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Dr Jon Rainford

Profile summary

Professional biography

Jon is a Staff Tutor in the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport. His teaching interests are mainly in Childhood and Youth and his current research focuses upon HE transitions, neurodivergence and part-time doctoral study. He has also been an Associate Lecturer at the Open University since 2018, teaching across various modules in Social Science and Health and Social Care, currently teaching on DD218 - understanding digital societies.  Prior to working for the Open University, Jon had a broad career in education both in compulsory and higher education. He completed his PhD at Staffordshire University in 2019 which focused on widening participation policy and practice.  He has written numerous publications on widening access and has a particular interest in the way technology can be embedded in a post-pandemic world and the role creative methods can play in research and evaluation. 

He has been a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2019.

Research interests

Jon's research interests span a number of areas related to education. His primary research focuses on the policy and practices related to widening participation. In recent years this has expanded to involve exploring the digital's role in advancing the participation outreach work. More recently he has been working on research projects exploring the transitions of neurodivergent students, masculinities and higher education, and the successes of part-time doctoral researchers. He also has methodological interests which centre on the role of creative methods in qualitative research.

He has recently co authored two books:

The business of widening participation: policy, practice and culture (co-edited with Colin McCaig and Ruth Squire)

Thriving in part-time doctoral study (co-written with Kay Guccione)

Teaching interests

  • Lead Cluster manager EK313 - Issues in research with children and young people
  • Module team member E320 - Contemporary research with children and young people
  • Cluster manager on E219 - Psychology of childhood and youth
  • Associate Lecturer on DD218- Understanding Digital Societies 
  • Mentor for Applaud HEA fellowship scheme

Impact and engagement

Jon co leads the Thriving Part-time blog with Kay Guccione

 

External collaborations

Publications

Internalizing the Present in the Articulation of the Future: Masculinity, Inequality and trying on new Possible Selves (2023-12-01)
Blower, Alex and Rainford, Jon
Boyhood Studies. An Interdisciplinary Journal, 16(2) (pp. 109-132)


Exploring the Transitions of Neurodivergent Access Students to Level One Study: Narratives of Study Skills and Support (2023-01-24)
Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon
International Journal of Educational and Life Transitions, 2, Article 5(1)


Are we still “raising aspirations”? The complex relationship between aspiration and widening participation practices in English higher education institutions (2023)
Rainford, Jon
Educational Review, 75(3) (pp. 411-428)


Stripping back the novelty: A critical reflection on the dual use of a comic-based approach to engage participants and publics (2021-09-01)
Rainford, Jon
Methodological Innovations Online, 14(3) (pp. 1-12)


How institutional doxa shapes access to higher education through framings of ‘potential’ (2021)
Rainford, Jon
Power and Education, 13(3) (pp. 171-186)


Working with/in institutions: how policy enactment in widening participation is shaped through practitioners’ experience (2021)
Rainford, Jon
British Journal of Sociology of Education, 42(2) (pp. 287-303)


Confidence and the effectiveness of creative methods in qualitative interviews with adults (2019)
Rainford, Jon
International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 23(1) (pp. 109-122)


Thriving in Part-Time Doctoral Study: Integrating Work, Life and Research (2024)
Rainford, Jon and Guccione, Kay
Insider Guides to Success in Academia
ISBN : 9781032122885 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Enabling part time doctoral researchers to develop effective support villages (2024-01-05)
Rainford, Jon
In: Elliot, Dely L.; Bengtsen, Soren S.E. and Guccione, Kay eds. Developing Researcher Independence Through the Hidden Curriculum
ISBN : 9783031428746 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan (In Press) | Published : Basingstoke


A Democratic View of Professional Development in HE (2024)
Rainford, Jon
In: Hopkins, Neil and Thompson, Carol eds. Reflections on Identity: Narratives from Educators
ISBN : 9783031467936 | Publisher : Springer (In Press)


Introduction: The case for a ‘business of widening participation' (2022-10-10)
McCaig, Colin; Rainford, Jon and Squire, Ruth
In: McCaig, Colin; Rainford, Jon and Squire, Ruth eds. The Business of Widening Participation: Policy, Practice and Culture (pp. 1-18)
ISBN : 9781800430501 | Publisher : Emerald Publishing Limited | Published : Bingley


Increasing and Widening Participation in the Market: System Differentiation at the Institutional/Sectoral Level (2022-10-10)
McCaig, Colin and Rainford, Jon
In: McCaig, Colin; Rainford, Jon and Squire, Ruth eds. The Business of Widening Participation: Policy, Practice and Culture (pp. 57-78)
ISBN : 9781800430501 | Publisher : Emerald Publishing Limited | Published : Bingley


Operationalisation of Widening Participation in Practice (2022-10-10)
Rainford, Jon
In: McCaig, Colin; Rainford, Jon and Squire, Ruth eds. The Business of Widening Participation: Policy, Practice and Culture (pp. 79-100)
ISBN : 9781800430501 | Publisher : Emerald Publishing Limited | Published : Bingley


Conclusion: Evolving Markets; Where Next for the Business of WP? (2022-10-10)
McCaig, Colin; Rainford, Jon and Squire, Ruth
In: McCaig, Colin; Rainford, Jon and Squire, Ruth eds. The Business of Widening Participation: Policy, Practice and Culture (pp. 187-206)
ISBN : 9781800430501 | Publisher : Emerald Publishing Limited | Published : Bingley


Using Theory-Based Approaches to Embed Evaluation within a Small Specialist Performing Arts Institution (2022-05-09)
Rainford, Jon and Baptista, Vanessa
In: Dent, Samuel; Mountford-Zimdars, Anna and Burke, Ciaran eds. Theory of Change (Great Debates in Higher Education) (pp. 81-99)
ISBN : 978-1-80071-790-9 | Publisher : Emerald Publishing Limited | Published : Bingley


The Business of Widening Participation: Policy, Practice and Culture (2022-10-10)
McCaig, Colin; Rainford, Jon and Squire, Ruth eds.
ISBN : 9781800430501 | Publisher : Emerald Publishing Limited | Published : Bingley


“Fearless” exploration of creative methodology in research (2023-10)
Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon
In : “Fearless” exploration of creative methodology in research (23 Oct 2023, Online)


Exploring the transitions of Neurodivergent Access students to level one study: Narratives of study skills and support (2023-05-18)
Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon
In : PRAXIS Festival of Scholarship (18 May 2023, The Open University [Online])


Bridging the awarding gap in the transitions of neurodivergent students moving from Access to Level 1 study (2023-05-17)
Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon
In : Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Accessibility (EDIA) AL Professional Development (Online) Event – 17 May 2023 (17 May 2023, The Open University [Online])


Exploring the Transitions of Neurodivergent Access Students to Level One Study: Narratives of Study Skills and Support (2023)
Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon
In : Research Centre for Transformative Change: Educational & Life Transitions (TCELT) Research Seminar (5 Jul 2023, University of Dundee)


Listening to Neurodivergent student voice: Supporting transitions to level 1 study (2023)
Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon
In : ISSOTL23 (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Context matters): Research on Teaching & Learning: Integrating Practices (8-11 Nov 2023, Utrecht University, Netherlands)


Holding a Prism - Reflecting on the challenges and changing expectations through the experiences of Neurodiverse students transitioning from interdisciplinary Access to specific disciplines (2022)
Bhandari, Renu and Rainford, Jon
In : Future of Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning @ The OU Conference (21-22 Jun 2022)