In the last few of months, we have welcomed several new members of staff to WISERD, to work on a variety of new and existing projects.
This week we’ll be focusing on two Cardiff based members of staff – Dr Sioned Pearce and Dr Dan Evans. Here, they tell us a bit about their backgrounds, research interests, and what they’ll be doing at WISERD.
Dr Sioned Pearce
I started as a Research Associate at WISERD in December 2014. Before that I worked for two years for the cancer charity Tenovus, researching the impact of deprivation on health inequalities and designing interventions based on the results. My PhD was based in Sheffield (where I lived for four years) and my thesis was a critical examination into the impact of devolution on deprivation, using the Welsh Government as a case study.
I’m originally from Cardiff (completely smitten) and live in Canton.
I joined WISERD because I want to focus and develop my academic skills and areas of interest – social policy, human geography and injustice – as well as learn more about applying research methods and theory from experts. Being part of WISERD Education means I can do this and it is an exciting time to start as we are currently gathering longitudinal data from schoolchildren in 29 schools across Wales for the third year. The data has already started to reveal interesting glimmers of insight into a wide spectrum of issues showing what it’s like to be a pupil in Wales.
I also teach a module two evenings a week called ‘Introduction to Modern British Politics’ to Bordeaux students at the Cardiff University School of Modern Languages, which I love!
I joined WISERD Education in November 2014. My role is to work across three main educational research projects. The first project is researching the varied ways in which local authorities in Wales are piloting flexible, pre-school access to the Foundation Phase curriculum. Second, I am studying the impact of the Pupil Deprivation Grant on schools in Wales. Finally, I am also assisting Dr Kevin Smith, Kimberly Horton and Dr Sioned Pearce on the WISERD Education longitudinal cohort study. My role in WISERD dovetails with my methodological background as an ethnographer, and my job entails conducting qualitative research in schools and settings across Wales
Prior to joining WISERD, I received my PhD in October 2014 from Bangor University under the supervision of Professor Howard Davis and Graham Day. My Doctorate was an ethnographic analysis of Welsh identity in ‘British Wales’, focusing on my home town of Porthcawl.
Outside my work on Welsh education, I am presently continuing to explore the themes which arose in my PhD, namely the work of Gramsci and in particular his concept of passive revolution and its relevance to Wales and the UK. In addition to this, I am keen to further explore Bourdieu’s work on distinction and how this concept can help us understand local place and regional identity.