Research Staff Interests

Prof John  Schostak


John Schostak (BA, PGCE. Msc. PhD) is Professor of Education in the Education and Social Research Institute. His previous post was director of the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the University of East Anglia.

He has been involved in over 70 funded research projects most of which have focused on innovation, curriculum development, issues of competence, teaching and learning. These projects include ethnographies of schools, the evaluation of on-line learning, studies of nursing, midwifery and medical practice, and the processes of change in communities, public sector and private sector organizations.

Research Interests

He is interested in the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research methods generally. In his publications he has developed several innovative approaches to the theory and practice of research in city, community, multi-professional and multidisciplinary contexts.

He has had a long standing interest in researching and publishing on contemporary social issues and is currently developing these interests in relation to the European context.

Research Groups

Difference, Diversity, and Social Justice
Theory, Methodology and Knowledge Production

Research Projects

2010 co-director youth and community impacts of the Birley Fields local regeneration project, year 1, £25,000 MMU

2007-2009 Consultant to the Effectiveness of Continuing Professional Development, College of Emergency medicine, funded by the General Medical Council

2007 consultant to the Ethnicity and Gender in Degree Attainment project, funded by the Higher Education Academy

2005 Evaluation of Parenting Course project Guinness Trust, £5,000. Team included John Schostak, Cathie Pearce and Heather Piper

2005-2007 Researching the Spaces for Sports Programme, Barclays Bank, £375,000. Core Team includes John Schostak, Cathie Pearce and Andy Ramwell

2004-2006 Partner in 'Recremania' project, involving 3 countries and funded by EU. 70,000 euros. The aim is to develop and evaluate music on-line for participating schools.

2004-2005 Researching the 'Of This Planet' project, CAPE, £19,000. Team included John Schostak, Cathie Pearce and Heather Piper

2003 Director, research to advise Gwynneth Dunwoody MP concerning school organization in Nantwich area, £5,000.

2002-2003 Director of 'Development of Excellence in Surgical Skills Practice' NANIME Charitable Trust £6,000

2001 Supervising and participating in the research carried out for the 'Change for the Better' project, funded by TTA £47,610

2001-2003 Director of the Evaluation of the Artworld project, funded by JISC £24,000

2001 'Strengthening Research Capacity in Education' funded by Malaysian Education Board £24,000


Schostak, J.F. & Schostak, J.R. (2012) Writing Research Critically: developing the power to make a difference Routledge order here

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R.(eds) (2010) Researching Violence, Democracy and the Rights of People Routledge: London, UK order here

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak J.R.(2008) Radical Research. Designing, developing and writing research to make a difference Routledge order here

Schostak, J.F.(2006) Interviewing and Representation in Qualitative Research Projects Open University press order here

Schostak J.F.(2002) Understanding, Designing and Conducting Qualitative Research in Education. Framing the Project Open University Press order here

Refereed Journal Articles

Roberts L. and Schostak J. (2012) 'Obama and the 'Arab Spring': desire, hope and the manufacture of disappointment. Implications for a transformative pedagogy Discourse.' Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 33(3) pp377-396 online here

Schostak J, Davis M, Hanson J, Schostak J, Brown T, Driscoll P, Starke I, Jenkins N. (2010) 'Effectiveness of Continuing Professional Development project: A summary of findings.' Medical Teacher 32(7) pp586-92 online here

Schostak, J. F. (2010) 'What is the "good" of Bridget Somekh? A celebration of and critical reflection on a career as an action researcher.' Educational Action Research 18(1) pp5-17 online here

Schostak, J.F.(2009) 'Researching and Representing Wrongs, Injuries and Disagreements: exploring strategies for radical research, Power and Education.' 1(1) pp2-14 online here

Poulesen, K.B., Jensen, S. H., Bach, E. and Schostak, J.F.(2007) 'Using Action Research to improve health and the work environment for 3500 municipal bus drivers.' Educational Action Research 15(1) pp75-106 online here

Schostak, J.F. and Fraser, K.(2005) 'edCity - a New Learning Environment.' British Computer Society link to paper

Book Chapters

Schostak, J.F. (2011) 'Historical trends and contemporary issues in representing research in education.' in Reid, A., Hart, P. & Russell, C. Companion to Research in Education New York, Springer

Barbour, R. and Schostak, J.F. (2010) 'Interviewing and Focus Groups.' in Somekh, B. and Lewin, C. (eds)Research Methods in the Social Sciences London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage (revised and extended 2nd edition)

Schostak, J. (2010) 'Participant Observation.' in Penelope Peterson, Eva Baker, Barry McGaw, (eds) International Encyclopedia of Education volume 6 pp442-448 Oxford: Elsevier

Schostak, J.F. (2009) 'Historical trends and contemporary issues in representing research in education.' in Reid, A. et al, Companion to Research in Education Sage

Schostak, J.F. (2009) 'Qualitative research: Participant observation.' International Encyclopedia of Education Elsevier

Schostak, J.F. (2007) review of Clive Harber: 'Schooling as Violence: How schools harm pupils and societies.' Cambridge Journal of Education 37:2

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R.(2007) 'Politics, knowledge, identity and community: Methodologist as hitchhiker, skateboarder, ...' in Knowledge Production: The Work of Educational Research in Interesting Times Thomas A. Schwandt, University of Illinois, USA and Bridget Somekh, Manchester Metropolitan University UK (eds) Routledge

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R.(2006) 'A Educacao, a Democracia Radical e a Politica do Lugar, da Comunidade, da Pessoa e do Tempo.' Curriculo e Tecnologia Educativa series editors Joao M. Paraskeva and Lia Raquel Olieira, edicoes pedago (Portugal) Vol 1 pp146-158

Schostak, J.F.(2006) review of Christopher Pole and Marlene Morrison, @Ethnography for Education, Theory and Research in Education' 4: pp376-379

Schostak, J. F. and Barbour, R.(2005) 'Interviewing and Focus Groups.' in B. Somekh and C. Lewin (eds) Research Methods in the Social Sciences London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage

Schostak, J. F. and Walker, B.(2002) 'Young Men Growing Up: Is there a new crisis?' in Alistair Ross and Elisabet Nasman (eds) Children's understanding in the new Europe (Vol 1 in the series European Issues in Children's Identity and Citizenship CICE European network funded by SOCRATES), Trentham Books

Research Reports

Schostak, J., Davis, M., Hanson, J., Schostak, J., Brown, T., Driscoll, P., Starke, I. and Jenkins, N. (2010) The Effectiveness of Continuing Professional Development. - a report prepared on behalf of the College of Emergency Medicine, Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians and Manchester Metropolitan University. Commissioned by the General Medical Council/Academy of Medical Royal Colleges weblink

MMU Team (2009) Barclays Spaces for Sports Report weblink

Jacobs, S., Owen, J., Sergeant, P. and Schostak, J.(2007) Ethnicity and Gender in Degree Attainment: an extensive survey of views and activities in English HEIs. HEA and ECU; weblink

Pearce, C., Piper, H., & Schostak, J.F.(2006) Final Evaluation Report of the course 'Surviving your Teenager'. Guinness Housing Trust

Schostak, J. F., Pearce, C., and Piper, H.(2005) Of this Planet. Positive images programme. Final Report, CAPE, London.

Smith, J., Schostak, J., Phillips, E., Hough, M., Fleet, K., Davies, B. and Brewer, L.(2004) Collaboration in e-learning. A report for the Department for Education and Skills, Forum Trust, Norwich

Priyadharshini, E. and Schostak, J.F.(2002) Recruitment Research Among Members of Local Businesses. CARE, UEA; Rotary.


link to eSpace publications

Journal & Book Series Editorships & Editorial Board Membership

2010 appointed to the International Advisory Board, Journal of Educators and Education, Malaysia

Co-editor for special issue 'Threatening sites for social justice' scheduled for Discourse 33(3), publication date July 2012

Keynote Addresses or Prestigious Public Lectures

Schostak J. F. (2010) 'Inscribing Socio-political bodies – from pedagogies for the regulation of the public to strategies for radical research.' Il Colòquio Internacional Practica e Usos do Corpo na Modernidade, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil (27-30 October)

Schostak, J. F., (2009) 'Radical Research and the creation of public space.' University of La Curuna, Spain, (23rd October) weblink

Schostak, J.F. (2009) 'Making Research Critical: creating space for social justice and action.' University of Brighton, Education Research Centre (January)

Schostak, J.F. (2006) 'Researching and representing wrongs, injuries and disagreements: exploring strategies for radical research.' Open Seminar Series, University of Sussex, School of Education (November)

Schostak, J.F. (2006) 'Education without Boundaries: the city as catalyst.' Delivered at the Creative Spaces - the production of innovation DEGW international architects, invited seminar series 8, at The Box, London School of Economics.

Schostak, J.F. (2004) 'Researching and Evaluating Innovations in Schools and Systems with a Special Focus on the Use of Information Systems.' Delivered at the National Taipei Teachers College and at Kaohsiung College of Hospitality, funded by the British Council

Schostak, J.F.( 2001) 'Professional Development in Clinical Practice.' EMAP presentation, Olympia, London

Phillips, T. & Schostak, J.(2001) 'Assessing Practice: doing it for real.' ENB, London

Evidence of Impact on Policy and Professional Practice

2010 (April) - appointed as member of the ESRC Peer Review College

Research-based Contributions to Practitioner and Academic Conferences

Member of committee organising the 2010 Discourse, Power and Resistance conference

Conference Papers

Schostak, J. (2010) 'Politics, Community and the radical work of Action Research.' CARN Cambridge, (November)

Roberts, L. and Schostak, J.F. (2009) '"Tonight is your answer" - Race, Democracy, Obama and the manufacture of disappointment.' Race in the Modern World International Conference on race discourses and contemporary identities, Goldsmiths, University of London (1-3 April)

Schostak, J.F. (2008) 'Violence, Social Justice, Action Research and the Powers of Individuals.' Liverpool (November)

Normand, R. and Schostak, J.F. (2007) Conference conclusion: 'Declin de l'institution ou nouveaux cadres moraux? Sens critique, sens de la justice parmi les jeunes.' INRP Lyon (22-23 October)

Poulsen K.B., Kallestrup R. & Schostak J.F.(2006) 'Who is right? The quality of medical error reporting: (dis-)agreement between hospital-staff and patients interpretation.' The International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) London (22-25 October)

Schostak, J.F.(2006) 'The challenge of the next generation technologies in education - are we ready?' APERA Hong Kong (November) online paper

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak J.R. (2006) 'Education, radical democracy and the politics of place, community, person and time.' CESE Granada (July)

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R. (2006) 'Risking Education - including the excluded.' CESE Granada (July)

Schostak, J.F., Schostak, J.R., Blanco, C.S. and Pearce, C. (2006) 'Violence - children's rights and educational challenges for an open world.' CESE Granada (July) online paper

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R. (2006) 'Truth in particular and general: doing radical research under "normal" circumstances.' ECER Geneva (September) online paper

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R. (2006) 'Radical methodologies - social justice, judgement, knowledge and education.' BERA Warwick University (September) online paper

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R. (2005) 'Politics, knowledge, identity and community: Methodologist as hitchhiker, skateboarder, ...' i-CARE Manchester (September)

Schostak, J.F.(2004) 'Interviewing - creating the space for views.' BERA Manchester online paper

Schostak, J.F. (2004) 'Developing Democratic Cultures in Schools and Communities through Interactive On-line Learning Environments.' ECER Crete online paper

Schostak, J.F., Schostak, J.R., Piper, H. & Pearce, C.(2004) 'Death the final frontier: Cultures of Death - the challenge for philosophy, education and research.' ECER Crete online paper

Schostak, J.F. (2004) 'Children, education and on-line communities of practice: lessons and visions from the CIEL project.'

Schostak, J.F., Schostak, J.R., Piper, H. and Pearce, C. (2004) 'Cultures of Death: the challenge for educational action research.' CARN Malaga online paper

Schostak, J.F. and Schostak, J.R. (2002) 'Consultants as Educators: The CasE Project.' AMEE Lisbon, Portugal (September)

Schostak, J. and Schostak, J.(2002) 'Critical moments in trainee education: the telling space.' AMEE Lisbon, Portugal (September)

Schostak, J.F. (2002) 'Critiquing Critical Realism: a working paper' ECER Lisbon, Portugal online paper

Teaching Interests

His teaching interests are related directly to his research interests.

Taught Courses


Areas of Post-graduate Supervision

These include studies of professional development in health contexts as well schools. All the studies are qualitative in methodology.

Postgraduate Students Supervised

Director of Studies for:
Chris Mitchell
Robert Nettleton
Peter Langley
Christiana Matsoukari
Ingrid Cox
Maria Regan
Gillian Stevenson
Sabariah Morad
Amir Mokhtarzedeh
Phil Arnold

2nd supervisor:
Aisha Alkahtani
China Mills
Jennifer Caunt
Elizabeth Henning
Deborah Martin
Sarah Dyke
Derek Burke
Michael Clancy
Tomas Breslin
Nicholas Jenkins
Paul Wallman
Hannah Berry





Position/Post: Professor of Education
Responsibilities: Chair of Faculty Research Ethics committee
Chair of Research Students programmes
Chair of Centre for Social Justice in the City
Tel: 0161-247-2272