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Dr Matt Finn

Dr Matt Finn

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

 +44 (0)1392 72 5917

 Amory C253a

 

Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK

 Office hours:

Office hour details can be found here.

Overview

Matt explores the contemporary conditions of education through approaches informed by a participatory action research ethos. He is interested in how childhood and young people's lives vary globally and has researched the rising use of data in education settings.

As an Education Exeter Incubator Fellow 2017-2018 Matt has worked with students to research experiences of transitions to university following the introduction of the reformed A Levels in England. The team are using the findings to inform effective undergraduate transition support. As a 2019-2020 fellow he is exploring 'narrowcasting the curriculum: using video and podcast content to enhance student learning in a core human geography research design module'.

His Masters and PhD studies were enabled by an ESRC Quota Studentship and he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, a member of the Geography Education Research Collective, Education Officer for the RGS-IBG Geographies of Children, Youth & Families Research Group and a member of the RGS-IBG Geography and Education Research Group committee. He is a member of the editorial collective of Geography - the Geographical Association’s international journal for lecturers, teachers and students in post-16 geography.

Matt lectures on a wide range of courses and seeks to combine enthusiasm for geography with opportunities for academics and students to shape learning together.

Before academia Matt had a variety of jobs including being a Human Resources administrator with a city council, a teacher, a local education administrator and a church-based pastoral worker with students.

Twitter

You can follow him on Twitter @MattMattFinn.
For tweets relating to University of Exeter geography courses please see @MFGeog.

Research interests:

  • Geographies of education and schooling
  • Childhood, youth and young people
  • Participatory Action Research (PAR)
  • Critical geographies of data

Qualifications

BA Geography (Durham)
MA Research Methods - Geography (Durham)
PhD Geography (Durham)
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Exeter)

Research group links

Issues concerning data and education are increasingly hitting the headlines.

Matt worked alongside pupils to develop their own research projects about their school which they presented to school staff and members of the Geography Department.

Research

Research interests

Matt is a member of the department's Space, Politics and Society Research Group and contributes to the Spaces of Education Research Programme. His research has had two main themes.

Geographies of education and childhood

Matt's research has explored the place of data in the process of education and the production of futures in schools. This is connected with a wider interest in the contemporary conditions of education and learning, and the ways in which education is 'going global'.

An open access reading list he is involved in maintaining on the Geographies of Education is available here: www.tinyurl.com/GeogEd.

As an Education Exeter Incubator Fellow 2017-2018 Matt has worked with students to research experiences of transitions to university following the introduction of the reformed A Levels in England. The team are using the findings to inform effective undergraduate transition support. As a 2019-2020 fellow he is exploring 'narrowcasting the curriculum: using video and podcast content to enhance student learning in a core human geography research design module'.

Gentle Geographies and particiatory action research

A second interest is in forms of participatory action research and co-produced research and how this has provoked reflection on 'gentle geographies', conceptually and methodologically. With Jayne Jeffries and a range of collaborators we have been problematising the notion of gentleness using this to explore the opportunities this concept offers for re-examining diverse empirical interests as well as academic practice. Details including audio from the first of two seminars on gentle geographies can be found here.

Review work

I have reviewed for the following journals: Annals of the American Association of Geographers; Area; Big Data and Society; British Educational Research Journal; Children's Geographies; Contemporary Social Science; European Educational Research Journal; Geographica Helvetica; Journal of Geography in Higher Education; Learning, Media and Technology; Political Geography, Progress in Human Geography and Sage Publishing.

Presentations

Matt has had the opportunity to present his work at various conferences and organise various sessions and events:

Upcoming presentations and sessions

2019

Launching the ‘Geography and Education Research Group’ of the Royal Geographical Society, ‘Geography and the student experience’ event, part of the organising committee

2020

Invited workshop: Growing up global - development, childhood and education, Department of Geography, University of Zurich

Invited seminar, Department of Geography, University of Zurich

Previous presentations and sessions

2019

Geography and Education: Panel session organised for the RGS-IBG, London

Renewed questions of ethics in research with and for children and young people session organised with Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill (University of Birmingham) for the RGS-IBG, London

Invited keynote: A-level reform and implications for transition to University: the case of Geography - IGU CGE Conference, London

2018

Invited speaker: Provincializing the European Child, Child Studies Multiple 30th Anniversary Research Workshop, Department of Thematic Studies – Child Studies at Linköping University, Sweden

A-level reform and implications for transition to university: the case of Geography - RGS-IBG Conference, Cardiff, in Tear down the walls? Cross-disciplinary engagements with geographies of education, Geographiedidaktik and young people’s geographies session organised with Dr Itta Bauer (University of Zurich)

A-level reform and implications for transition to University: the case of Geography - 3rd International Conference on Geographies of Education, Loughborough

A-level reform and implications for transition to University - Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference, Bristol, with Katie-Boyd Lee and Finlay Simmons

Transition to University following the reformed A Levels - EduExe2018 Education Conference with Alice Clarke, Scott Lewis, Connor Spence, Bella Tull, Sarah Tyrrell

Beyond frenemies: contact and collaboration with universities, Teacher-to-Teacher Session at the GA Annual Conference, Sheffield Hallam University

Data and schools spaces – materialisations, circulations and temporalities - Materialities and Mobilities in Education Day Conference, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford.

Workshop on Module Design, GCYFRG  Educating under- and post-graduate geographers for/about/using the geographies of children and youth Day Teaching Workshop, RGS-IBG, London

2017

The awkward geographies of schooling – working at the intersection of geographies of education, childhood and youth - AAG, Boston, USA, in Theorizing the Geographies of Education and Learning session, a session I organised. You can see a storify of tweets from the session here.

2016

Invited presentation: How can we think about data in schools? Atmospheres of progress and forging futures in a data-based schoolAudio, slides and handout availableResearch seminar at School of Education at the University of Brighton

Invited session: Student Voice in schools with Dr Sara Bragg, Blatchington Mill School, Hove

The awkward geographies of schooling – working at the intersection of geographies of education, childhood and youth - RGS-IBG Conference, London, in The nexus between Young People`s Geographies and Geographies of Education session

Growing up global – children, young people and the geographies of global change - RGS-IBG Conference, London, in Educating undergraduate geographers for/about/using the geographies of children and youth session

Introducing Gentle Geographies - University of Exeter, in A Gentle Alertness to Geographies of the (Non)human & (Ir)Responsibilities seminar - details including audio from the day
The two-part seminar series is co-organised with Jayne Jeffries (Newcastle University) and funded thanks to the Spatial Responsibilities Group at the University of Exeter, the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape and Open Lab at Newcastle University, the Participatory Geographies Research Group and the Geographies of Justice Research Group.

Invited presentation: Ran and facilitated half-day training event on Participatory Action Research, Plymouth University Social Science Doctoral Training College.

2015

Towards more gentle geographies - RGS-IBG Conference, Exeter, in Gentle Geographies session organised with Jayne Jeffries (Newcastle University)

Report from Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship: The Role of Teaching Focused Academics in driving the evolution of HE - RGS-IBG Conference, Exeter, in GEES LTHE Network Annual Meeting

2014

Forging futures in a data-based school - Futures in Question International conference as part of the ESRC Austerity Futures series, Goldsmiths, University of London

Forging futures in a data-based school - RGS-IBG, London, in The co-productions of data-based living session organised with Nat O'Grady (Southampton University)

Co-producing methods/knowledge in geographies of childhood and youth session organised with Grace Sykes and Thomas Grant (University of Leicester) for the RGS-IBG, London

Invited presentation: Forging futures in a data-based school - 2nd ESRC code acts in education seminar, University of Edinburgh

Forging futures in a data-based school - St. John's College Durham University, Broaderlands Seminar

Forging futures in a data-based school - AAG, Tampa, USA, in Data-based living: peopling and placing 'big data' session, a session I organised

Atmospheres of progress in a data-based school (revised) - Education, Emotions and the Future Seminar, Geography Department, University of Leicester

2013

Atmospheres of progress in a data-based school - RGS-IBG Conference, London

Governing futures in a data-based school - RGS-IBG Conference, London, in Governing the self: young people's futures, aspirations and ambiguous agency session organised with Jo Pike

2012

(In)dividuals and data-based futures in schools - 2nd International Education Conference on Geographies of Education, Loughborough University

How to hear a voice? 'Student Voice' and Participatory Action Research - RGS-IBG Conference, Edinburgh

How to hear a voice? 'Student Voice' and Participatory Action Research - St. John's College Durham University, Broaderlands Seminar

2010

Engaging Geography students in participatory action research with communities - with Rachel Pain, RGS-IBG Conference, London

Faith, encounter and confession: an undergraduate's experience of the lecture theatre as a site of geographies of religion, Geographies of Religion: a new dialogue conference, Newcastle University


Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Key publications


Finn M (2018). Why reformed a levels are not preparing undergraduates for university study. Web link.
Finn M (2016). Atmospheres of progress in a data-based school. Cultural Geographies, 23(1), 29-49. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Finn M, McEwan C (2015). Left in the Waiting Room of History?: Provincializing the European Child. Interventions, 17(1), 113-134. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pain R, Finn M, Bouveng R, Ngobe G (2013). Productive tensions - engaging geography students in participatory action research with communities. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 37(1), 28-43. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

Publications by category


Journal articles

Finn M (2018). Book Review: Rethinking Children’s Spaces and Places, New Childhoods Series. cultural geographies, 25, 514-515. Full text.
Finn M (2017). Book Review: Religion in the Primary School: Ethos, Diversity, Citizenship. Children's Geographies: advancing interdisciplinary understanding of younger people's lives, 15, 499-501. Full text.
Finn M (2016). Atmospheres of progress in a data-based school. Cultural Geographies, 23(1), 29-49. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Finn M, McEwan C (2015). Left in the Waiting Room of History?: Provincializing the European Child. Interventions, 17(1), 113-134. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Pain R, Finn M, Bouveng R, Ngobe G (2013). Productive tensions - engaging geography students in participatory action research with communities. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 37(1), 28-43. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

Chapters

Finn M, Mott C (2019). Embodied teaching and learning through a large lecture: strategies for place-based pedagogies. In Dyer S, Walkington H, Hill J (Eds.) Handbook for Learning and Teaching in Geography, Edward Elgar Publishing. Full text.

Internet publications

Finn M (2018). Why reformed a levels are not preparing undergraduates for university study. Web link.
Fields D, Finn M, Oates Y (2016). Level Up: Writing Strategies for New Undergraduates. Web link.

Publications by year


2019

Finn M, Mott C (2019). Embodied teaching and learning through a large lecture: strategies for place-based pedagogies. In Dyer S, Walkington H, Hill J (Eds.) Handbook for Learning and Teaching in Geography, Edward Elgar Publishing. Full text.

2018

Finn M (2018). Book Review: Rethinking Children’s Spaces and Places, New Childhoods Series. cultural geographies, 25, 514-515. Full text.
Finn M (2018). Why reformed a levels are not preparing undergraduates for university study. Web link.

2017

Finn M (2017). Book Review: Religion in the Primary School: Ethos, Diversity, Citizenship. Children's Geographies: advancing interdisciplinary understanding of younger people's lives, 15, 499-501. Full text.

2016

Finn M (2016). Atmospheres of progress in a data-based school. Cultural Geographies, 23(1), 29-49. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Fields D, Finn M, Oates Y (2016). Level Up: Writing Strategies for New Undergraduates. Web link.

2015

Finn M (2015). Education, Data and Futurity: a data-based school in the North East of England.  Abstract.  Author URL.
Finn M, McEwan C (2015). Left in the Waiting Room of History?: Provincializing the European Child. Interventions, 17(1), 113-134. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2013

Pain R, Finn M, Bouveng R, Ngobe G (2013). Productive tensions - engaging geography students in participatory action research with communities. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 37(1), 28-43. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

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Teaching

Matt lectures on a wide range of courses from thinking about 'growing up global' to supporting students develop their research design expertise. He seeks to combine enthusiam for his subjects with opportunities for academics and students to shape learning together. He is also invited to facilitate training on Participatory Action Research, mostly recent for the Plymouth University Social Science Doctoral Training College.

Undergraduate modules 19/20:

  • Geographies of Global Change - GEO1106 - ELE page, Course Twitter feed/hastag
    I contribute to the module with the 'Growing up Global' section exploring why as geographers we might look to the lives of children and young people to make sense of globalisation.
  • Study Skills for Human Geographers - GEO1309 - ELE page, Course Twitter feed/hastag
    As a tutor and lead tutor I work with students to develop the key skills they need for university and beyond.
  • Human Geography Fieldtrip - GEO2308D - ELE page
    As part of one of the fieldtrip teaching teams, I work with students to prepare them for the New York fieldtrip and provide guidance in the field.
  • Geographies of Justice: Research Methodologies in Action (Convenor) - GEO2327
    I act as an academic tutor on this module.
  • Geographies of Consumption: Doing Human Geography Research (Convenor) - GEO2328 - ELE page, Course Twitter feed/hastag
    Through exploring the geographies of consumption students work in research teams to learn about the practice and principles of designing research in human geography. The module also prepares students for their dissertations. I lead this module and also act as an academic tutor.
  • Geographies of Education and Learning (Convenor with Dr Sarah Dyer) - GEO3140
    In this module we explore key concepts that geographers use to understand education and learning at different scales, from the local sites/spaces of learning to the international. We examine different concepts and theories of learning and how these might influence understandings of our own educational experiences and how we communicate geographical knowledge to others.
  • Dissertation advisor - GEO3311/GEO3312
    I work to support students in carrying out their diverse dissertation projects with fortnightly tutorials and individual meetings.

Departmental roles 19/20:

Previous teaching:

  • Research Methods for Geographers - GEO1315 - ELE page
    I contributed to the section of the course that helps students think through the process of research before and following the Bristol fieldtrip. With Dr Ewan Woodley I taught the introductory statistics component.
  • Human Geography Fieldtrip - GEO2308 - ELE page, Course Twitter feed/hastag 1 and 2
    As part of one of the fieldtrip teams to Seville, I worked with students to develop the projects they carry out while on the fieldtrip and provide guidance in the field.
  • Research Methods for Human Geography - GEO2325 - ELE page, Course Twitter feed/hastag
    With Dr Ewan Woodley, we took students on from introductory statistics to more advanced techniques and through examples seek to show some of the potential and difficulties with these techniques. I also acted as an academic tutor on this module.
  • Research Design in Human Geography (Convenor) - GEO2326 - ELE page, Course Twitter feed/hastag
    In this module, which I led, I helped students learn about the practice and principles of designing research and help students to prepare for their dissertations. I also acted as an academic tutor on this module.

Past roles:

  • Academic Misconduct Officer for Geography (2014-2019)
  • Senior Academic Misconduct Officer for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (2016-2019)
  • Student Engagement Co-ordinator (2014-2018)

Modules

2019/20


Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Emma Marshall
  • Abbie O'Brien

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