a post-pandemic schooling system.

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Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education
Editor: Nicole Brown

Demands for excellence and efficiency have created an ableist culture in academia. What impact do these expectations have on disabled, chronically ill and neurodivergent colleagues?

This important and eye-opening collection explores ableism in academia from the viewpoint of academics' personal and professional experiences and scholarship. Through the theoretical lenses of autobiography, autoethnography, embodiment, body work and emotional labour, contributors from the UK, Canada and the US present insightful, critical, analytical and rigorous explorations of being ‘othered’ in academia.

Deeply embedded in personal experiences, this perceptive book provides examples for universities to develop inclusive practices, accessible working and learning conditions and a less ableist environment.

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And How to Avoid Them in the Future
Authors: Ruth Lupton and Debra Hayes

Education policies should drive success and equity but in many countries they are failing to do so. Situating the cases of England and Australia within broader global policy trends, this book critically analyses what has gone wrong.

The authors draw on extensive research in education to review the impact of multiple policies on students, teachers and schools, with a focus on communities where children and young people need education most. They issue a fundamental challenge to the policy orthodoxies of recent decades and set out a blueprint for making education both better and fairer.

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A Comparative Analysis of Policy and Place

Nuanced interconnections of poverty and educational attainment around the UK are surveyed in this unique analysis.

Across the four jurisdictions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, experts consider the impact of curriculum reforms and devolved policy making on the lives of children and young people in poverty. They investigate differences in educational ideologies and structures, and question whether they help or hinder schools seeking to support disadvantaged and marginalised groups.

For academics and students engaged in education and social justice, this is a vital exploration of poverty’s profound effects on inequalities in educational attainment and the opportunities to improve school responses.

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Student Movements against Neoliberal Universities

Using new research on higher education in the UK, Canada, Chile and Italy, this rigorous comparative study investigates key episodes of student protests against neoliberal policies and practices in today’s universities.

As well as examining origins and outcomes of higher education reforms, the authors set these waves of demonstrations in the wider contexts of student movements, political activism and social issues, including inequality and civil rights.

Offering sophisticated new theoretical arguments based on fascinating empirical work, the insights and conclusions revealed in this original study are of value to anyone with an interest in social, political and related studies.

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The Case of Social Policy, Sociology and Political Science Research
Author: Tina Haux

Impact has become a central part of the assessment criteria for academic worth. It has been adopted by many research funding bodies, and it is firmly embedded in the British Research Excellence Framework. However, a clear definition of impact remains elusive and guidance on how exactly to achieve it is often superficial.

This concise, informative book analyses impact across the social sciences. It draws on the analysis of the most highly ranked British impact case studies from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, as well as fifteen interviews with senior academics, providing a longitudinal and critical framing of impact. The author concludes with valuable recommendations of how and when scholars can achieve impact.

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Evidence of Equity and Effectiveness
Author: Stephen Gorard

What has been done to achieve fairer and more efficient education systems, and what more can be done in the future?

Stephen Gorard provides a comprehensive examination of crucial policy areas for education, such as differential outcomes, the poverty gradient, and the allocation of resources to education, to identify likely causes of educational disadvantage among students and lifelong learners. This analysis is supported by 20 years of extensive research, based in the home countries of the UK and on work in all EU28 countries, USA, Pakistan and Japan.

This approachable, rich text brings invaluable insights into the underlying problems within education policy, and proposes practical solutions for a brighter future.

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International comparisons

How do education systems shape educational inequalities and differences in educational outcomes? And how do advantages and disadvantages in educational attainment translate into privileges and shortcomings in labour market and general life chances? Education systems and inequalities compares different education systems and their impact on creating and sustaining social inequalities.

The book considers key questions such as how education systems impact educational inequalities along such variables as social origin, gender, ethnicity, migration background or ability and what social mechanisms are behind the links between education system and educational inequalities and provides vital evidence to inform debates in policy and reform.

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Responding to challenges across the UK and Ireland

Why is teacher education policy significant - politically, sociologically and educationally? While the importance of practice in teacher education has long been recognised, the significance of policy has only been fully appreciated more recently. Teacher education in times of change offers a critical examination of teacher education policy in the UK and Ireland over the past three decades, since the first intervention of government in the curriculum. Written by a research group from five countries, it makes international comparisons, and covers broader developments in professional learning, to place these key issues and lessons in a wider context.

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