Jo's research interests centre around the interface between arts, culture and education, with particular interest in how people (and organisations) create porous and adaptive ways of working to innovate and grow, especially through arts-based processes and contexts.
This interest began through her MPhil, proposing particular models of practice for the ways in which professional artists and education can engage. It has been extended through several research studies and evaluations for local education authorities involving artists and arts practices in schools to develop creativity, thinking skills and raise aspirations. Through working with Creative Partnerships, her focus has been upon both how creative learning impacts and how this can be evidenced. The role of creative professionals as agents in developing change-making cultures is one interest which has developed from this work.
Jo has conducted research studies for several cultural organisations investigating how effective, owned partnership practice can innovate and ensure quality impacts. Locally she worked with 8 theatre companies including the Belgrade; Nationally she was part of a team evaluating the Film Council' First Light initiative which sought to develop young people in and through film-making.
Currently she is working with several organisations as evaluator, integrating education to core mission. Jo is currently research consultant on an arts and engineering initiative, The Imagineerium, led by Imagineer Productions and funded by the Arts Council, Coventry City Council, CSWP and Imagineer technologies. Through the pilot projects with KS2 pupils in local primary schools she is researching how a real world, arts rich context can foster both interest in STEM based learning and careers but also a more connected view of the arts and sciences.
She is also interested in the role of embodied learning both within this project and beyond. She is working with Open theatre researching how drama based processes effect embodied learning for children and young people in Special Education.