Signs of the pandemic past – the national lockdown in Australia, 2020

This Sociological Life

This time three years ago, all Australians were experiencing the one and only national lockdown that was implemented in our nation to contain the COVID-19 pandemic (further lockdowns were localised, and for some Australians, this national lockdown was the only extended one they experienced over these years). Restrictions began to be introduced by the Commonwealth and state governments in mid-March 2020 and as COVID cases began to drop and community transmission became well controlled, these measures were gradually eased from mid-May 2020.

The national lockdown was a stressful, frightening and difficult time for many people, particularly those who lost their jobs, were dealing with educating their children at home or struggled with feelings of social isolation. However, some Australians found some silver linings or discovered that their lives were hardly changed by the restrictions. This was a time where everyone was taking the risks posed by COVID-19 very seriously, and…

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unlearning – a tiny reflection


My photo – Tate Summer school a long time ago.

There’s a lot of learning that goes on in universities. Of course, I hear you say, that is what universities are about. Yes, but I’m thinking particularly about the learning that goes on during the doctorate and afterwards. On and on and on, it’s always learning. Learning more and learning different. Always are to know and more to learn.

As someone who works in the field of education, learning is my bread and butter. So everything I do work-wise is about teaching and learning. But my job is also about unlearning. Forgetting what you know. Doing it no more. And a confession – I’m particularly interested in unlearning.

Unlearning sounds easy but is actually really tricky. It;s mot just a matter or forgetting or replacing one thing with another.

Imagine you know how to ride a bike. You’ve ridden a bike for…

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Research targets: the pirate code for academics


The Slow Academic

Today I had a short conversation with an early career academic that made me thankful that I decided to start this blog. I enjoyed talking with her – it was our first meeting, and she came across as smart, ambitious and engaging. She is also working at a punishing rate. She told me that six days a week she starts work at 5am and keeps going for 12 hours. She is currently teaching three subjects, has seven funded research projects, and has joined several committees. She has a young son. Her refrain was: It will get better, I just need to make it through this semester. 

Image result for just my mind

Source: Dirk’s Big Bunny Blog

I didn’t ask her about her hobbies. I mentioned that I’d started this blog and work three days a week. I talked a bit about why: because my wellbeing and that of my family comes first, because…

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Academic Stigma 

Stigma HE


Picture this: Cinderella has finally made it to the ball. Glitzy gown and all. Now imagine Cinderella isn’t going to the ball, but to university. The glitzy gown is now their shiny A-level or equivalent certificates. After this point, it should all end ‘happily ever after’ for these students.

However as research has pointed out, (see: Reay; Crozier; Thomas) this is rarely the case. Oftentimes for non-traditional students – so first generation, BAME, mature students and those with SEND – the journey into higher education is riddled with confusion and anxiety.

In this post, we will discuss some elements of stigma, the effects it has on students and how institutions have often overlooked this element. It is evident that the UK HE system is considered to be riddled with inequalities. For example, Reay et al. (2005) point out that the lower the socio-economic class a young person is a member…

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Data ‘collection’ and the construction of lore – Part One



Welcome to Scholārise. For our first post, we begin a short series exploring the potential relationships between lore, learning and data collection. Enjoy!

Research methodology is often a minefield of varying concepts competing against each other for supremacy in the dojo of academia, perhaps even more so for methods of ‘collecting’ data. Here at Scholārise, we are interested in exploring methods and methodologies that upset the balance of power between students from less advantaged backgrounds and those who would prefer to keep knowledge locked away behind academic paywalls and iron gates. This post will identify one such methodological stance that you might find useful: the construction of ‘lore’.

Okay, so what is lore?

According to the OED (2022), lore as a word finds its origins in archaic languages such as the Old English laar, the Middle English lar or the Latin lār. These older words branch off abroad into…

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Call for papers: Learning Landscapes


Education in a Pivotal Time: The Moment for Inspiration, Innovation, and Change

We are welcoming manuscripts for the Spring 2023 publication about innovative and inspiring research and practices at any level of education. We are anticipating articles which open possibilities for inclusive, equitable and socially just spaces for teaching, learning, and change. We encourage submissions that show, rather than just tell, include multiple forms of representation, and showcase diverse and marginalized voices.

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Bullying, mobbing, and incivility in the healthcare workplace

health systems and bullying

Minding the Workplace

On Wednesday, I discussed bullying, mobbing, and incivility in healthcare workplaces at a Grand Rounds session hosted by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, in New York City. It was a welcomed opportunity to discuss the challenges of the current healthcare work environment with physicians and other professionals.

Grand Rounds are a form of continuing professional education for those who work in healthcare settings. Sessions typically feature a presentation plus Q&A. Although many Grand Rounds presenters are experts in specific areas of healthcare practice and delivery, at times folks from related fields are invited to present.

When I first became involved with anti-bullying work in the late 1990s, it soon became evident that many healthcare workplaces were sites of significant bullying and related behaviors. I first started hearing accounts of bullying from nurses. Then came the stories from physicians, residents, and medical…

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Engaging Patients in Patient Education Research: A Short Review of Qualitative Approaches

short punchy article on patient as research partner


This week’s blog post is from Dr. Sean Halpin, who is a Senior Research Associate with Evidera, a component of Pharmaceutical Product Development, on the Patient-Centered Research team. Dr. Halpin has over a decade of experience leading socio-behavioral studies across a wide range of chronic and infectious disease areas and has published numerous journal articles to do with patient care. His responsibilities at Evidera include preparing research proposals, developing and executing research protocols, overseeing data collection and analysis, interpreting the research results and supporting sponsors strategic goals, managing operational and financial aspects of research studies, and disseminating results. Dr. Halpin has a Ph.D. in qualitative research and evaluation methodologies from the University of Georgia and an MA in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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dislodging stuck writing

Stuck writing


Do you have a bit of writing that is stuck? I don’t mean you can’t get any words down on the page. I mean you have some writing where you just can’t work out what to do next. You think. You put the writing away for a bit. You go for a walk. You do some reading about the topic. You come back to the text and…. Gah, still stuck.

Sometimes writing gets stuck like wheels in mud. Doing more of the same simply leads to you spinning your wheels and getting in deeper. Going nowhere. Sometimes writing gets stuck like a stone wedged in the sole of your shoe. You can keep walking but is very uncomfortable. And you probably aren’t going to make it all the way walking like this. You need a very pointy stick to dislodge the obdurate object.

What stuck writing needs is its own…

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