Ben is a research fellow at the University of Exeter. His research is primarily sociological and focused on education and learning in the "digital age."
More specifically, his research examines how youth media are mobilized in formal education institutions and educational policies. He is especially interested in organizations that influence how technology and media are represented and understood within the education system (for example, by think-tanks, creative and cultural producers, and private sector organizations, as well as through research and policy). His research interests also include how ideas and ideals about children and childhood are produced, circulated and contested in curriculum design and classroom pedagogies.
Currently, Ben is leading a working group on innovation in the school curriculum, identifying how 21st century attempts to reimagine and redesign curricula are linked to seemingly global ideals concerning youth and media in relation to culture and economy.
Ben’s PhD focused on literary theory and pragmatist philosophy in the context of American literary production at the millennium. In particular he examined the fictions of David Foster Wallace, Neal Stephenson, Mark Z. Danielewski and Jonathan Franzen, querying their pragmatist concerns with supposedly postmodern literary and cultural problems.
Ben has written and published on a number of different areas of new technology, media and education, including: how technology and media are represented in science fiction written for children; how school curricula and teaching practices have been “remediated” through informal new media practices; how technology and media are represented in education policy texts; how technology and media are involved in the production of new forms of youth marginalization and exclusion; and how computer games have been constructed as classroom devices.
Previously, Ben worked as a researcher at Futurelab in Bristol. He has also worked in youth publishing and taught English literature and literacy at schools in Bristol.