Dr Alison Fox (BSc, Durham; MSc, Aberdeen; PGCE, Cambridge; MEd, Cambridge; PhD, Open) is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the Open University in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research contributes to understanding contemporary issues in education; currently, the opportunities and challenges of social media for professional learning and the development of a framework for defensible ethical enquiry. She leads a new Postgraduate Teaching and Learning Pathway and chairs a module of the Postgraduate Leadership and Management Pathway.
Alison’s academic expertise in Professional Learning and Ethical Enquiry is founded on both teaching and research experience. After working as an environmental scientist, she retrained and taught Science for ten years in Secondary Schools and Further Education, was a teacher educator on Post Graduate Certificate in Education courses for Science teachers for six years and, since 2007, has taught as a lecturer on Masters and Doctoral programmes. Her research began whilst studying an MEd (1998-2000) when a school teacher, then extended through contract research (2000-2011), her PhD examining the professional learning of emergent school leaders (2006-2011) and as a senior lecturer (2011 onwards).
As a University researcher Alison’s expertise is grounded in the work undertaken across a range of projects at the University of Leicester, the University of Cambridge and at the Open University. She has examined the development of beginning teachers, school leadership development and the adoption and dissemination of classroom assessment for learning practices across schools and networks. Her funded research projects include inter-University collaborations, internationally funded projects, commissioned research, and a project funded by a charitable trust. Her most recent project is ‘Promoting Inquiry Informed Practice: bridging the gap between theory and practice for participants of pre-service teacher education in Pakistan (2014-2017)’. She is passionate about supporting practitioner research through designing and teaching PostGraduate courses for teachers to develop their enquiry skills and through leading University support for school-based research in Teaching School Alliances.
Alison’s expertise in Professional Learning informs her work on the editorial boards of the Journal of Workplace Learning, the Journal of Research in Social Sciences and the BERA Blog and she is regularly invited to review papers for international journals. This work was recognised when she was awarded Outstanding Reviewer for the Journal of Workplace Learning in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence (2016). Her editing expertise extends to setting up a School-University journal Research4&BYteachers and leading the publication of a Special Issue of the BELMAS journal Management in Education (due 2018).