Dr David Walker

Research Fellow

School of Education

Dr David Walker

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgnaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom


David is a Research Fellow in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. His interest in character and identity began during a first career in the British Army. In 2010 he completed a PhD in Sociology and Social Policy at Durham University before moving to USA to work as a Research Associate at Purdue University, Indiana, in the Human Development and Family Studies Department (HDFS). Here in Birmingham, he is working on a project to investigate the place of character and virtue education in British Schools.


  • PhD Sociology and Social Policy, Durham University
  • MA Social Policy, University of York
  • BSc(Hons) Social Policy, Open University
  • Durham University Learning and Teaching Award


David completed a first career in the British Army in September 2007. For the last 8 years of this, he worked as a regional manager of specialist welfare, delivering interventions and advice to families, service members, and to the chain of command. His academic progress took place on a part-time basis alongside his first career until he started a full-time PhD at Durham University in September 2007 (ESRC funded). This research investigated identity transitions of 28 career soldiers and officers anticipating exit from the British Army.

After working freelance for a number of organizations (NHS, Army Welfare Service, Durham University and Institute of Criminal Policy Research at Birbeck, University of London), David became a Research Associate at Purdue University, Indiana, USA. He worked in the Military Family Research Institute (part of the HDFS Department) on a large longitudinal study of National Guard families experiencing operational deployment. David was also involved in research and writing activities for other projects such as the evaluation of Sesame multimedia materials designed for families with a wounded or injured member.

At the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, David is working on ‘Virtue Education in British Schools’, a project investigating the place of character and virtue education in British Schools.


2012 - ‘Virtue Education in British Schools’ - a project designed to investigate the place of character and virtue education in British Schools.

2011 to 12 - Research Associate at Military Family Research Institute (HDFS) Purdue, working on the following projects:
Family Journeys – a large Longitudinal study of National Guard families experiencing all stages of operational deployment (quantitative).

Family Adaptation and Resilience – a study of 70 sick and injured US Veterans and their families (mixed methods).
Evaluation of ‘Sesame’ multimedia materials designed for military families coping with deployment, multiple deployment and injury (quantitative).

2009 to 2011 - Gathered data for a large project called ‘Young People, Interventions and the Secure Estate’. This study is being completed by the Institute of Criminal Policy Research Team at Birbeck, University of London in conjunction with IPSOS Mori (mixed methods).

2007 to 2010 - PhD Project which investigated how career soldiers understood the process of leaving the Army. This work focussed on the processes of identity transition while the leavers were anticipating exit from lengthy Army careers (qualitative).

Other activities

Associate of the Higher Education Academy (AHEA)


Sanderse, W., Walker, D. & Jones, C. (forthcoming). Developing the whole child in an age of academic measurement: can this be done according to U.K. teachers? Teaching and Teacher Education

Walker, D.I., (forthcoming) Putting ‘Insider-ness’ to Work: Researching Identity Narratives of Career Soldiers about to Leave the Army in Woodward, R., Jenkings, N., Williams, A., & Rech, M.,  Ashgate Research Companion to Military Research Methods

Walker, D. I., (2013). Anticipating Army Exit: Identity Constructions of Final Year UK Career Soldiers. Armed Forces and Society, 39 (2); 284 - 304.

Walker, D. I., Roberts, M. P. & Kristjánsson, K. (2013). Towards a new era of character education in theory and in practice. Educational Review, DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2013.827631.

Walker, D. I., Cardin, J.F., Chawla, N., Topp, D., Burton, T., MacDermid Wadsworth, S., (2013).  Effectiveness of a Multimedia Outreach Kit for families of wounded veterans, Disability and Health, (in press).


Topp, D., Cardin, J F., Walker, D. I., MacDermid Wadsworth, S. (2013).  The Impact of "Talk, Listen, Connect" Evaluation Overview of Sesame Workshop Kits for Military Families with Young Children.  Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University, Indiana, USA.


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