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Carolyn Jackson supervises 26 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Carolyn Jackson


Carolyn Jackson

Lancaster University

County South



Tel: +44 1524 592883

Research overview

My research explores aspects of gender and education. Questions I investigate include: how do learner and gender identities intersect? What motives 'laddish' behaviours? What are the advantages and disadvantages of single-sex and co-educational schools or classrooms? How do fears operate in education, and with what effects? Why is 'effortless achievement' so appealing, and is it gendered?

I have also undertaken research on the doctoral examination process, especially the viva.


PhD supervision

All aspects of gender and education. For example, single-sex and co-educational learning environments, girls' in- and out-of-school lives, concerns about boys' 'underachievement', constructions of gendered learner identities, gender and teacher identities, gender and the curriculum, gendered identities in Higher Education.
Social psychology of teaching and learning, especially motives for learning or not learning, fear of failure, how classroom environments and peers shape approaches to learning and learner identities.
Fear in education - the effects of fear on all aspects of school and university life.

Research Interests

My research is guided by an overarching interest in gender issues in education, with particular interests in fears of failure, constructions and performances of 'laddish' masculinities and femininities, and single-sex and mixed-sex learning environments. I have undertaken various projects on boys' and girls' motives for 'laddish' behaviours in secondary schools, leading to several articles and a book - 'Lads' and 'Ladettes' in School: Gender and a Fear of Failure, published by Open University Press. This was awarded first prize for books published in 2006 by the Society for Educational Studies (SES). I edited a book (with Carrie Paechter and Emma Renold) entitled Girls and Education 3-16: Continuing Concerns, New Agendas, that was published in January 2010 by Open University Press. I am currently researching and publishing on fear in education, and also 'laddism' in higher education. I have just completed two projects. The first explored 'laddism' among university sports science students funded by the Society for Educational Studies (with Steve Dempster, Lancaster University and Lucie Pollard, Greenwich). The second was funded by the SRHE (with Vanita Sundaram, University of York) and entitled 'Are 'lad cultures' a problem in Higher Education? Exploring the perspectives and responses of HEI Staff'. A book from this project entitled 'Lad Culture in Higher Education: Sexism, Sexual Harassment and Violence' was published by Routledge in 2020. 

I am currently working on a project funded by the Swedish Research Council entitled 'Staging the successful student in higher education' with Anne-Sofie Nystrom and Minna Salminen Karlsson (Uppsala University, Sweden). This project explores constructions of student identities and wellbeing in highly competitive degree programmes - Law, Medicine, Engineering Physics - in Sweden and England.

I have also conducted research on the PhD examination process in Britain and published (with Penny Tinkler, 2004) The Doctoral Examination Process: A Guide for Students, Examiners and Supervisors (Open University Press).


Watch a video (Carolyn Jackson talks about single-sex schools and her research interests)

Watch a video (Carolyn Jackson talks about single-sex classes in co-educational schools)

Watch Carolyn's seminar at the University of Sussex on 27th January 2014 entitled 'They just don't seem to really care, they just think it's cool to sit there and talk': Laddism in Higher Education.

Watch Carolyn's lecture on 'Lad' cultures in Education.  This is an abridged version of Carolyn's lecture on 21st January 2015 which was part of Lancaster University's 50th Anniversary Lecture series.



Current Teaching

I am currently Associate Dean for Equality, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and People in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS); I supervise PhD students.


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