Michaela has worked on a wide range of national and international studies on vocational education and training (VET) with funding bodies including the Nuffield Foundation and the EU Erasmus+ programme. She has recently completed research on on-the-job training in apprenticeship in England, funded by the Gatsby Foundation, which informs the UK government’s reform of technical education.
Michaela’s work encompasses a number of cross-national ethnographies to examine the construction of young people’s (learner) identities in different life domains and educational contexts. This included a British Academy study on the learner identities of young people on high-quality engineering apprenticeships in England and Germany which links in with her previous work on retail assistants and motor mechanics.
- Sociology of education
- Biographical, ethnographic and interdisciplinary approaches
- Education and VET policy
- Social inequality
- Comparative vocational education and training
Michaela's research interests are in the area of sociology of education and include: youth transitions; learner identities and the interaction with representations of class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality; the construction of learning cultures in general and vocational education; interdisciplinary approaches to understanding youth transitions and learner identities; and social inequality in education. Michaela welcomes PhD applicants in any of these areas.
Current PhD Students
BSc/MSc Education (sociology of education; vocational education)
PhD tuition (ethnography; narrative data)