My degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Manchester, followed by a Masters in Children’s Literature and Illustration, fostered my interested in children’s books, fairy tales, and literacy. Having qualified as a teacher in 2006, I worked in an inner city school in London for two years, where I became increasingly interested in children and reading at school. I gained an ESRC 1+3 funded Studentship for a Masters in Social Research Methods, and a PhD in Sociology, at the University of Surrey to develop these interests. Through my doctoral research on children, reading and identity, I explored issues around picture books at school, children’s identity work, and research with children using participative methods. Whilst studying, I taught in a range of London schools, including in an autism unit for children aged 7–11 years, and engaged in tutoring students with special educational needs, including autism. I also worked as a graduate tutor in the Sociology department at the University of Surrey, and as a research assistant on a project on the Sociology of the arts. I successfully completed my PhD in June 2013. Current research interests focus upon autism and literacy, the use of visual methods in research with children, and literacy practices in the school and home.
- Developing collaborative work on autism and literacy
- Mapping and reframing issues of race, ethnicity and identity in young minority children’s lives
- Exploring family literacy practices in bilingual and EAL families