Dr Gabrielle Ivinson
Gabrielle Ivinson is a lecturer in social and developmental psychology in the School of Social Sciences. She is one of the co-directors of the university Regeneration Institute (RI). The RI is a joint venture between the School of City and Regional Planning and the School of Social Sciences and acts as a vehicle for research in area-based regeneration, embracing academic and policy-related research at both local and international levels. Her specialism within this is education and she is currently exploring skills and learning in the secondary school curriculum as the boundary between work and schooling becomes increasingly blurred. She is looking at how boys from low socio-economic locales recognise skills encountered in and out of classrooms in order to develop new conceptual tools for understanding learning in school-based vocational courses. Here she draws on her prior experience as a secondary school teacher to develop new pedagogic tools for teachers and policy makers. This research calls on two of her long standing research interests; Bernstein’s sociology of pedagogy and neo-Vygotskian socio-cultural approaches to learning with an emphasis on gender.
Her recent book with Patricia Murphy, called ‘Rethinking single-sex teaching’ was based on ethnographic work in co-educational secondary schools that had introduced single sex teaching as an ameliorative strategy to deal with boys’ underachievement. The research was underpinned by neo-Vygotskian socio-cultural framework and demonstrates how the knowledge-gender dynamic plays out in everyday classroom practice in ways that teachers are not aware of. The book provides tools to help teachers reflect on the knowledge-gender dynamic and it questions the purpose of single-sex classes. It encourages everyone to use gender to open up, rather than close down, the topics and activities extended to students in order to expand learning and provide a wider access to subjects such as science, D&T, English, Dram and Art. It shows how gender was exaggerated further in single-sex classes than in mixed classes and why. Together they are extending this work to conceptualise gender as emergent practice. The extensive ethnographic work on which the project was based, used multiple methods (observation, interviews, video, audio recordings) and was undertaken while Gabrielle was a research officer at the Open University before she moved to Cardiff.
Her doctoral thesis, ‘The Construction of the Curriculum’ (Cantab 1998) brought together aspects of Bernstein’s work on pedagogy and curriculum with aspects of Moscovici’s work on Social Representations theory. The aim was to find a means to explore how the curriculum, theorised as a social representation, was internalised and re-constructed by children at different age intervals and across a range of traditional and progressive classrooms. It found that social structuration in primary school classrooms had marked effects on learning, although the effects were less for younger rather than older children because they had not yet acquired the socio-cognitive resources to understand the classroom environment well. In Bernstein’s terms they had fewer recognition and realisation rules. This was one of the first empirical studies to extend Bernstein’s work to include a developmental dimension.
While at Cambridge University she worked with Madeleine Arnot on and EU project titled ‘Women as Citizens’. Prior to that, she worked at the Institute of Education and Goldsmith’s College on the implementation of Cross Curricular Themes in secondary schools in studies that used a Bernsteinian framework.
Memberships / External Activities
Editorial Board – Gender and Education Journal. I referee journal articles for: American Journal of Sociology, Sex Education, Qualitative Research, Time and Society, Gender and Education, Learning and Instruction, TATE, International Critical Psychology Journal, The Curriculum Journal
I am a member of the following Research Groups, Cardiff University
- The Regeneration Institute, Cardiff University
- Research Clusters, School of Social Sciences
- Culture, Subjectivity, Economy,
- Sexualities and Gender,
- Education, Culture and Society,
- Ethnography, Culture and Interpretive Analysis,
- Childhood Research Group
- British Education Research Association
- Gender and Education Association (Treasurer)
- Social Representations Network
Major International Conference Organisation
Principle organizer of the Fifth International Basil Bernstein Symposium, SOCSI, Cardiff, July 12-17 2008.
PhD Thesis Supervision
- 2001 - 04 ‘Children’s Social Representations of the Police’ ESRC funded.
- 2002 - 07 ‘Children’s motivation in Primary School Settings’ ESRC funded. 2003 - 2007 ‘Socio-cultural study of English Literacy in Taiwan’ (ESRC Fellowship awarded for 2007-2008).
- 2003 - 08 ‘Social Identities: School, work, college transitions’ ESRC funded.
- 2009 - ongoing ‘Experiences of mothering; a psycho social study’ ESRC funded (Melanie Morgan)
- 2009 - ongoing ‘Gap Year Volunteer: A longitudinal psychosocial study. ESRC funded (Emilie Crossley)
- 2011 - ongoing ‘Welsh Assembly Government Foundation Phase: investigating the influence of a relatively invisible pedagogy on the early educational achievements of children from low socio-economic backgrounds. ESRC funded (Sean Johnson)
EdD Thesis Supervision
- 2002 - 04 ‘Critical Management and Business Schools’
- 2002 - 07 ‘Health Lecturers experience of change at a time profound institutional change’
- 2003 - 07 ‘A study of leadership in Higher Education’
- 2007 - ongoing ‘A Bernsteinian study of pedagogy in the NCT’ Stephen Leverett
- 2008 - ongoing ‘And shall Trelawney die? Not in my classroom!’ Catherine Camps
- 2008 - ongoing ‘A Bernsteinian study of the pedagogic fields of the QAA’ Elaine Harris Jenkins
MSc Social Sciences and Education
- 2000 - 02 ‘An Investigation into Girls’ Attitudes towards Sport’
- 2002 - 03 ‘Teachers’ representations of professionalism in Kuwait’
- 2003 - 04 ‘Secondary Students’ Social Representations of Literature in Schools in Greece’
- 2004 - 05 ‘Teachers’ perceptions of teacher training in France and UK’
- 2006 - 07 ‘Parents perceptions of their adopted Autistic Children’s school performance’
- 2007 - 07 ‘Ethnic minority children in Foster Care: Carers perspectives’
- 2001 - ongoing SI0198 Introduction to the Psychology of Education (Year 1)
- 2005 - ongoing SI0172 Introduction to Social Psychology (Year 1)
- 2001 - ongoing SI0036 Human Development (Year 2)
- 2005 SI0038 Psychology and Social Behaviour (Year 2)
- 2003 - 05 SI0147 Advanced Social Psychology (Year 3)