Google Custom Search
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YD UK
Home >

My work explores communication and interaction in the everyday textually-mediated social world and how people negotiate changes in the resources and technologies available to them. My research approach involves close analysis of how texts, both print and digital, are used within social encounters and how texts circulate within institutional settings. I am interested in informal learning across the lifespan; how older people negotiate changing literacies and technologies making choices among communicative resources (face to face print and digital); the effects of digital literacies on social isolation and connectivity; how communicative and learning resources are built across the life span and can aid adaptability and strong social networks. In recent years I have become increasingly involved with historical and interpretative policy analysis exploring how international influences reach into local practice and the implications of this for tutor and student agency in adult literacy education.

PhD Supervision Interests

Adult language, literacy and numeracy education (ALLN) and the new literacy studies; Informal adult learning and everyday practices; use of Literacies and Technologies across the lifespan; policy issues in ALLN, global and comparative perspectives; international assessments; media representations of educational issues; participatory research methodologies; institutional ethnography, socio-material approaches to research; use of visual data and computer assisted qualitative analysis..

Profile

Career details

September 2014- Emerita Professor, Dept Educational Research, Lancaster University

October 2013 Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Centre for Research in Learning and Change, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.

June 2011 Visiting Fellow, School of Education, University of Western Ontario, Canada

2006-2009 Head of Department, Educational Research

Summer 2003 Visiting Professor Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

2000- Professor of Adult learning and Literacy Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University

1996-2002 Director of Faculty of Social Sciences Graduate School

1986- 1999 Senior Research Fellow Centre for the Study of Education and Training, Lancaster University

Summer 1986 Visiting Professor Department of Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

1981-85 Research Fellow, IRDPCE, University of Lancaster: Mature Student Participation in Education Project and Outcomes of Post-experience courses in Further and Adult Education

1980-81 Research Associate, Stanford University: Cognitive Effects of Literacy (National Institute of Education)

1979-80 Senior Research Assistant, California State University at Hayward A Sociolinguistic Study of Classroom behaviour

Research Interests

I am based in the Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning within the Department of Educational Research and am an Associate Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre which is a partner in the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC). I am also a member of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, The Centre for Gender and Womens' Studies and the Centre for Ageing Research at Lancaster.

My Interests are in language, old (print) and new (digital) literacies; informal adult Learning in everyday contexts; academic literacies in digital environments;globalisation and educational policy; and multimodal discourse. My most recent collaborations are around international tests of adult literacy and the growing field of the sociology of measurement.

I am known for the research I have done in developing a social practice approach to literacy studies and in 2012 a new edition of my book  Local Literacies (co-authored with David Barton) was issued by Routledge as a Linguistics Classic). Other recent books include Literacy and the Politics of Representation, Routledge and More Powerful Literacies, National Institute for Adult Continuing Education co-edited with Lyn Tett and Jim Crowther from the Unviersity of Edinburgh.

 In my research and theoretical work I draw on concepts from actor network theory, social semiotic theory, institutional ethnography and linguistic ethnography. I am interested in innovative research methodologies particularly qualitative and participatory models of research, on-line research, practitioner research, media analysis. I have a special interest in Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis and the use of visual images and multi-modal data sources in research.

I have taken part in UNESCO and European Community initiatives on literacy. I am a founder member of the national network, Research and Practice in Adult Literacy (RaPAL). Funded research projects have included literacy in the workplace (Leverhulme Trust); literacy practices in the local community (funded by the ESRC); Open Learning in Adult Basic Education (Universities Funding Council); Public Images of Literacy in the Press (Nuffield, Leverhulme) as well as a range of policy oriented and evaluation projects funded by UK government sources, local and national. I co-ordinated a DfES/ESF funded network of Practitioner-led Research Projects for the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

I completed a book (with Yvonne Hillier at Brighton University) based on the ESRC funded project Changing Faces: A Critical History of Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL in the UK 1970-2000. I am co-editor of a further book (with Lyn Tett at the University of Edinburgh and Yvonne Hillier ) based on the ESRC-funded seminar series on Adult Basic Education.

I am a member of the International Board of the International Journal of Literacy and Numeracy Sydney, Australia and Reading Research Quarterly, USA. Board member of Studies in the Education of Adults, NIACE, UK.

I was a commissioner for the National Literacy Inquiry co-ordinated by the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education and chaired by Lord Tim Boswell. The inquiry reviewed what has been achieved by recent government policy on literacy and examined the literacy demands for individuals, organisations, communities and families in a period of economic challenge. The final report of this  inquiry was published  on International Literacy Day, 8 September 2011.

Current Teaching

I teach on the on-line collaborative Doctoral Programme in Technology Enhanced Learning. I convene the research methods module on this programme and an undergraduate module on Learning in a Digital Age. I supervise research students and undergraduate dissertations.

I place a high priority on collaborative research and development activities with teachers and practitioners in the learning skills sector, which include advice and support in carrying out action research projects, running in-service training workshops, giving talks, organising meetings and conferences (see for example my current involvement with the oral history project run by the Pecket Learning Group).

2013

The texts of everyday life: public and private identities in vernacular literacy practices

Hamilton, M. & Barton, D. 2013 Literacy studies. Prinsloo, M. & Baynham, M. (eds.). Los Angeles: Sage, Vol. 2, p. 1-21 21 p. (Sage Benchmarks in Language and Linguistics)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Crossing boundaries: digital and non-digital literacy practices in formal and informal contexts in further and higher education

Satchwell, C., Barton, D. & Hamilton, M. 2013 Literacy in the digital university: critical perspectives on learning, scholarship and technology. Goodfellow, R. & Lea, M. R. (eds.). London: Routledge

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2012

Spiralling through change: older people negotiating new communication technologies, a collaborative research project

Hamilton, M. 09/2012 In: International Journal of Education and Ageing. 2, 3, p. 181-206 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Local Literacies: Reading and Writing in One Community

Barton, D. & Hamilton, M. 2012 2nd Linguistics Classics ed. London: Routledge. 336 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

More Powerful Literacies

Tett, L. (ed.), Hamilton, M. (ed.) & Crowther, J. (ed.) 2012 Leicester: NIACE. 240 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Visual Literacy as a Classroom Approach

Rowsell, J., McClean, C. & Hamilton, M. 2012 In: Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 55, 5, p. 444-447 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The effects of the literacy policy environment on local sites of learning

Hamilton, M. 2012 In: Language and Education. 26, 2, p. 166-182 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Literacy and the Politics of Representation

Hamilton, M. 2012 Routledge. 176 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2011

Challenging representations: constructing the adult literacy learner over 30 years of policy and practice in the United Kingdom

Hamilton, M. & Pitt, K. 10/2011 In: Reading Research Quarterly. 46, 4, p. 350-373 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Spiralling Through Change: Older Adults Engaging with New Technologies

Hamilton, M. 2011 In: Adults Learning. 22, 6, p. 28-31 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Everyday Enchantments: Literacy and the Politics of Representation

Hamilton, M. 2011 In: Language and Literacy. 13, 2, p. 6-8 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Unruly practices: what a sociology of translations can offer to educational policy analysis.

Hamilton, M. E. 12/2011 In: Educational Philosophy and Theory. 43, Supplement 1, p. 55-75 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2010

Managing Transitions in Skills for Life

Hamilton, M. 2010 Transitions and learning through the lifecourse. Ecclestone, K., Biesta, G. & Hughes, M. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 69-86 18 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

La littératie: une pratique sociale

Barton, D. & Hamilton, M. 2010 In: Langage et Societe. 133, p. 45-62 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2009

Relinquishing the practices of a lifetime: observations on ageing, caring and literacies.

Hamilton, M. 2009 In: Literacy and Numeracy Studies. 17, 1, p. 63-74 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Creativity in Academic Writing: Escaping from the Straitjacket of Genre?

Hamilton, M. E. & Pitt, K. 2009 Why Writing Matters: Issues of access and identity in writing research and pedagogy. Carter, A., Lillis, T. & Parkin, S. (eds.). 12 ed. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, p. 61-80 20 p. (Studies in Written Language and Literacy)

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

ESOL policy and change.

Hamilton, M. & Hillier, Y. 2009 In: Language Issues. 20, 1, p. 4-18 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Putting words in their mouths: the alignment of identities with system goals through the use of individual learning plans.

Hamilton, M. 04/2009 In: British Educational Research Journal. 35, 2, p. 221-242 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2007

Deliberative Policy Analysis: Adult Literacy Assessment and the Politics of Change.

Hamilton, M. E. & Hillier, Y. 1/09/2007 In: Journal of Education Policy. 22, 5, p. 573-594 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Critical perspectives on practitioner research.

Hamilton, M., Appleby, Y., Belzer, A., Cuban, S. & Kambouri, M. 06/2007

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

Outside practices: the social practice theory of literacy.

Cuban, S., Hamilton, M., Barton, D., Papen, U. & Reder, S. 04/2007

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

Advanced continuing professional development.

Hamilton, M., James, K. & Cuban, S. 2007 In: Professional Development: Basic Skills Bulletin. 8, 12

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Reflections on agency and change in the policy process.

Hamilton, M. 06/2007 In: Journal of Vocational Education and Training. 59, 2, p. 249-260 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Practitioner research: just a fling or a long-term relationship?

Hamilton, M., Davies, P. & James, K. 2007 London: NRDC.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2006

Practitioner research: just a fling or a long-term relationship?

Hamilton, M. 10/2006 In: Reflect. 6, p. 14-18 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Just do it: Literacies, everyday learning and the irrelevance of pedagogy.

Hamilton, M. 2006 In: Studies in the Education of Adults.38, 2, p. 125-140 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Adult Literacy, Language and Numeracy: Practice, Policy, Research.

Tett, L., Hamilton, M. E. & Hillier, Y. 2006 Open University Press. 160 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

The changing face of adult literacy, language and numeracy 1970-2000: a critical history.

Hamilton, M. E. & Hillier, Y. 2006 Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books. 208 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2005

New ways of engaging new learners: lessons from round one of the practitioner-led research initiative.

Wilson, A. & Hamilton, M. 2005 London: National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

New ways of engaging new learners: insights from the first round of the practitioner-led research initiative.

Hamilton, M. & Wilson, A. 2005 London: NRDC.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Imagined spaces.

Hamilton, M. & Hillier, Y. 2005 In: Adults Learning. 7, 1, p. 1816-20 1797 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Literacy as social practice: travelling between the everyday and other forms of learning.

Appleby, Y. & Hamilton, M. 2005 Lifelong learning: concepts and contexts. Sutherland, P. & Crowther, J. (eds.). London: Routledge, 247 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Just do it: literacies, everyday learning and the irrelevance of pedagogy.

Hamilton, M. 2005 In: Studies in the Education of Adults. 38, 2, p. 125-140 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Understanding the everyday: adult lives, literacies and informal learning.

Hamilton, M. 2005 Understanding literacy development: a global view. McKeough, A., Phillips, L., Timmons, V. & Lupart, J. (eds.). Newark, N.J.: Erlbaum

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Literacy, reification and the dynamics of social interaction.

Barton, D. & Hamilton, M. 2005 Beyond communities of practice: language power and social context. Barton, D. & Tusting, K. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2004

Changing faces of adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL.

Hillier, Y. & Hamilton, M. 2004 Literacy Today. London: National Literacy Trust

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2003

The English mass media: its contribution to adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL (ALNE) policy 1970-2000.

Shahnaz, I. & Hamilton, M. 2003 In: Fine Print. 26, 1, p. 34-37 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The contribution of the mass media to adult literacy. numeracy and ESOL policy in England.

Shahnaz, I. & Hamilton, M. 2003 In: RaPAL Journal. 50

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2002

Sustainable literacies and the ecology of lifelong learning.

Hamilton, M. 2002 Supporting lifelong learning. Harrison, R., Reeve, F., Hanson, A. & Clarke, J. (eds.). Buckingham and London: Routledge / Open University, Vol. 1: pe, p. 176-187 12 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2001

Editorial: broadening the study of reading.

Hamilton, M. & Barton, D. P. 10/2001 In: Journal of Research in Reading. 24, 3, p. 217-221 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Privileged Literacies: Policy, Institutional Process and the Life of IALS

Hamilton, M. E. 1/07/2001 In: Language and Education. 15, 2, p. 178-196 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Commentary on the NFER research report progress in adult literacy.

Hamilton, M. 2001 Leicester: National Institute for Adult Continuing Education.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Powerful literacies.

Crowther, J., Hamilton, M. & Tett, L. 2001 Leicester: National Institute for Adult Continuing Education.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

2000

Situated literacies.

Barton, D. P., Hamilton, M. E. & Ivanic, R. 2000 London: Routledge. 222 p. (Literacies)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

The International Adult Literacy Survey: What Does It Really Measure?

Hamilton, M. & Barton, D. 09/2000 In: International Review of Education. 46, 5, p. 377-389 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Exploring literacy as social practice through media photographs.

Hamilton, M. E. 2000 Situated literacies: reading and writing in context. Barton, D. P., Hamilton, M. E. & Ivanic, R. (eds.). London: Routledge, p. 16-34 19 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Policy and practice in workplace basic skills in the UK.

Hamilton, M. E. & Frank, F. 2000 In: British Journal of Education and Work.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Ethnology in the classroom: contructing a reflective curriculum for literacy

Hamilton, M. 10/2000 In: Pedagogy, Culture and Society. 7, 3, p. 429-444 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Adult learning and literacy in the United Kingdom

Hamilton, M. & Merrifield, J. 2000 Annual review of adult learning and literacy. Comings, J., Garner, B. & Smith, C. (eds.). Jossey-Bass, Vol. 1, p. 243-303 61 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

1999

The texts of everyday life: public and private identities in vernacular literacy practices.

Hamilton, M. E. & Barton, D. P. 1999 In: Caldernos Linguistics and Society. 3, p. 45-71 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Adult basic education in the UK: lessons for the US.

Hamilton, M. & Merrifiield, J. 1999 In: National Review of Adult Learning and Literacy. 1, 1

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Whatever next? Policy and practice in workplace basic skills in the UK

Frank, F. & Hamilton, M. 1999 Researching work and learning: a first international conference. Challis, T. (ed.). Leeds: University of Leeds, School of Continuing Education, p. 631-644 14 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

1998

Local literacies: a study of reading and writing in on community.

Barton, D. & Hamilton, M. 1998 London: Routledge. 299 p.

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Histories and horoscopes: the ethnographer as fortuneteller.

Hamilton, M. 1998 In: Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 29, 3, p. 1-10 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1997

Keeping alive alternative visions: ABE in the UK.

Hamilton, M. 1997 ALPHA 97: Basic education and institutional environments. Hautecoeur, J. P. (ed.). Hamburg & Toronto: UNESCO Institute for Education & Culture Concepts, p. 131-150 20 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

1996

Putting the new literacy studies into practice.

Hamilton, M. & Barton, D. 1996 Lifelong Literacies Conference Proceedings. Mace, J. & Fitzpatrick, S. (eds.). Manchester

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

A history of adult basic education.

Hamilton, M. 1996 A history of modern adult education. Fieldhouse, R. (ed.). Leicester: NIACE, p. 142-165 24 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

1995

The challenge of linking research and practice: ways of learning in adult basic education.

Hamilton, M. & Moss, W. 1995 Innovations in continuing education provision, teaching and learning: research perspectives. Hamilton, M. & Withnall, A. (eds.). Lancaster: University of Lancaster, Department of Continuing Education, p. 113-120 8 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

1994

Early days: the effects of incorporation on adult basic education in England and Wales.

Hamilton, M. 1994 Lancaster: Lancaster University Centre for the Study of Education & Training

Research output: Working paperOther

Worlds of literacy.

Hamilton, M., Barton, D. & Ivanic, R. 1994 Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 274 p. (The Language and education library)

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

1993

Not just a number: the role of basic skills programmes in the changing workplace / Fiona Frank, Mary Hamilton.

Frank, F. & Hamilton, M. 1993 Lancaster: Lancaster University Centre for the Study of Education & Training, 2002 p.

Research output: Working paper

Literacy and long-term unemployment: options for adult guidance, support and training.

Hamilton, M. & Davies, P. 1993 In: British Journal of Education and Work. 6, 2, p. 5-19 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1987

Literacy, numeracy and adults: evidence from the National Child Development Survey.

Hamilton, M. & Stasinopoulos, M. 1987 London: Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit, 85 p.

Research output: Working paper

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences homepage
Home | Literacy Research Discussion Group | Members | Affiliate Members | News | Literacies Log | Archive