Dr Jonathan Tummons
I am an ethnographer of education, and am interested in using ethnographic methods to explore the everyday practices of students and teachers in a variety of contexts in higher and further education.
My current research draws on the recent work of Bruno Latour (his Modes of Existence project) within education research (I have written blogs about this ongoing research which you can find here and here). I have published extensively in this field and the most recent papers can be found here and here. Other elements of my work also draws on communities of practice theory (the focus of my latest book, Learning Architectures in Higher Education); and actor-network theory (my most recent work using ANT can be found here.)
I am currently co-investigator for two funded projects: "Becoming a Professional Through Distributed Learning: a Sociomaterial Ethnography" - a three-year research project led by Professor Anna MacLeod, Dalhousie University, CA, funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and "Cadaver as Practice" - also led by Anna MacLeod and funded by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In this research, we are using extensive amounts of video as well as textual data of medical students' practice to explore how they learn in clinical and simulated contexts.
Between 2013 and 2016, I acted as co-investigator for "Medical Education in a Digital Age: an institutional ethnography". This was a three-year research project led by Professor Anna MacLeod, Dalhousie University, CA, funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. This project explored the ways in which a medical education curriculum can be delivered on a distributed basis across two campuses using a range of technologies. Project details can be viewed at: http://www.mindmeister.com/198971466/project-snapshot-medical-education-in-a-digital-age-an-institutional-ethnography
I also research and write about professionalism and professional standards in teacher education, with specific reference to the post-compulsory education sector in England. This is the focus of a book that I have recently edited. My research has recently been featured in a report from the OECD (you can download the OECD report here.) I am a member of the Ofsted Further Education and Skills Research Reference Group, a platform to inform and advise concerning research relevant to the Ofsted inspection framework for the Further Education and Skills sector: you can read the first report from the group here.) I am also a member of the advisory panel for the Ofsted reliability study for assessing the quality of provision within Further Education colleges.
I am currently teaching postgraduate modules relating to social theory, curriculum theory, and qualitative research methodologies.
I sit on the organising committee for the Oxford Ethnography and Education conference, and am happy to hear from anyone who is interested in presenting their work there.
Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions
I would be pleased to hear from potential research students with an interest in conducting research in matters relating to learning, teaching and/or assessment in further, higher or adult education; I am also interested to hear from prospective students who are interested in employing communities of practice, literacy as social practice or actor-network theory approaches within these or other subject areas.
Indicators of Esteem
- External Examining and Advising:
I have recently examined PhD and EdD theses at the universities of East Anglia, Exeter, Huddersfield, Lancaster, Leicester, Plymouth, and Griffith [Australia]. Other external roles include: University of Central Lancashire (external examiner for Doctorate in Education); Universities of Derby and Greenwich (external examiner for PGCE (PCET)); Open University (external advisor for Childhood and Youth qualifications); Institute of Risk Management (external advisor for professional qualifications).
- Invited Conference Papers:
Curriculum as Accomplishment: Tracing human and non-human actors in the delivery of educational curricula. Presented at Le Sujet de L’Acteur. An anthropological outlook on Actor Network Theory. Centre for Advanced Studies, Univeristy of Cologne, 2013. The papers from this symposium were published in 2014 and details are available here.
Breaking Boundaries? Interdisciplinary perspectives on using technology for learning and participation in society [ESRC-funded seminar series]. Department of Education and Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 2014.
ICTs and the Internet as Field and Framework. Presented at Rethinking Educational Ethnography. University of Borås, 2015. Selected papers from this conference were published in 2017 and details are available here.
- Peer reviewing:
Studies in Higher Education; Higher Education Research and Development; International Journal of Educational Research; Ethnography and Education; Culture, Pedagogy and Society; Research in Post-Compulsory Education; Medical Education.
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy:
- Candace Nolan-Grant
- Mr Gavin D'Northwood
- Miss Sabrina Ahmed-Qureshi
- Mr Bee Soh
- Miss Emma Maslin
- Mrs Ruth Unsworth
- Ms Sou Leong
- Ms Esme Sung
- Mrs Clare Sutton
- Miss Arabethan Lecuyer
- Miss Harriet Broadfoot
- Actor-Network Theory
- Communities of Practice
- Further, Higher and Adult Education
- Modes of Existence
- Professional learning and development
- Assessment, Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness
- Higher and Further Education
- Pedagogy and Curriculum
- Tummons, J. (2021). Ontological pluralism, modes of existence, and actor-network theory: upgrading Latour with Latour. Social Epistemology 35(1): 1-11.
- Hillyard, S. Tummons, J. & Winnard, S. (2020). Atrocity stories and access to elite universities: chickens at the station. Symbolic Interaction
- Tummons, J. (2020). Education as a mode of existence: a Latourian inquiry into assessment validity in higher education. Educational Philosophy and Theory 52(1): 45-54.
- Tummons, J. & Beach, D. (2020). Ethnography, materiality, and the principle of symmetry: problematising anthropocentrism and interactionism in the ethnography of education. Ethnography and Education 15(3): 286-299.
- Tummons, J (2020). Higher education, theory, and modes of existence: thinking about universities with Latour. Higher Education Research and Development
- Unsworth, R. & Tummons, J. (2020). Reassembling teachers' professional practice: an ethnography of intertextual hierarchies in primary mathematics. Ethnography and Education
- MacLeod, A., Cameron, P., Ajjawi, R., Kits, O. & Tummons, J. (2019). Actor-network theory and ethnography: Sociomaterial approaches to researching medical education. Perspectives on Medical Education 8(3): 177-186.
- Kits, O., Angus, C., MacLeod, A. & Tummons, J. (2019). Progressive research collaborations and the limits of soft power. Perspectives on Medical Education 8(1): 28-32.
- MacLeod, A., Cameron, P., Kits, O. & Tummons, J. (2019). Technologies of Exposure: Videoconferenced Distributed Medical Education as a Sociomaterial Practice. Academic Medicine 94(3): 412-418.
- Tummons, J., Fournier, C., Kits, O. & Macleod, A. (2018). Using technology to accomplish comparability of provision in distributed medical education in Canada: an actor–network theory ethnography. Studies in Higher Education 43(11): 1912-1922.
- Tummons, J. (2017). ICTs and the internet as a framework and field in ethnographic research. Acta Paedagogica Vilnensia 39: 132-143.
- Ingleby, E. & Tummons, J. (2017). Imitation is not always flattery! The consequences of academy schools in England for further education policy. Research in Post-compulsory Education 22(2): 237-251.
- Atkins, L. & Tummons, J. (2017). Professionalism in Vocational Education: International Perspectives. Research in Post-Compulsory Education 22(3): 355-369.
- Tummons, J. (2016). ‘Very positive’ or ‘vague and detached’? Unpacking ambiguities in further education teachers’ responses to professional standards in England. Research in Post-Compulsory Education 21(4): 346-359.
- Tummons, J., Fournier, C., Kits, O. & Macleod, A. (2016). Teaching without a blackboard and chalk: conflicting attitudes towards using ICTs in higher education teaching and learning. Higher Education Research and Development 35(4): 829-840.
- MacLeod, A., Kits, O., Mann, K., Tummons, J. & Wilson, K. (2016). The Invisible Work of Distributed Medical Education: Exploring the Contributions of Audiovisual Professionals, Administrative Professionals and Faculty Teachers. Advances in Health Sciences Education 22: 623-638.
- Tummons, J., MacLeod, A. & Kits, O. (2015). Ethnographies across virtual and physical spaces: a reflexive commentary on a live Canadian/UK ethnography of distributed medical education. Ethnography and Education 10(1): 107-120.
- Macleod, A., Kits, O., Whelan, E., Fournier, C., Wilson, K., Power, G., Mann, K., Tummons, J. & Brown, A. (2015). Sociomateriality: A Theoretical Framework for Studying Distributed Medical Education. Academic Medicine 90(11): 1451-1456.
- Tummons, J. (2014). Professional standards in teacher education: tracing discourses of professionalism through the analysis of textbooks. Research in Post-Compulsory Education 19(4): 417-432.
- Tummons, J. (2014). The textual representation of professionalism: problematising professional standards for teachers in the UK lifelong learning sector. Research in Post-Compulsory Education 19(1): 33-44.
- Ingleby, E. & Tummons, J. (2012). Repositioning professionalism: teachers, mentors, policy and praxis. Research in Post-Compulsory Education 17(2): 163-178.
- Tummons, J. & Ingleby, E. (2012). The problematics of mentoring, and the professional learning of trainee teachers in the English further education sector. International Journal of Adult Vocational Education and Technology 3(1): 29-39.
- Tummons, J. (2012). Theory, reflectivity and communities of research practice in Higher Education. Higher Education Research and Development 31(3): 299-310.
- Tummons, J. (2011). 'It sort of feels uncomfortable': problematising the assessment of reflective practice. Studies in Higher Education 36(4): 471-483.
- Tummons, J. (2011). Deconstructing Professionalism: an actor-network critique of professional standards for teachers in the UK lifelong learning sector. International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation 3(4): 22-31.
- Dixon, L., Jennings, A., Orr, K. & Tummons, J. (2010). Dominant discourses of pre‐service teacher education and the exigencies of the workplace: an ethnographic study from English further education. Journal of Vocational Education and Training 62(4): 381-393.
- Tummons, J. (2010). Institutional ethnography and actor–network theory: a framework for researching the assessment of trainee teachers. Ethnography and Education 5(3): 345-357.
- Tummons, J. (2010). The assessment of lesson plans in teacher education: a case study in assessment validity and reliability. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 35(7): 847-857.
- Tummons, J. (2009). Higher Education in Further Education in England: an actor-network ethnography. International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation 1(3): 55-69.
- Tummons, J. (2008). Assessment, and the literacy practices of trainee PCET teachers. International Journal of Educational Research 47(3): 184-191.
- Tummons, J. & Ingleby, E. (2014). The A-Z of Lifelong Learning. McGraw Hill: Maidenhead.
- Tummons, J., Orr, K. & Atkins, L. (2013). Teaching Higher Education Courses in Further Education Colleges. SAGE/Learning Matters: London.
- Curzon, L.B. & Tummons, J. (2013). Teaching in Further Education: an outline of principles and practice. Continuum: London.
- Tummons, J. & Duckworth, V. (2012). Doing your research project in the Lifelong Learning Sector. McGraw Hill, Maidenhead.
- Duckworth, V., Flanagan, K., McCormack, K & Tummons, J. (2012). Understanding Behaviour 14+. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill.
- Tummons, J. (2011). Assessing Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Exeter: Learning Matters.
- Powell, S. & Tummons, J. (2011). Inclusive Practice in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Learning Matters; Exeter.
- Tummons, J. (2010). Becoming a Professional Tutor in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Exeter: Learning Matters.
- Duckworth, V. & Tummons, J. (2010). Contemporary Issues in Lifelong Learning. McGraw Hill: Maidenhead.
- Tummons, J. (2009). Curriculum Studies in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Learning Matters; Exeter.
- Tummons, J. (2020). PCET: Learning and Teaching in the Post Compulsory Sector. Sage/Learning Matters.
- Tummons, J. (2018). Professionalism in Post-Compulsory Education and Training: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
- Tummons, J. (2018). Learning Architectures in Higher Education - Beyond Communities of Practice. Bloomsbury.
Chapter in book
- Tummons, J. (2021). Constructing Ethnographic Data in Medical Education. In Handbook of Ethnography in Healthcare Research. Hackett, P. & Hayre, C. Routledge.
- Tummons, J. (2020). Online, offline, hybrid, or blended? Doing ethnographies of education in a digitally-mediated world. In Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education. Ward, M. & Delamont, S. Edward Elgar. 178-189.
- Tummons, J. (2019). Ethnographies of Higher Education and Modes of Existence: using Latour's philosophical anthropology to construct faithful accounts of higher education practice. In Theory and Method in Higher Education Research. Huisman, J. & Tight, M. Emerald Publishing. 5: 207-223.
- Tummons, J. (2019). Teaching the new professionals: a recent history of teacher education and teacher professionalism in the further education sector in England. In Professional Development of Teacher Educators in Further Education: Pathways, Knowledge, Identities, and Vocationalism. Loo, S. Routledge.
- Cameron, P., MacLeod, A., Tummons, J., Kits, O. & Ajjawi, R. (2019). Unpacking practice: the challenges and possibilities afforded by sociomaterial ethnography. In Practice Methodologies in Education Research. Lynch, J., Rowlands, J., Gale, T. & Parker, S. Routledge. 187-205.
- Tummons, J. (2017). Institutional Ethnography, Theory, Methodology, and Research: Some Concerns and Some Comments. In Perspectives on and from Institutional Ethnography. Reid, J. & Russell, L. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 15: 147-162.
- Tummons, J. (2014). Curriculum as Accomplishment. Tracing Human and Non-human Actors in the Delivery of Educational Curricula. In Le Sujet De L'Acteur: an anthropological outlook on Actor-Network Theory. Kapriev, G., Roussel, M. & Tchalakov, I. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink. 163-180.
- Tummons, J. (2014). Learning architectures and communities of practice in higher education. In Theory and Method in Higher Education Research II. Huisman, J. & Tight, M. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 121-139.
- Tummons, J. (2014). Using Software for Qualitative Data Analysis: Research outside paradigmatic boundaries. In Big Data? Qualitative Approaches to Digital Research. Hand, M. & Hillyard, S. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 13: 155-177.
- Kits, O., Angus, C., Macleod, A & Tummons, J. (2013), Open access to qualitative grant data in an interdisciplinary Canadian ethnographic research study, 12: 19th Qualitative Health Research Conference. University of Alberta, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, University of Alberta, Edmonton 785-786.