Dr Sandra Cooke

Dr Sandra Cooke

School of Education
Lecturer

Contact details

Address
School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Sandra is a lecturer on the BA Education programme in the School of Education.

Previously, she was the Director of Partnerships in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and a member of the Management Team.

She has worked on a range of research projects including the place of character in marginalised young people, the qualities needed for good teaching and the role education may play in changing workplace culture and practices. With a background in education policy she has worked on numerous projects with local schools and higher education practitioners. She was Lead Researcher on the Four Cities project examining young people’s attitudes to Post-Compulsory education in Hodge Hill, in Birmingham. Her research in education includes working as co-investigator on an ESRC TLRP project examining Learning and Teaching for Social Diversity and Difference; looking at the place of knowledge in vocational educational qualifications; students’ experiences of studying science at university and the role of fair admissions practices in widening participation to higher education.

Qualifications

  • PhD Education (University of Birmingham)
  • Pg Certificate in Research in Education
  • MA Social Policy
  • BA (Hons) Public Administration

Biography

Sandra is lecturer on the BA Education programme in the School of Education. Previously, she was a Research Fellow in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues where she researched the role of values in professional practice in Medicine and Education. She also worked in the Centre for Research in Medical and Dental Education (now the HPERU), working on a range of projects including the role of nurses in educating patients. With a background in education policy she has worked on numerous projects with local schools and higher education practitioners. She was Lead Researcher on the Four Cities project examining young people’s attitudes to Post-Compulsory education in Hodge Hill, in Birmingham. Her research in education includes working as co-investigator on an ESRC TLRP project examining Learning and Teaching for Social Diversity and Difference; looking at the place of knowledge in vocational educational qualifications; students’ experiences of studying science at university and the role of fair admissions practices in widening participation to higher education.

Her professional background is in widening participation policy and practice. She worked as an Education Adviser at Sheffield Hallam University, advising students and academic staff on issues of academic practice, before moving to Birmingham in 1999. After working in research for the WEA and UNISON developing a support framework for Lifelong Learning Advisors and then NASUWT as an Education Policy Officer, she joined the University of Birmingham, becoming Head of Widening Participation (Outreach) shortly afterwards. She then moved to the School of Education to become a Research Fellow as well as undertaking her PhD which examined students’ experiences in higher education. She has also worked as an independent Research Consultant, working with both local schools and national policy bodies.

Teaching

Sandra teaches on the Children as Citizens module on the BA (Hons) Education degree programme.

Postgraduate supervision

Sandra is interested in supervising research students who have the following interests: Widening participation in Higher Education; Professional knowledge and education; Teaching as a moral practice; Teaching and Learning in Higher Education; Educational Policy; Educational Inequalities; Education and Social Justice.

She is currently supervising students who are researching the following topis:

  • The use of humour in nurse education
  • Skill acquisition and confidence in student nurses
  • Higher Education students and learning capabilities in an age of widening participation

Research

October 2012 – March 2015

Research Fellow in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, School of Education: Principal Investigator, ‘The good teacher Understanding virtues in practice’. 

June 2012
Improving literacy in the transition period: What do we need to know about what works? : With Professor Stephen Gorard and Dr Beng Huat See. Literature Review of evidence of what works in improving literacy at end of Key Stage 2. Funded by the Educational Endowment Foundation.

September 2012 – 2013 
Benchmarking for the accreditation of simulation in medical education: With Professor Jim Parle. Organising expert panel, piloting accreditation framework and subsequent analysis and write up. For the Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) project.

Investigating the ways that nurses in dialysis sessions promote the uptake of home haemodialysis: With Professor Hywel Thomas. Designing the qualitative study, negotiating access to hospital sites, designing fieldwork instruments and preparing applications for national ethics approval. Fieldwork is due to commence once ethics approval has been obtained. For the Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) project.

October 2010 – June 2011

Evaluating the role of Public Health placements in the training of GPs: With Professor Hywel Thomas. Mixed methods study. Designing and conducting interviews with trainees in the workplace and by telephone, and with their Educational Supervisors. Analysis of data and second authorship of the report. First author of paper in preparation. For the West Midlands Deanery.

September 2010 – June 2011
Who is teaching science? A preliminary study of teachers’ qualifications from 1960-present day: With Professor Emma Smith. Secondary data analysis of data sets from various sources to examine patterns of qualification amongst the teaching profession.

Sept 2008 - May 2009
Who is studying science? A study of undergraduate participation in science in higher education: With Professor Emma Smith. Mixed methods study. Designing and administering questionnaire to 890 final year students across six universities, conducting focus groups and individual interviews, analysing data and writing up for conference presentation (BERA, Manchester, September 2009) and subsequent publication (International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, Volume 9, Issue 2). For the ESRC.

Jan 2008 - Aug 2008
How long does a spontaneous language sample need to be? Testing the reliability of four different sample lengths in grammatical analysis: With Dr Jodie Thomerdhal. Mixed methods study. Publicising the project, recruiting young parents and children to take part in fieldwork, conducting fieldwork involving filming parents and children at play. For Nuffield.

Jan 2006 - April 2008
Learning and Teaching for Social Diversity and Difference: Co-investigator with Professor Chris Hockings and Dr Marion Bowl. Mixed methods study. Lead researcher within Birmingham, designing and conducting fieldwork and writing up and dissemination. Designing and administering a questionnaire to 275 sixth form students in four local schools and colleges and a different questionnaire to 290 first year students in two universities, across four subjects. Also used semi-structured interviews, focus groups and classroom observations of university lectures.

Research projects as an independent Research Consultant

October 2010 – July 2011
Vocational Educational Qualifications: With Professors Kathryn Ecclestone and Ann-Marie Bathmaker. Mixed methods study. Designing fieldwork instruments, including a questionnaire to pupils, negotiating access to relevant participants, organising seminars and conducting telephone and personal interviews, analysis of data and making a significant contribution to the written report. Funded by Edexcel.

January 2011 - July 2011
Schools’ experiences of the Access to Birmingham scheme: Sole researcher. Small scale mixed methods project using an online survey to all A2B partners and semi-structured interviews with local schools’ Access to Birmingham co-ordinators and students. Designed research, conducted fieldwork, analysed data, prepared interim and final reports.

December 2009 – July 2011 
Evaluation of the Supporting Professionalism in Admissions Programme: With Professor Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor of Wolverhampton University. A mixed methods study. Designing a questionnaire for all British HEIs and sole responsibility for three case study sites. Third author to report submitted to HEFCE and the Steering Group.

October 2008 - July 2009
Pupil voice in raising achievement: Sole researcher. An action research project working with a local school to raise the achievement of an identified group of students at risk of disengagement from school. Designing research, conducting fieldwork, analysing data, writing interim and final reports.

March 2009 - June 2009
Admissions tutors’ perspectives on an admissions scheme designed to widen participation: Sole researcher. A small scale qualitative project using semi-structured interviews with admissions tutors. Designing research, conducting fieldwork, analysing data, writing interim and final reports.

March 2008 - July 2008
Students’ experiences of entry to university through an admissions scheme designed to widen participation: Sole researcher. A small scale qualitative project using semi-structured interviews. Designing research, conducting fieldwork, analysing data, writing interim and final reports.

Dec 2005 - July 2006
Young participation in higher education, in Hodge Hill: Lead researcher on a case study project examining the causes of low-participation in higher education by young people, subsequently named the ‘Four Cities’ work. Liaising with national research team, designing research, conducting fieldwork, analysing data, lead author for interim and final reports, presenting findings to a range of audiences including local MP Liam Byrne, head teachers, academics (including by invitation to three national seminars), practitioner events.

Other activities

Presentation to the UNICEF Central and Eastern Regional Meeting in Geneva on 24th November 2015. Comprising twenty nation states from Uzbekistan to Croatia, the regional meeting focused on ‘Working with adolescents to realise their rights and build on their strengths and resilience: Second Decade-Second Chance’.

Invited study visit to Optentia Research Centre at North West University, South Africa 2nd - 6th November 2015. While there, Dr Cooke visited three schools in a range of settings, including a township primary school in Sharpeville and a farm school in Bothaville where she gave a presentation to staff at the school. As well as giving a day long workshop at the university, she also delivered a half-day workshop on putting practice into policy. 

Invited keynote speech to Avanti Schools Trust Annual Conference, 16 October 2015. 

Invited contribution to the UNICEF and Bureau of Education Quality Education Teachers’ workshop, Podgorica, Montenegro on 23rd-24th June. 

Expert panel guest on the Moral Maze, 29 October 2014.

Invited visit tothe Stanford Center on Adolescence in May 2014.

Publications

Articles in Academic Journals

Sanderse, W. and Cooke, S. (under review) “Becoming a moral educator through experience. Can teacher education prepare teachers for morally educating students?”

Davison, I., Cooke, S. and Gutteridge, R. (2015) “How can the service configuration of dialysis centres encourage shared care?” Journal of Renal Nursing, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 118-123 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/jorn.2015.7.3.118

Cooke, S. (2015)What part does university play in the development of a caring character disposition for nurses? Some theoretical, historical and empirical considerations.” Journal of Character Education, Volume 11, pp.21-27. http://www.readperiodicals.com/201501/3859272611.html

Davison, I. and Cooke, S. (2015)"How nurses’ attitudes and actions can influence shared care", Journal of Renal Care, Volume 1 DOI: 10.1111/jorc.12105. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jorc.12105/full

Cooke, S. and Carr, D. (2014), 'Virtue, practical wisdom and character in teaching' British Journal of Education Studies, vol 62, no. 2, pp. 91-110., DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2014.929632

E Smith and S Cooke. (2011) 'I was told it was going to be hard work but I wasn’t told it was going to be this much work': the experiences and aspirations of undergraduate science students, International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, Volume 9, Issue 2 DOI: 10.1007/s10763-010-9228-1

Hockings, C., Cooke, S. and Bowl, M. (2010) Learning and Teaching in Two Universities within the context of increasing student diversity: complexity, contradictions and challenges in David, M. (Ed.) Improving Learning by Widening Participation in Higher Education Abingdon: Routledge

Hockings, C., Cooke, S., Yamashita, H. McGinty, S. and Bowl, M. (2009) ‘I’m neither entertaining nor charismatic. . .’ Negotiating university teacher identity within diverse student groups. Teaching in Higher Education , Vol 14, Issue 5, pp483-494 DOI: 10.1080/13562510903186642

Bowl M, Cooke S, Hockings C (2008a), Researching across the boundaries and borders : the challenges for research, Educational Action Research, Vol 16, Issue 1, pp 85-95

Hockings, C., Cooke, S. and Bowl, M. (2008b) Learning and teaching for social diversity and difference in higher education: towards more inclusive learning environments. Research Briefing 41. London, TLRP.

Bowl, M., Cooke, S., Hockings, C. (2008c) Home or Away? Issues of ‘choice’, living arrangements and what it means to be a student. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, Vol 10, (3): 4-13

Hockings, C., Cooke, S., Yamashita, H., McGinty, S. and Bowl, M. (2008d) Switched off? A study of disengagement among computing students at two universities. Research Papers in Education 23 (2): 191–203.

Book Chapters

Hockings, C., Cooke, S. and Bowl, M. (2010) Learning and Teaching in Two Universities within the context of increasing student diversity: complexity, contradictions and challenges in David, M. (Ed.) Improving Learning by Widening Participation in Higher Education Abingdon: Routledge

Research Reports

Davison, I., Cooke, S., and Gutteridge, R. (2013) An investigation into the ways that nurses in dialysis sessions promote the uptake of home haemodialysis, Birmingham: West Midlands HIEC

See, BH, Gorard, S., Cooke, S. and Siddiqui, N. (2012) Improving literacy in the transition period: What do we need to know about what works?, London: Educational Endowment Foundation

Bathmaker, A.M., Ecclestone K., and Cooke S. (2011a). The role of stakeholders in defining knowledge in general vocational education at levels 2 and 3. End of Project (Phase One) Report. Report to National Awarding Body, Edexcel. 

Bathmaker, A.M., Ecclestone K., and Cooke S.. (2011b). Translating general vocational education knowledge into practice: Pedagogy, assessment and cognitive progression in schools and colleges. End of Project (Phase Two) report. Report to National Awarding Body, Edexcel. 

Davison, I., Cooke, S. and Thomas, H. (2011c) An evaluation of Public Health placements for General Practice specialty training. Report to NHS West Midlands. 

Cooke, S, Mannion, P, Warmington, P, with Mackenzie, L, Soni, S (2007a) Young Participation in Higher Education in Birmingham Hodge Hill, HEFCE Research Report

Cooke, S (2001) Developing support for UNISON Lifelong Learning Advisers. Final Project report, UNISON