|Acting Deputy Executive Dean, Education and Student Experience (until 31 December 2023) in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health|
|Professor in the School of Education|
|Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing|
I am an ethnographer of education, and am interested in using ethnographic methods to explore the social practices of learning and teaching in both formal as well as informal places, ranging from university lecture rooms to technicians' workshops. The overarching aim of my inquiry is to explore the ways in which what we might call "educational stuff" happens in the world around us - this might be in institutions such as a college or workplace, or in domestic environments such as somebody's home.
In order to think about this educational stuff, I draw on some distinct philosophical and theoretical approaches. Firstly, I use the work of the French anthropologist and philosopher Bruno Latour (I have written blogs about this ongoing approach which you can find here and here). I have published extensively in this field and the most recent papers can be found here, here and here. Other elements of my work rest on the Communities of Practice theory of Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (the focus of my books Communities of Practice in Further and Adult Education and Learning Architectures in Higher Education).
In 2022 I conducted an eight-month ethnography of a cycle technicians' workshop, and I have written about different aspects of this work in a series of open-access articles (see the publications list below.) Alongside this work, I have continued to write about higher education (please get in touch if you want to read any of these papers but cannot access them.)
Between 2013 and 2020 I was co-investigator for three funded projects led by Professor Anna MacLeod, Dalhousie University, Canada: "Becoming a Professional Through Distributed Learning: a Sociomaterial Ethnography" and "Medical Education in a Digital Age: an institutional ethnography". These were three-year research projects funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. I was also part of the research team for "Cadaver as Practice" - also led by Anna MacLeod and funded by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
For many years, I have been researching and writing about professionalism and professional learning in teacher education, with specific reference to the Further, Adult and Vocational Education (FAVE) or Post-Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) sector in England - most recently in this book. I have run lots of workshops in FE colleges over the years and am happy to receive further invitations to do so.
My FAVE/PCET research has recently been featured in a report from the OECD (you can download the OECD report here.) I was 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 was 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 undergraduate and postgraduate modules relating to ethnographic research in education, social practice 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.
- Actor-Network Theory
- Communities of Practice
- Further, Higher and Adult Education
- Modes of Existence
- Professional learning and development
- 2000: Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy:
- 2000: 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.
Learning and Pedagogy in Digital Times: platforms, inclusion, and social justice. Presented at Inclusive Practices of Creative and Innovative Teaching. University of Zaragoza, 2023. Details of the conference are available here.
- 2000: External Examining and Advising: During the last few years, I have examined PhD and EdD theses at the universities of East Anglia, Exeter, Huddersfield, Lancaster, Leicester, Newcastle, Plymouth, and for Canberra and Griffith [both Australia]. Other external roles have included: 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).
- 2000: 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; Critical Studies in Education; International Journal of Lifelong Education; Social Epistemology; Critical Studies in Education; Education for Primary Care; British Educational Research Journal; Studies in the Education of Adults.
- 2000: Editing: I am the deputy editor of Ethnography and Education and am an associate editor for Higher Education Research and Development.
- Tummons, J. Exploring Communities of Practice in Further and Adult Education. Routledge
- Tummons, J. (2018). Learning Architectures in Higher Education - Beyond Communities of Practice. Bloomsbury
- Tummons, J., & Ingleby, E. (2014). The A-Z of Lifelong Learning. McGraw-Hill
- Curzon, L., & Tummons, J. (2013). Teaching in Further Education: an outline of principles and practice. (7th ed). Continuum
- Tummons, J., Orr, K., & Atkins, L. (2013). Teaching Higher Education Courses in Further Education Colleges. SAGE/Learning Matters
- Tummons, J., & Duckworth, V. (2012). Doing your research project in the Lifelong Learning Sector. McGraw-Hill
- Duckworth, V., Flanagan, K., McCormack, K., & Tummons, J. (2012). Understanding Behaviour 14+. McGraw-Hill
- Tummons, J. (2011). Assessing Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector. (3rd). Learning Matters
- Powell, S., & Tummons, J. (2011). Inclusive Practice in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Learning Matters
- Tummons, J. (2010). Becoming a Professional Tutor in the Lifelong Learning Sector. (2nd ed). Learning Matters
- Duckworth, V., & Tummons, J. (2010). Contemporary Issues in Lifelong Learning. McGraw-Hill
- Tummons, J. (2009). Curriculum Studies in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Learning Matters
Chapter in book
- Tummons, J. Online, offline, hybrid, or blended? Doing ethnographies of education in a digitally-mediated world. In M. Ward, & S. Delamont (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education (178-189). (2). Edward Elgar Publishing
- Tummons, J. Constructing Ethnographic Data in Medical Education. In P. Hackett, & C. Hayre (Eds.), Handbook of Ethnography in Healthcare Research. Routledge
- Tummons, J. (in press). The Many Worlds of Ethics: Proposing a Latourian Investigation of the Work of Research Ethics in Ethnographies of Education. In Ethics, Ethnography and Education. https://doi.org/10.1108/s1529-210x20220000019002
- Tummons, J. Ethics and Ethnographies of Education: Current Themes and New Directions. In Ethics, Ethnography and Education. https://doi.org/10.1108/s1529-210x20220000019009
- 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 J. Huisman, & M. Tight (Eds.), Theory and method in higher education research (207-223). Emerald. https://doi.org/10.1108/s2056-375220190000005013
- Tummons, J. (2019). Teaching the new professionals: a recent history of teacher education and teacher professionalism in the further education sector in England. In S. Loo (Ed.), Professional Development of Teacher Educators in Further Education: Pathways, Knowledge, Identities, and Vocationalism. Routledge
- Cameron, P., MacLeod, A., Tummons, J., Kits, O., & Ajjawi, R. (2019). Unpacking practice: the challenges and possibilities afforded by sociomaterial ethnography. In J. Lynch, J. Rowlands, T. Gale, & S. Parker (Eds.), Practice Methodologies in Education Research (187-205). Routledge
- Tummons, J. (2017). Institutional Ethnography, Theory, Methodology, and Research: Some Concerns and Some Comments. In J. Reid, & L. Russell (Eds.), Perspectives on and from Institutional Ethnography (147-162). Emerald. https://doi.org/10.1108/s1042-319220170000015003
- Tummons, J. (2014). Using Software for Qualitative Data Analysis: Research outside paradigmatic boundaries. In M. Hand, & S. Hillyard (Eds.), Big Data? Qualitative approaches to digital research (155-177). Emerald. https://doi.org/10.1108/s1042-319220140000013010
- Tummons, J. (2014). Learning architectures and communities of practice in higher education. In J. Huisman, & M. Tight (Eds.), Theory and Method in Higher Education Research II (121-139). Emerald. https://doi.org/10.1108/s1479-3628%282014%290000010012
- Tummons, J. (2014). Curriculum as Accomplishment. Tracing Human and Non-human Actors in the Delivery of Educational Curricula. In G. Kapriev, M. Roussel, & I. Tchalakov (Eds.), Le Sujet De L'Acteur: an anthropological outlook on Actor-Network Theory (163-180). Wilhelm Fink
- Kits, O., Angus, C., Macleod, A., & Tummons, J. (2013). Open access to qualitative grant data in an interdisciplinary Canadian ethnographic research study.
- Russell, L., Barley, R., & Tummons, J. (Eds.). Ethics, Ethnography and Education. Emerald
- Tummons, J. (Ed.). (2020). PCET: Learning and Teaching in the Post Compulsory Sector. Sage/Learning Matters
- Tummons, J. (Ed.). (2018). Professionalism in Post-Compulsory Education and Training: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
- Tummons, J. (in press). Knowledge, expertise, craft, and practice: becoming and being a cycle technician. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2022.2132527
- Tummons, J. (2023). Theorising the everyday work of cycle mechanics. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2023.2206712
- Tummons, J. (2023). Mapping academic practice: a Latourian inquiry into a set of lecture slides. Higher Education Research & Development, 42(7), 1748-1761. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2023.2174086
- Tummons, J. (2023). “I’ve got a mountain of paperwork to do!” literacies and texts in a cycle technicians’ workshop. Journal of Education and Work, 36(5), 381-392. https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2023.2226076
- MacLeod, A., Cameron, P., Luong, V., Kovacs, G., Patrick, L., Fredeen, M., …Tummons, J. (2023). Negotiating humanity: an ethnography of cadaver-based simulation. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 28(1), 181-203. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-022-10152-4
- MacLeod, A., Luong, V., Cameron, P., Kovacs, G., Fredeen, M., Patrick, L., …Tummons, J. (2022). The Lifecycle of a Clinical Cadaver: A Practice-Based Ethnography. Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 34(5), 556-572. https://doi.org/10.1080/10401334.2022.2092111
- Hillyard, S., Tummons, J., & Winnard, S. (2021). Atrocity stories and access to elite universities: chickens at the station. Symbolic Interaction, 44(3), 533-554. https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.513
- Tummons, J. (2021). On The Educational Mode of Existence: Latour, Meta-Ethnography, and the Social Institution of Education. Social Anthropology, 29(3), 570-585. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-8676.13087
- Tummons, J. (2021). Higher education, theory, and modes of existence: thinking about universities with Latour. Higher Education Research & Development, 40(6), 1313-1325. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1804337
- Unsworth, R., & Tummons, J. (2021). Reassembling teachers' professional practice: an ethnography of intertextual hierarchies in primary mathematics. Ethnography and Education, 16(1), 109-126. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2020.1788405
- Tummons, J. (2021). Ontological pluralism, modes of existence, and actor-network theory: upgrading Latour with Latour. Social Epistemology, 35(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/02691728.2020.1774815
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2019.1683756
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2019.1586530
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-019-0513-6
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1097/acm.0000000000002536
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-019-0496-3
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2017.1290063
- Atkins, L., & Tummons, J. (2017). Professionalism in Vocational Education: International Perspectives. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 22(3), 355-369. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2017.1358517
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2017.1314682
- Tummons, J. (2017). ICTs and the internet as a framework and field in ethnographic research. Acta paedagogica Vilnensia (Spausdinta), 39, 132-143. https://doi.org/10.15388/actpaed.2017.39.11488
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2016.1226589
- 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 & Development, 35(4), 829-840. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2015.1137882
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-016-9695-4
- Macleod, A., Kits, O., Whelan, E., Fournier, C., Wilson, K., Power, G., …Brown, A. (2015). Sociomateriality: A Theoretical Framework for Studying Distributed Medical Education. Academic Medicine, 90(11), 1451-1456. https://doi.org/10.1097/acm.0000000000000708
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2014.956229
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2014.955634
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2014.872918
- Tummons, J. (2012). Theory, reflectivity and communities of research practice in Higher Education
- 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
- Ingleby, E., & Tummons, J. (2012). Repositioning professionalism: teachers, mentors, policy and praxis. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 17(2), 163-178
- 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
- Tummons, J. (2011). 'It sort of feels uncomfortable': problematising the assessment of reflective practice. Studies in Higher Education, 36(4), 471-483
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2010.529501
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2010.511444
- Tummons, J. (2010). The assessment of lesson plans in teacher education: a case study in assessment validity and reliability. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35(7), 847-857. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602930903125256
- 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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2008.01.006