Research Staff Interests
Professor Heather Piper
Following a 'career' which included being a nanny, pub work, selling, travelling, and more, I became a senior social work practitioner and worked for a social services department and later a major charity in a number of child protection, mental health, and inter-agency contexts. Life as a researcher happened more or less serendipitously when I was invited to work on a project focussing on inter-agency child protection practice, my 'specialism' at that time (1994/5). This initial project was quickly followed by others in South Cheshire and the North West region; many of which were multi agency funded. I soon caught the research bug and have latterly been found working on a number of more substantial projects.
My interests are varied, but remaining faithful to my early professional training tend to lie in the borderlands between the educational and social. My 'voice' in research practice and academic writing has an ethical imperative and is perhaps best typified by a contrarian approach, a broad based and eclectic territory in sociology, philosophy, social policy, and independent study; along with a sensitivity to inter-professional concerns, sometimes at odds with the academy. This usually involves critiquing problematic aspects of theory, policy, and practice in contested areas of education and social policy, especially contradictions and confusions that are apparent in rhetoric at policy level, and which are often evident in common parlance. I take issue with the use of negative and blaming labels (and hence unhelpful categorisation) in order to challenge key taken for granted assumptions held by those claiming to be concerned with inclusionary practice; I challenge myths and taboos which serve to perpetuate dominant stories which silence the interests of the least powerful members of society. In order to achieve these aims, my work is characterised by an indifference to disciplinary boundaries. From my critical position somewhere on the borders it has been possible to produce quite controversial work (eg challenging governmental approaches to disaffection, mentoring and volunteering; questioning the alleged distinctive nature of male and female violence; identifying issues for education for citizenship stemming from the monarchy; and asking uncomfortable questions about current policy and practice in relation to professionals touching children in a risk society, and teachers and other professionals who have been falsely accused. Most recently I am the principal investigator for an ESRC grant (with Garratt and Taylor) to consider this same issue around the problematic of touch, but this time within a sports coaching context.
2010-2011 Hands-off sports' coaching: the politics of touch (with Dean Garratt and Bill Taylor) Economic and Social Research Council, RES-000-22-4156
Sikes, P. and Piper, H. (2010) Researching Sex and Lies in the Classroom: Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in Schools. London, Routledge order here
Satterthwaite, J., Piper, H. and Sikes, P. (2009) (eds) Power in the Academy. Stoke on Trent, Trentham order here
Piper, H., Piper, J. and Mahlomaholo, S. (2009) (eds) Educational Research and Transformation in South Africa. SA, Science Africa
Piper, H. and Stronach, I. (2008) Don't Touch! The educational story of a panic. London, Routledge order here
Garratt, D. and Piper, H. (2008) Citizenship Education, Identity, and Nationhood: Contradictions in practice? London, Continuum order here
Freedman, E; Bedward, J., Hazlehurst, S., Piper, H. and Taylor, C. (2008) The BERA 2008 Charter for Research Staff: promoting quality conditions for conducting quality research. Macclesfield, British Educational Research Association
Satterthwaite, J., Watts, M. and Piper, H. (2008) (eds) Talking Truth, Confronting Power. Stoke on Trent, Trentham order here
Piper, H. and Stronach, I. (2004) (eds) Educational Research: Difference and Diversity. Hampshire, Ashgate
Refereed Journal Articles
Piper, H. Taylor, W. and Garratt, D. (2012) 'Sports Coaching in Risk Society: No touch! No Trust!' Sport, Education and Society 17(3) pp331-345 online here
Garratt, D. and Piper, H. (2012) 'Citizenship education and philosophical enquiry: Putting thinking back into practice.' Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 7(1) pp71-84 online here
Sikes, P. and Piper, H. (2011) 'Researching Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in Schools: The Need for a Narrative Approach.' Sexuality Research and Social Policy 8(4) pp294-303 online here
Sikes, P. and Piper, H. (2010) 'Ethical Research, Academic Freedom and the Role of Ethics Committees and Review Procedures in Educational Research.' International Journal of Research and Method in Education 33 3) pp205-213 online here
Piper, H. and Sikes, P. (2010) 'Researching barriers to cultural change for those in loco parentis.' Sociological Research Online 15(4) online here
Piper, H. and Sikes, P. (2010) ' "All teachers are vulnerable, but especially gay teachers": using composite fictions to protect research participants in pupil teacher sex related research.' Qualitative Inquiry 16(7) pp566-574 online here
Garratt, D. and Piper, H. (2010) 'Heterotopian Cosmopolitan Citizenship Education?' Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 5(1) pp43-55 online here
Piper, H. (2010) 'Invited Review Essay in response to: "The link between animal abuse and human violence." (ed) Andrew Linzey Anthrozoös 23(3) pp297-300
Piper, H. and Cordingley, D. (2009) 'The Power and Promulgation of the Claimed Links Between Human and Animal Abuse.' Power & Education 1(3) pp345-355 online here
Patterson-Kane, E.G. and Piper, H. (2009) 'Animal Abuse as a Sentinel for Human Violence: A Critique.' Journal of Social Issues 65(3) pp589-614 online here
Stronach, I. and Piper, H. (2008) 'Can liberal education make a comeback? The case of "relational touch" at Summerhill School.' American Educational Research Journal 45(1) pp6-37 online here
Garratt, D. and Piper, H. (2008) 'Citizenship Education in England and Wales: theoretical critique and practical considerations.' Teachers and Teaching 14(6) pp481-496 online here
Piper, H. and Frankham, J. (2007) 'Seeing voices and hearing pictures: image as discourse and the framing of image based research.' Discourse 28(3) pp373-387 online here
Stronach, I., Garratt, D., Pearce, C. & Piper, H. (2007) 'Reflexivity, the picturing of selves, the forging of method.' 13(2) pp179-203 online here
Piper, H. & Myers, S. (2006) 'Forging the Links: (De)Constructing Chains of Behaviours.' Child Abuse Review 15(3) pp178-187 online here
Piper, H., Powell, J. & Smith, H. (2006) 'Parents, Professionals and Paranoia - the touching of children in a culture of fear.' Journal of Social Work 6(2) pp151-167 online here
Piper, H. & Garratt, D. (2004) 'Identity and Citizenship: Some contradictions in practice.' British Journal of Educational Studies 52(3) pp276-292 online here
Piper, H. (2004) 'Women and Violence: (Re)consideration and (Re)education.' New Era in Education 85 pp50-59
Piper, H. & Smith, H. (2003) 'Touch in Educational and Child Care Settings: Dilemmas and Responses.' British Educational Research Journal 29(6) pp879-894 online here
Garratt, D. & Piper, H. (2003) 'Citizenship Education and the Monarchy: Examining the Contradictions.' British Journal of Educational Studies 51(2) pp127-147 online here
Piper, H. (2003) 'Children and Young People Harming Animals: Intervention through PSHE?' Research Papers in Education 18(2) pp197-213 online here
Piper, H. (2003) 'The Linkage of Animal Abuse with Interpersonal Violence: A sheep in wolf's clothing?' Journal of Social Work 3(2) pp161-177 online here
Piper, H. & Fell, P. (2001) 'Framing and Reframing fears of disorderly youth.' Practice 13(2) pp43-54 online here
Piper, H. & Piper, J. (2000) 'Disaffected Young People as the Problem, Mentoring as the Solution, Education as the Goal.' Education and Work 13(2) pp77-94 online here
Piper, H. & Piper, J. (2000) 'Volunteering and Citizenship in Communitarian Education Policy: philosopher's stone and fools' gold?' Education and Social Justice 3(1) pp48-55
Kane, E. and Piper, H. (2011) Animal Abuse and Cruelty Piper, H. and Simons, H. (2010) Ethical Issues in Educational Research, in Somekh B. and Lewin C.(eds) Research Methods in the Social Sciences London, Sage.
Garratt, D. and Piper, H. (2009) Inclusive Education: Where are the Gypsies and Travellers? in Kassem, D. and Garratt, D. (eds) Key Issues in Education London, Continuum
Stronach, I. and Piper, H. (2009) The touching story of Summerhill, in (eds) Woods, P.A. and Woods, G.J. Alternative Education for the 21st Century: Philosophies, Approaches, Visions New York, Palgrave
Piper, H., Piper, J. and Mahlomaholo, S. (2009) Editors' Introduction, in Piper, H., Piper, J. and Mahlomaholo, S. (eds) Educational Research and Transformation in South Africa SA, Science Africa
Piper, H. and Piper, J. (2009) Reflections on Educational Research and Transformation in South Africa, in Piper, H; Piper, J. and Mahlomaholo, S. (eds) Educational Research and Transformation in South Africa SA, Science Africa
Sikes, P. and Piper, H. (2008) Risky Research or Researching Risk: the role of ethics review, in Satterthwaite, J. Watts, M. and Piper, H. (eds) Talking Truth, Confronting Power Stoke on Trent, Trentham
Piper, H. and Garratt, D. (2007) Monarchy, Citizenship, and Tourism, in Long, P. and Palmer, N. (eds) Royal Tourism: Excursions around Monarchy North Somerset, Channel View Publications
Piper, H. and Smith, H. (2006) Touch in Educational and Child Care Settings: Dilemmas and Responses, in Parker-Rees, R. and Willan, J. (eds) Early Years Education: Major Themes in Education London and New York, Routledge
Piper, H. (2010) Review Article: 'Lost Generation? New Strategies for Youth and Education.' Allen, M. and Ainley, P. British Journal of Educational Studies 58(3) online here
Piper, H. (2009) Review Article: 'Managing Violence in Schools: A Whole-School Approach to Best Practice.' by H. Cowie and D. Jennifer British Education Research Journal 35(5) online here
Piper, H. (2009) Book Review. 'Intergenerational Complication - Late for a Hug.' Review of Licensed to Hug by F. Furedi and J. Bristow, (2008) London: Civitas
Piper, H. (2007) 'The Case against No Touch Policies.' A Manifesto Club think piece
Piper, H. (2007) 'Let's talk about touch - An expert's view.' Nursery World 25 October
Piper, H. (2010) Evaluation of 'Taking a Leap' Developing an understanding of risk-taking (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts)
Piper, H., Stronach, I. and MacLure, M. (2006) Touchlines: The Problematics of Touching between Children and Professionals (ESRC funded project RES-000-22-0815)
Journal & Book Series Editorships & Editorial Board Membership
Power and Education editor
Guest co-editor with Professor Pat Sikes for Special Edition of the International Journal of Research Method in Education: Ethical Research, Academic Freedom and the Role of Ethics Committees and Review Procedures in Educational Research, for 2011
Invited International Board Member for a special edition of the South African Journal of Higher Education in 2010
Keynote Addresses or Prestigious Public Lectures
Piper, H. (2009) Educational Research and Writing Stories, Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University, Potchestroom, South Africa. 9th March 2009
Piper, H. and Garratt, D. (2008) Citizenship, Identity and Nationhood Presentation for the Creative Partnership International Citizenship Conference. Manchester, February 5th 2008
Piper, H. (2007) Massage in Schools Programme - Part of the problem or part of the solution in a 'don't touch' society, MISA National Conference, Manchester, November 17th 2007
Evidence of Impact on Policy and Professional Practice
Expert witness/consultant for cases involving alleged inappropriate behaviour by childcare professionals.
Advisor to the Schools Programme Working Group – Republic.
Member of inaugural Advisory Board for the Charity Inter-generation.
Advisor to the DfE with Pat Sikes on Allegations of Sexual Misconduct in Schools.
External assessor for senior staff promotions, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa – 2010
Visiting Professor to North-West University, South Africa (2 weeks including keynote presentations, informal presentations, meetings/visits with research colleagues at other major universities – eg Free State, KwaZulu-Natal etc) in March 2009
Reviewer for grant application to Alberta Centre for Child, Family, and Community Research, Canada.
Major Awards, Prizes & Honorary Degrees
Congress of Qualitative Enquiry – Congress Book Award 2010 - Honourable Mention for Researching sex and lies in the classroom: Allegations of sexual misconduct in schools. New York and London: Routledge (2010) (with Pat Sikes)
Research-based Contributions to Practitioner and Academic Conferences
Piper, H. (2009) 'Problems with touch between children and professionals: unwelcome consequences and professional practice solutions?' Pillars of Parenting/British Psychological Society Durham (2nd October)
Piper, H. (2009) 'Problems with touch between children and professionals: unwelcome consequences and professional practice solutions?' Pillars of Parenting/British Psychological Society BPS, London (30th October)
Piper, H. (2009) 'Problems with touch between children and professionals: unwelcome consequences and professional practice solutions?' Pillars of Parenting/British Psychological Society Manchester University (23rd October)
Piper, H. (2009) 'Do children need protecting from adult carers?' The Manchester Salon/Institute of Ideas Blackwells (14th October)
Garratt, D. & Piper, H.(2010) 'Philosophical enquiry and citizenship education: putting thinking back into practice.' BERA Warwick (1st-4th September)
Sikes, P. & Piper, H. (2010) 'Researching Sex and Lies in the Classroom: Using Life Stories to Investigate Allegation of Sexual Misconduct in Schools.' IABA, Sussex (28th June-1st July)
Garratt, D. & Piper, H. (2010) 'Citizenship education and philosophical enquiry: Putting thinking back into practice.' Philosophy for Children Advanced Research Seminar: Philosophical Enquiry with Children and Adolescents in Plural Democracies: the formation of identity and resilience and their contribution to community cohesion University of Winchester (10th-13th June)
Piper, H. (2010) 'The "links" between human and animal violence.' Seminar DPR Greenwich (30th March-1st April)
Sikes, P. & Piper, H. (2010) 'Trust, Stories, and Truth.' DPR, Greenwich (30th March-1st April)
Taylor W.G., Piper H, & Garratt D. (2009) 'Hands off Coaching; Presumed guilt and the politics of touch.' The International Council for Coach Education (ICCE) Global Coach Conference Vancouver, Canada (10th-15th November)
Piper, H. and Cordingley, D. (2009) 'A consideration of the claimed "links" between child and animal abuse.' paper for Discourse Power Resistance: Power and the Academy Manchester (April 6th-8th)
Piper, H. (2009) 'Teachers and Pupils: Research and Ethics.' Faculty of Education Sciences, North-West University, Potchestroom, South Africa (11th March)
Sikes, P. and Piper, H. (2008) 'Unaskable questions? Questions about ethical review procedures.' Paper for Discourse Power Resistance: Cultures in Resistance Manchester (March 18th-20th)
Piper, H. (2007) 'Moral panics: past (satanic) and present (links) - a cautionary tale.' Society for the Study of Social Problems New York, USA (August 10th-12th)
Piper, H. (2010) 'Touch, Risk, Allegation: Safeguarding Whom?' Department of Social Work and Social Policy, University of Nottingham (26th May)
Piper, H. (2010) 'Human and Animal Abuse: the "Links" Argument - problems and implications.' University of Cambridge, School of Veterinary Medicine (1st February)
Piper, H. (2010) ' "Problems" with men and "parenting".' Childcare Trust and Intensive Parenting, ESRC Seminar Series 4, Changing Parenting Culture (February 16th)
Piper, H. (2009) 'The "Links", Understanding Behaviour through Human/Animal Relations.' ESRC Seminar, Series 2 University of Bristol (13th October)
Piper, H. (2009) 'The Problem of 'touch' as an intergenerational issue.' Childcare Trust and Intensive Parenting, ESRC Seminar Series 1: 'Problems' with men and 'parenting' Changing Parenting Culture Aston University (16th-17th September)
Most teaching involves PhD and EdD supervision around a range of research interests.
MRes and EdDoc
Areas of Post-graduate Supervision
PhD supervision areas match my eclectic interests identified above and include: domestic violence (including animal); globalization; citizenship; race; teacher identities; sports coaching; etc.
Postgraduate Students Supervised
Helen Lawson (PhD) Where is the Global in the Global Dimension: an evaluation of the global dimension in initial teacher education and training.
Bill Taylor (EdD) The professionalisation of sports coaching.
Carol Page (PhD) Crossing the boundaries: English teachers and subject identity.
Gillian Yeowell (PhD) How can the physiotherapy profession meet the needs of the minority ethnic service user.
Alison Healicon (PhD) Exploring transitory and multi faceted "survivor" identities in relation to women's experience of sexual violence within specific socially located spaces..
Rachel Robbins (PhD) Student in the Research Institute for Health and Social Change.
Sabariah Morad (PhD) An Evaluation of the Lab School Program in teacher-training institutions in Malaysia.
Gillian Bailey (PhD) Challenges to teacher identity – the impact of continuous change in education