Dr Max Biddulph is an Associate Professor and Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes in the School of Education. Prior to undertaking his initial teacher training at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Max graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Geography. In first part of his career, Max worked for twenty-six years in a number of secondary schools teaching Personal Social Health Education, culminating in the role of senior manager with responsibility staff development. Some strong themes that weave through this phase of his career are performance, community, and empowerment. In 1983 he co-wrote 'The Liberty Tree' a dramatisation of the Derbyshire rising of 1817, subsequently televised by ITV. Also, in the 1980s, following a visit to Lawrence Kohlberg's 'Just Community' project in New York, he experimented with curriculum, pupil voice and empowerment in a local community school setting. Max joined the team of the then Centre for the Study of Human Relations in 1991 where he trained in the delivery of experiential learning which has been a hall mark of his teaching since and he was awarded a University of Nottingham Lord Dearing Award for excellence in teaching in 2008.
From the foundations as a classroom teacher. a particular interest that Max has had during his career is in the field of pastoral care and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE). In 1994 he was commissioned to write the classroom materials for the Derbyshire Theatre in Health Education project and in 2001 fpa published his co-authored book 'Moving Goalposts: Setting a Training Agenda for Sexual Health Work with Boys and Young Men'. Since that time has been extensively involved at a national level in this field undertaking large projects and training for fpa, the National Children's Bureau, Sheffield Centre for HIV and Sexual Health and the former Teenage Pregnancy Unit. These have focused on delivering SRE to young people in a variety of educational settings including youth work, state and independent education sectors and the care system.
Max's has been involved in activism and LGBT politics for almost thirty years and in 1997 he was one of the founder members of SWAN - the National Association of Assertiveness Trainers of Gay/Bisexual Men. His front-line work also includes work as a volunteer counsellor within an HIV organisation and an LGBT community initiative. Max has presented papers relating to his doctoral research into the experiences of gay/bisexual men who are educators at conferences in the UK, Europe and North America and in 2017 he was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Medal for outstanding contribution via his work as Chair of the University of Nottingham Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Trans, Questioning (LGBTQ) staff network.
In the decade between 2000-10 he undertook various pieces of research both as an individual and within teams:
- Doctoral Research: Gay and Bisexual men who are Educators: A Narrative Enquiry of Space, Deployment and Identity. Nottingham Trent University 2005
- Promoting Emotional Development of Young People: Centre for the Study of Human Relations and Nottingham City LA
- Faith in Families: Catholic Children's Society
- Opening Hearts: tackling homophobia in the primary school classroom: National Healthy Schools Initiative
- Becoming a Teacher Project: Department for Education
Since 2013 Max has refocused his work around teaching, activism and scholarship. 'Performance' continues to feature in his work and in 2017 he was invited to participate in a commissioned piece examining the impact and legacy of Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988. The outcome, Ed Webb-Ingall's 2017 installation 'We have rather been invaded' which is currently touring, uses twentieth century community video methods to communicate a roundtable discussion of activists and educators interspersed with archive footage. Personal narratives also featured in 'Hooking Up: Gay Men, Spaces and Desire 1960-2018' an ethnographic retrospective performed at Lakeside Arts in February 2018 in association with Jozs Bitelli, Artist and Joel Tan, playwright as part of the UoN LGBT History Month portfolio.
Max also has an interest in the Gypsy Traveller community and is currently Chair of the editorial board of Pastoral Care in Education (Taylor and Francis), the International Journal of the National Association of Pastoral Care in Education (NAPCE). The proposed new 'Relationships and Sex Education' curriculum for England and Wales will feature in his scholarship activity during 2018-19.
In addition to his directorship role, Max also has responsibility in the School of Education as course leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in International Student Advice and Support (ISAS)… read more
Current scholarship activity during 2018-19 will focus on:
The global impact of PrEP on HIV transmission and an examination of the 'fitness for purpose' in terms of the inclusivity, of the proposed new RSE curriculum in England and Wales.
A piece exploring the changing landscape in HE the absence of infrastructure to audit LGBT inclusivity questioning and what can be done to achieve more inclusive practice.
A lecture/performance piece for LGBT History Month in the UON People and Culture team portfolio of events
A written piece questioning the altitudinal/belief system shifts needed 'in the person of the educator' to create third culture spaces for gypsy traveller young people in education environments.
Dec/early Jan for Holocaust Memorial Day on Jan 27. Resource - led piece on remembering the gay men of Sachsenhausen's Klinkerwerk.
BIDDULPH, M., 2013. ‘Queer’ and ‘teacher’ as symbiosis? Exploring absence and presence in discursive space.. In: TAYLOR, Y and ADDISON, M., eds., Queer Absences and Presences Palgrave McMillan. 222-239
BIDDULPH, M., 2012. Sexualities and citizenship education. In: ARTHUR, J. and CREMIN, H., eds., Debates in citizenship education Routledge. 100-114
BIDDULPH, M., 2010. Can only Dorothy’s friends speak for Dorothy? Exploring issues of biographical positioning in qualitative research with gay/bisexual men. In: HUBER, T., ed., Storied inquiries in international landscapes: an anthology of educational research Information Age Publishing.
Max is a member of the Centre for Research in Schools and Communities. His research supervision areas include: Affective experience and education:
- experiential learning
- lifelong personal development
- personal, social, health, citizenship education
Communities as social spaces:
- identity, social space and sexuality
- school ethos and micro-politics
Gender, masculinities and identity:
- working class masculinities and education
- masculinity and sexuality
- intimacy and men's relationships
- homosexuality, heterosexism, homophobia, heteronormativity and education
- LGBT teachers and students in educational settings
- arts-based methods
- visual methods
- performance narrative
- verisimilitude and trustworthiness
Sex and Relationships education:
- practice, context and culture
- HIV/AIDS education
Research topics of current and recent students include:
- Emotional experience as a developmental process in the training of language teachers
- Counselling in higher education contexts
Research proposals: please email Max if you would like to discuss the appropriateness of your research topic. See also: School of Education research supervision areas.
2006 - 2008: Becoming a Teacher Project: a 6-year (2003-2009) study of teachers' experiences of initial teacher training (ITT), induction and early professional development: co-funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), the General Teaching Council (GTC) and the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).
2009: Derbyshire Health Promoting Schools and the National Healthy Schools: Opening Hearts: Challenging homophobic bullying via the primary school literacy curriculum, Principal investigator evaluation of the pilot study: Department of Health
1999-2001: Promoting Emotional Development in Schools Project: Nottingham City LEA
2000-2001 Centre for the Study of Human Relations Team research project: Evaluating the efficacy of the small group in counsellor training.
Doctoral research, Faculty of Education, Nottingham Trent University Title: Gay and Bisexual Men who are Educators: A Narrative Analysis of Space, Identity and Deployment
Researching LGBT teachers experiences and identity management strategies in educational settings
Researching school leaders and inclusive practices vis a vis LGBT issues
Researching sex and relationships education (SRE) acquisition by gay/bisexual men as a lifelong process
Researching the phenomenon of message fatigue in HIV education targeted at gay/bisexual men
Developing an SRE curriculum and practice framework for teaching about same sex sexuality/relationships
Researching SRE pedagogy and curriclum processes in faith schools
Researching responses made by schools to children/young people questioning their gender identity
Researching the ethics of observation and the management / inclusion (?) of data relating to unaware/non-consenting participants
Researching the use of narrative communicated via visual imagery