I am Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd. and Lecturer in Education and Academic Head of Learning and Teaching at the UCL Institute of Education, London, where I currently lead the module “Literacy, Language and Communication”, an optional module within the BA Education Studies. Most recently, I worked as a programme leader, lecturer and tutor on a secondary teacher education programme.
I was awarded my PhD in Sociology at the University of Kent for my thesis “The ‘I’ in fibromyalgia: the construction of academic identity under the influence of fibromyalgia”. I hold the Master of Teaching from the Institute of Education, and a Magister der Philosophie in Anglistics & Americanistics and French from the University of Vienna, Austria. I also hold the Postgraduate Certifcate in Higher Education from the University of Kent and the postgraduate IoLET Diploma in Translation. I am a Fellow as well as Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor.
After my first degree I worked as a secondary teacher of modern foreign languages and taught English and French in Austria and German and French in the UK. Having gained several years of practical experience in the classroom I made the move from secondary to higher education.
The underlying principle for my work is that research, teaching and social activism are inextricably interconnected. As a consequence, my personal practices in research, teaching and dissemination are also interwoven. The constant in the narrative of my work is to give voice to the unheard and empower the marginalised. I aim to provide those with quieter voices with means and tools to explore the unexplored and express the in-expressible. My research interests therefore lie with advancing learning and teaching and ways of improving knowledge generation:
- Participatory, multi-sensory and immersive research, in particular through arts-based approaches, material and physical representations and metaphors
- Student experiences and learning
- Teacher education and development in the primary, secondary and tertiary sector
- Identity and identity construction in general, but more specifically in higher education including the identities of those in precarious positions and with disabilities and/or chronic conditions
- The performative and communicative role of the body
My most notable publications
Leigh, J. S. & Brown, N. (2021). What is Embodied Inquiry?. London: Bloomsbury.
Brown, N. (ed.) (2021). Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher Education. Bristol: Policy Press.
Brown, N. & Leigh, J. S. (eds.) (2020). Ableism in Academia: Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education. London: UCL Press.
Brown, N. (2019). Identity boxes: using materials and metaphors to elicit experiences. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 22(5), 487-501. DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2019.1590894.
Brown, N. (2019). Partnership in learning: how staff-student collaboration can innovate teaching. European Journal of Teacher Education, 42(5), 608-620. DOI: 10.1080/02619768.2019.1652905.
Brown, N. & Leigh, J. S. (2019). Creativity and playfulness in Higher Education research. In: Huisman, J. & Tight, M. (eds.) Theory and Method in Higher Education Research Vol. 4. Emerald Publishing Limited, 49-66. DOI: 10.1108/S2056-375220180000004005.
Brown, N. & Leigh, J. S. (2018). Ableism in academia: Where are the disabled and ill academics? Disability and Society, 33(6), 985-989. DOI: 10.1080/09687599.2018.1455627.
Brown, N. & Collins, J. (2018). Using LEGO® to understand emotion work in doctoral education. International Journal of Management and Applied Research, 5(4), 193-209. DOI: 10.18646/2056.54.18-014.
Brown, N. & Morgan, C. (2020). Rhythmanalysis as a method to account for time in qualitative research. In: Clift, B. C., Gore, J., Gustafsson, S., Bekker, S. & Costas Batlle, I. (eds.). Temporality in Qualitative Inquiry: Theories, Methods and Practices. Routledge.
Brown, N., Morea-Ghergu, D. & Onwuka, N. (2020). Assessments: letting students decide. In: Mawani, S. & Mukadam, A. (eds.). Student Empowerment: Reflections of Teachers and Students in Higher Education. Logos Verlag.
Panjwani, F. & Brown, N. (2020). Teaching for 3 Cs: centring imagination in teacher education. In: Nolan, K. & Tupper, J. (eds.). Social Theory for Teacher Education Research: Beyond the Technical-Rational. Bloomsbury.
Open educational resources
Brown, N. & Janssen, R. (2019). Workshop materials for the preventing plagiarism workshop: https://open-education-repository.ucl.ac.uk//567/