Jonathan Tummons


Professor of Education


I am an ethnographer of education, and am interested in using ethnographic methods to explore the social practices of learning and teaching in both formal as well as informal places, ranging from university lecture rooms to technicians' workshops. The overarching aim of my inquiry is to explore the ways in which what we might call "educational stuff" happens in the world around us - this might be in institutions such as a college or workplace, or in domestic environments such as somebody's home.

In order to think about this educational stuff, I draw on some distinct philosophical and theoretical approaches. Firstly, I use the work of the French anthropologist and philosopher Bruno Latour, in particular the Modes of Existence project (I have written blogs about this ongoing approach). I have published extensively in this field. Other elements of my work rest on the Communities of Practice theory of Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (the focus of my books Communities of Practice in Further and Adult Education and Learning Architectures in Higher Education).