About Nick

A bit about me.

You can follow me on twitter @NHopUTS and see more details on my google scholar profile and Scopus profile. My ORCID ID is 0000-0003-2149-5834. You can find more details on my ResearchGate pagemy ResearcherID profile,  my Publons profile, and my Kudos profile.

I am Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), in the School of Education, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. I am also Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

From September 2017 I have been a member of the Executive Committee, and Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific of ISCAR – the International Society for Cultural-historical Activity Research. This is a worldwide society for people with interests in research and theoretical work that draws on Vygotsky, his collaborators, students, and contemporary advances through concepts that stem from this diverse tradition. If you’re interested in knowing what is going on in the Asia-Pacific region please get in touch.

I teach mainly in the Education Masters program (subjects relating to professional practice and learning, research perspectives, research design), but also deliver many of the workshops, masterclasses and courses for postgraduate research students across the Faculty. I am Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator for the School of Education.

I’ve been doing educational research since 2002, always with an interest in learning, learner experiences, and pedagogy. I’ve done studies on learning in schools (focused on geographical and environmental education), universities (looking at clinical simulation, and previously, research students and early career academics learning to do academic work), and health settings (looking at how professionals help parents to cope with challenges of parenting, and how they learn from those parents to offer sensitive, customised support).

I generally lean towards the qualitative side of research, with a particular interest in ethnography (as a solo and joint endeavour). I set up a community based in UTS for anyone interested in ethnography, which now has over 160 members from all our faculties, and a number of nearby (and not-so-nearby) universities.

My theoretical interests are currently focused on cultural-historical and what some call ‘sociomaterial’ perspectives – ideas about social life and learning that (1) focus on practices, what people actually do, and (2) take the idea of materiality seriously – seeing pedagogy and learning as social and material phenomena, not individual and cognitive.  My theoretical inspiration comes from many sources, including the work of Vygotsky and many of those who are working with and adapting his ideas.

I am an Associate of ProPEL, the Professional Practice, Education and Learning network hosted at the University of Stirling.

Prior to 2010, I was a Research and Evaluation Officer at the Centre for Excellence in Preparing for Academic Practice  (CETL) at the University of Oxford. At the CETL I was involved in a number of studies investigating how doctoral students and early career academics learn and work. My postgraduate research focused on geographical and environmental education in UK secondary schools, and was conducted at Oxford University Department of Education, funded through an ESRC 1+3 Scholarship.

Blog icon and profile photo by Joanne Saad (image cropped)

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