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Dr Kerry Harman

Programme Director
Higher Education Introductory Studies (HEIS)
Higher Art Certificate, Newcastle School of Art and Design (Aus); BA, University of Newcastle (Aus); Grad. Dip. (Applied Psych), Victoria University; MCom(hons), University of NSW; PhD, University of Technology, Sydney

Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication
Birkbeck, University of London
26 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5DQ
k.harman@bbk.ac.uk

Research and Teaching

Research interests

My main research interests are concerned with the politics of learning at work. My work explores the interrelationships between workplace practices, knowledges, power and subjectivity. I use the notions of embodiment and performativity to help me in these explorations. I am interested in developing ways of representing learning at work that enable different dimensions of workplace experience to become visible. I am also critical of the discourse of Mastery which prevails in much of the workplace learning literature.

My research strands include:

  • An exploration of the material effects of workplace practices in specific sites. What objects and subjects are produced in and through everyday practices at work?

  • An interest in representations of workplace learning and approaches that enable everyday learning to be re-presented as other than mastery. What is able to count as learning at work and who are able to be counted as workplace learners? Can resistance to organisational/workplace  norms be understood as learning at work?

  • Learning translations and the ways learning (as an object) is translated as it moves between the institutional domains of work and higher education.

Teaching

  • Understanding the Business World (core module on BSc Business)
  • MSc Education, Power and Social Change

Research grants

  • Member of a collaborative project between OU, Leeds, Bristol and Birkbeck: ‘Understanding the impact of outreach on access to higher education for disadvantaged adult learners: an institutional approach’.
  • 2011 HEA-ESCalate subject centre, WBL pedagogies and academic development (£15,000)
  • 2009 JISC Business and Community Engagement, The ‘Open ICT Tools’ project (collaborative project, £30,000)
  • 2008 Small Grant, Northumbria University, development of an international research collaboration with UTS, Australia examining learning transitions from HE to workplaces (£2,200)
  • 2008 ADM-HEA Subject Centre, The Global Studio: Dissemination of Innovative Teaching and Learning practice, (£2,000)

Areas of research supervision

  • Learning in and through everyday practices at work
  • Learning translations (between workplaces and HE institutions)
  • Assessment practices in HE

Academic roles and memberships

  • Council member: SCUTREA (The Standing Conference on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults)

Invited seminars

  • Invited speaker at European Conference on Education, 2015. Presented a paper titled ‘Challenging academic practices: how might we enact equality?’ as part of the‘Challenging practices: imagining spaces of empowerment and participation’ panel.
  • December 2013, ‘Learning at work as the embodiment and activation of discourse’, Discourse at/on/as work symposium, Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • December 2011,‘Knowledge in motion: practitioner-researchers as consumers and producers of knowledges and implications for assessment’, IWBL Research Centre, Middlesex University
  • November 2011, ‘Work-based Learning and Knowledge: Can Universities Help?’, SRHE, Academic Practices Network
  • Feb 2010, University of Arts, London: ‘The teacher, the assessor and the designer: multiple academic identities in Design’.
  • Nov 2009, Researching workplace learning, IWBL Research Centre, Middlesex University
  • Nov 2009, A discursive approach to undertaking pedagogical research, Academic Practices programme, Northumbria University.
  • May 2009, The Assessment Cultures Project, SRHE New Researchers, London
  • Oct 2008, What counts, and what doesn’t count, as learning at work? Academic Practices programme, Northumbria University.

Publications

Selected publications

  • Harman, K. (in press). Democracy, emancipation and widening participation in the UK: changing the ‘distribution of the sensible’. Studies in the Education of Adults.
  • Contributor to: ‘The Alternative White Paper for Higher Education’(2016) https://heconvention2.wordpress.com/alternative/
  • Harman, K. (2016). Examining work – education intersections: the production of learning reals in and through practice. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 7(1), 89-106.
  • Harman, K. (2014). The multiple reals of workplace learning. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 5(1), 51-66.
  • Harman, K. (2012). Everyday learning in a public sector workplace: The embodiment of managerial discourses. Management Learning, 43 (3), 275-289.
  • Harman, K., & McDowell, L. (2011). Assessment talk in Design: the multiple purposes of assessment in HE. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(1), 41-52.
  • Harman, K., Inceoglu, I., & Shukla, N. (2010, 14-16 December). Constructing the Professional Doctorate: ‘what counts’ for academic advisers. Paper presented at the SRHE, Newport, Wales.
  • Harman, K. (2010, 13-14 July). Examining the politics of WBL: opening up critical spaces in work-based learning research. Paper presented at the Work Based Learning Network of the Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Teesside University.
  • Harman, K. (2008). Constructing ‘the workplace learner’ subject. In T. Keenoy & C. Oswick & I. Sabelis & S. Ybema (Eds.), 8th International Conference on Organizational Discourse: Translations, Transformations and Transgressions. London: KMCP.
  • Harman, K., & Bohemia, E. (2007). Structure and play: rethinking regulation in the higher education sector. Industry and Higher Education, 21 (5), 367-374.
  • Bohemia, E., & Harman, K. (2006). Boundary Crossing: Negotiating Learning Outcomes in Industry Based Student Projects. In W. Aung, C. Crosthwaite, R. V. Espinosa, J. Moscinski, S. Ou & L. M. S. Ruiz (Eds.), Innovations 2006: World Innovations in Engineering Education and Research (pp. 179-192). Arlington, VA: Begell House Publishing.

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