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John Nisbet Award Winner

Pat Sikes, Professor

Professor of Qualitative Inquiry at University of Sheffield

Pat Sikes is Professor of Qualitative Inquiry in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield. Pat began her research career in 1978 at the University of East Anglia as a research assistant on Lawrence Stenhouse’s Nuffield/Gulbenkian project, The problems and effects of teaching about race relations. A PhD at the University of Leeds came next, followed by a period working at the Open University with Peter Woods and Linda Measor on the ESRC funded Teachers’ lives and careers study. Then there were a few years as a member of the OU TVEI evaluation team convened by Roger Dale, as well as a stint at the Counselling & Career Development Unit at the University of Leeds. From 1988 to 2000 Pat was at the University of Warwick, working closely with Barry Troyna in developing and practicing auto/biographical pedagogy. Four years after Barry’s untimely death in 1996 she went to Sheffield.

Throughout her career as a researcher the majority of Pat’s work has focused on various aspects of teachers’ lives and careers, narrative and auto/biographical methodologies and methods, and research ethics. Her publications include Parents Who Teach: Stories From Home and From SchoolTeacher Careers: Crises and Continuities (with Peter Woods and Linda Measor), Researching Sex and Lies in the Classroom: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in Schools(with Heather Piper), Life History in Educational Settings: Learning From Lives (with Ivor Goodson). She also edited the four volume Sage Benchmarks in Social Science Series on Autoethnography and along with Ivor Goodson, Molly Andrews and Ari Antikainen was an editor of The Routledge International Handbook of Narrative and Life History.

 Since 2014 Pat’s interest has been in using narrative auto/biographical approaches to investigate the perceptions and experiences of children and young people who have a parent with young onset dementia, receiving funding from the Alzheimer’s Society for this work.

Pat was an editor of the British Educational Research Journal from 2003 to 2007 and a member of BERA Council between 2010 and 2013. She was recently involved in editing the 2018 iteration of the BERA ethical guidelines.

Pat Sikes's contributions

BERA John Nisbet Fellowship

Since 2014 BERA has awarded the John Nisbet Fellowship to one or more people who are deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to educational research over their career. Named in honour of...

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