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.

Dr Matt Finn
Lecturer in Human Geography

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

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.

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: Area; Annals of the American Association of Geographers; Political Geography; Geographica Helvetica, Sage Publishing; European Educational Research Journal; British Educational Research Journal; Learning, Media and Technology; Big Data and Society and Contemporary Social Science.

Presentations

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

Upcoming presentations

2018

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

2019

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

Previous presentations

2018

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


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