John Crossan

Research Fellow

Personal Statement

My work is concerned fundamentally with the urban environment - its production, its use and its potential. My research is also driven by broader social and political concerns about urban inequlity, citizenship education and democracy.


My current research centres upon the newly formed Centre for Work-based Learning in Scotland. This is a collaborative cross-sectoral project involving researchers from the University of Strathclyde, Heriot Watt, Robert Gordon University and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). Working with staff at SDS my role is to co-develop the centres initial research agenda (for more information on the centre see


My interests in this work centre upon two areas. First, there is an increasingly recognised need in the UK for a collaborative approach to the development of WBL models that bring together employers, unions and other institutions in pursuit of a fit, fair and productive skills strategy. Key to realizing this have been reforms within the UK skills system aimed at creating a more regional approach, which links schools and colleges with employers, regional development agencies and other regional/local bodies. This regional turn is a welcome one. However, a key aim in my work with CWBL is to push policy in this area further by giving greater priority to locales hit hardest by underemployment, creating within these areas more local training opportunities that meet the high educational standards promoted by protagonists of progressive WBL models. Second, the progressive models of WBL briefly discussed here require the implementation of innovative workplace management strategies that work towards a flattening out top-down command and control structures. Resonating with my research in the prodcution of urban space this work continues my interest in the ‘microphysics of power’ within small to medium size groups.    

Research Interests

• Work-based Learning Pedagogies
• Civic education
• Urban Ecology
• Anarchist Theory and Practice



    Research areas

  • Human Geography , Urban Ecology , Work-based Learning , Democratic Education, Anarchism

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