Name: Rebecca (Becky) Snape
Role at BCU: PhD student and Assistant Lecturer.
- Creativity and Creative Writing in schools
- Widening Participation in Higher Education
- Special Educational Needs and Inclusion
Research you are currently working on: My PhD explores teachers’ perceptions of teaching and assessing Creative Writing at Key Stage Four.
Research methodologies you are using: I’m hoping to collect qualitative data to build on a quantitative study that has been conducted in my area recently. I’m looking to use semi-structured interviews, lesson observations and discourse analysis for my study.
Current issues, thoughts and reflections on education & research: I have too many thoughts to mention here! But I think it’s incredible the impact some research can have on education. Teachers and pupils alike have so many fascinating stories and ideas to share and I think it’s really important to have their voices heard in research.
Most influential research you have read/seen: I particularly like to follow research that has been conducted for The National Literacy Trust. Even though these tend to be quantitative surveys (I see myself as more of a qualitative enthusiast), I find these reports to be incredibly insightful and useful for my research. I also enjoy the work of Ken Robinson, Debra Myhill, Graeme Harper, Teresa Cremin, and Anna Craft. When I was doing my Masters dissertation I was really interested in the sociological side of education, so I was looking at the likes of Stephen Ball and Diane Reay.
Advice for new researchers: Set mini goals for yourself that you can work towards. What works best for me is to break everything down into more manageable chunks rather than getting too overwhelmed by thinking of everything I have to do for the PhD. I’d also recommend taking advantage of any opportunities and advice available when you first start your research project. There are lots of enthusiastic and forthcoming academics at BCU who you can reach out to for their thoughts about your area. There are also lots of extra research seminars and workshops put on, such as those delivered by the Centre for Academic Success, and I’ve found these to be really useful for developing my understanding of research.
Mini fact about you: Before I came to BCU I was involved with all sorts of things at my previous uni, from student support to classroom delivery. I was most involved with Widening Participation work, though, and am hoping I can get involved with WP here too at some point. I’m ‘first-generation’ myself, having been targeted and supported by an AimHigher programme when I was in Sixth Form, so I feel that it’s important to show those from non-traditional backgrounds that they can access HE. I’m particularly interested to see how creative approaches to WP can help to improve access. One exciting project I’ve been involved with is the ‘White Water Writers’ project, which works with many groups of learners who are from backgrounds of low participation in HE. I’m always fascinated to see how Widening Participation and Creative Writing can be brought together in innovative ways to raise confidence and ambition