Prof Michael Bradford - Research
My geographic research concerns inequalities. There are three main strands: the geographies of education; the geographies of children; and urban policy evaluation. Some of my recent research analyses change processes and leadership within universities, and learning and teaching within Geography.
Current research projects
- Ideological conflict and the impact of place on educational and social change: desegregation suit against the Rockford School Board, Illinois, USA.
The suit began in 1989 and the School District pleaded guilty in 1994. I began researching the issue when the Court appointed a Master to take over the School District and ensure schools were desegregated and the achievement gap between ethnic groups narrowed (see Geography 2001). Later I interviewed young people who had experienced their education during this dispute and its aftermath (Children’s Geographies 2006). Currently I am researching the impacts of the District coming out of Court control and changing its admissions policies back towards the pre-1994 situation.
Completed research projects
- Evaluations of New Deal for Community: Charlestown and Lower Kersal, Salford (with Fiona Smyth)
Part of government funded reports for a set of evaluations of NDCs across the country. The evaluations ceased half-way through the NDC’s ten year existence. Paper given to AAG in 2006.
- The Business of Children's Play. ESRC (with John McKendrick and Anna Fielder)
Various papers and book chapters summarised some of the results that showed how children’s play changed through the late 1990s becoming more structured in space and time (less spontaneous) and critically analysed some of the forces producing these changes.
- The nature, prevalence and distribution of sexual and physical abuse of children by strangers. ESRC (with Bernard Gallagher and Ken Pease) (some related papers still to come)
This ethically sensitive research involved surveys of children from 9-15 within the southern sector of the Manchester conurbation from inner city to semi-rural schools and follow-up interviews for a paired sample of children, one half of whom had recorded an incident of sexual abuse outside of the home. Such incidence is less common than within the home and even outside the home is less likely to be by strangers. See papers (02 and 08).
- An evaluation of Urban Development Corporations. DETR (with Brian Robson, Ian Deas and Anna Fielder)
The government report and papers included my evaluation of Central Manchester Development Corporation. I have given many talks to Geographical Associations and Schools on this and regeneration since CMDC ended in 1996.
- Earlier urban policy evaluation research included Assessing the Impacts of Urban Policy (1994), with Brian Robson and others
A major government report that arguably influenced future policy. Other government research included the 1991 Deprivation Index (published in 1995) and Deprivation in N. Ireland (1995).
- The Learning Geography Project (pedagogic research)
The project was carried out on a cohort of students between 2003-6 but further evidence has been collected on cohorts including those graduating in 2011, yielding a paper entitled ‘Beyond the Threshold: significant ah-hah moments in the learning of Geographers’ (AAG 2011).