Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes Academic wins prestigious Fulbright Award to the US

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Dr. Patrick Alexander, Senior Lecturer at The School of Education, has received the 2014 Fulbright-Peabody Award from the US - UK Fulbright Commission. The Award is one of the most prestigious and selective scholarship programmes operating world-wide and enables him to research at New York University. The Commission is part of the Fulbright programme conceived by Senator J William Fulbright in the aftermath of World War II to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Award recipients are likely to be the future leaders for tomorrow and support the “special relationship” between the US and UK. The Commission selects scholars through a rigorous application and interview process and looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning Patrick was selected from a strong applicant pool to conduct in-depth, comparative research of aspiration, imagined futures and transitions into early adulthood among final year inner-city school students in New York and London. Patrick will be working alongside renowned academics in the field of Education at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Commenting on receiving the award, Dr. Alexander said:
I am honoured to be involved with the Fulbright Commission and the Peabody Trust in taking this research forward. This promises to be a challenging and enriching project that will shine a light on the complex realities of what it means to 'come of age' in the public/state education systems of these two cities. I hope to ask probing questions about the role of schooling as part of developing a real sense of purposeful, meaningful existence for young people in contemporary society. I will be asking students the age-old question: ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’, and then digging much deeper into why students hold certain aspirations for the future, where these ideas come from, and what challenges or barriers might prevent these dreams from becoming reality. While we might think that life in school is very similar in the UK and the US, I anticipate that I’ll find some very interesting and unusual differences in how schooling shapes the aspirations and worldviews of young people in these cities.
Follow Patrick on Twitter @patgalexander