Dr Tom Dobson
Course Director for Masters degrees in the School of Education, Tom is a former secondary school teacher whose research on creative feeds into Story Makers Company.
Tom's research expertise focuses on creative writing and identity. He has been published extensively in this area and is currently working on several related national and international projects:
- Tom is Co-Principal Investigator for arted, a trans-European ERASMUS+ funded project which seeks to transfer the knowledge of artists to teachers and parents in order to boost children's wellbeing and creativity
- Tom is working with Lisa Stephenson on a 'story exchange' project with 10 schools in Bradford which is funded by the Teacher Development Fund
- Tom is the writer for Story Makers Press (SMP), an innovative children's press, housed within the Carnegie School of Education. The published books are co-constructed with children who are under-represented in children's literature and this unique 'hybrid' writing process is captured in research articles
Tom supervises a number of PhD students whose work is broadly within the areas of English, writing, reading and creativity. He teaches Research Methods to Masters students and Creative Writing and Children's Literature on the MA Creative Learning course.
- Research Methods on Masters courses
- Creative Writing on MA Creative Learning
Tom's research focuses on creative ways of teaching creative writing to children. His research evidences how nurturing a 'community of writers' with the 'teacher as writer' as well as utilising creative pedagogies like process drama can promote 'agentic writing' (Dobson and Stephenson, 2019). In a educational context where children are often alienated from the act of writing due to a prescriptive curriculum and a testing regime, 'agentic writing' means that children are motivated to write and can achieve authenticity and sophistication by drawing upon their own lived and embodied experiences. Tom's research with teachers is centred upon professional development and his work in this area has had significant impact upon the ways in which teachers teach writing and children experience writing in schools.
For Story Makers Press, Tom has also researched into the unique process of co-constructing, editing and publishing fiction with under-represented children. His published papers demonstrate how creating 'hybrid' texts with children disrupts traditional power dynamics between an adult author and child reader.
Ask Me About
- Equality and inclusion
Dobson T (2016) “Just because I’m not a published author does not mean that I’m not a writer”: Primary Trainee Teachers’ Identities as Creative Writers. Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research, 2
Dobson T (2015) Developing a Theoretical Framework for Response: Creative Writing as Response in the Year 6 Primary Classroom. English in Education
Dobson T (2015) The mad genie in the attic: performances of identity in year 6 boys' creative writing. Gender and Education, 27 (1), pp. 37-52.
Dobson T (2008) The rise and fall of Mr Choakumchild – learning outcomes and the teaching of creative writing. Assessment, Teaching & Learning Journal, 3 pp. 25-29.