Staff Profiles


Dr Wilma Fraser

Senior Lecturer

School: Faculty of Education Postgraduate Programmes

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923660

Profile summary

I am the Faculty Director for Community Arts and Education in the School of Childhood and Education Sciences. I am responsible for the university's programme of non-accredited liberal education which attracts over 1300 participants from our local and regional communities who engage in a rich range of lectures, seminars and workshops.

Prior to coming to the university in January 2004, I was employed by the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) for over twenty years. In that time I was seconded to Goldsmiths College, University of London, to undertake research in 'learner managed learning' and I held an honorary research fellowship at the University of Kent in the School of Continuing Education.

I have considerable programme leadership experience including serving as programme director for the MA, Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred and for the MA in Lifelong Education and Professional Practice.

My current research interests combine autoethnography with analyses of aspects of wisdom in adult teaching and learning. I currently supervise six doctoral students who are researching in areas including narrative studies, "professional becoming" and adult teaching and learning.

My doctoral thesis, entitled 'In Search of Sophia: Seeking wisdom in adult teaching and learning spaces -An Autoethnographic Inquiry' (2013) was one of two commended for the best PhD thesis in the UK by the British Educational Research Association (BERA, 2014).

My teaching reponsibilities at CCCU have included teacher training for staff working in Further and Adult Education (i.e.within the Post Compulsory Sector). I have also taught on the BA in Post Compulsory Education and Training, and the BA in Lifelong Learning. Other teaching has included elements of both Masters programmes for which I was responsible.

I am sometime reviewer for: Studies in the Education of Adults and The International Journal of Lifelong Education

Research and knowledge exchange

I was a long-standing member of the Education Faculty's Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Committee until I entered my first stage of phased retirement (from Sept 2015). I have engaged in a number of research and KE initiatives including:

  • Research into ‘needs of marginalised learners’ –commissioned by WEA and presented at WEA Biennial Conference  (with Lynne Graham-Matheson/Ken Powell) Oct 2013 in Cambridge
  • Developing our Community Arts and Education programme and profile with funds provided by the Higher Education Initiative Fund (2011-present)
  • Project managed KE/SECC research into health and well-being on Isle of Sheppey (with Linden West and Sue Hammond) -2008-11 (with funds from South East Coastal Communities)
  • Supervision of 6 doctoral students in areas including: 'professional becoming'; forms of narrative inquiry; professional transitions (e.g. from the Services to 'civvy street'); wisdom traditions in adult learning.

Teaching and subject expertise


My teaching has ranged across a number of fora in the forty years since I began as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in 1975:

At CCCU, I have taught on various teacher training programmes for tutors in Further and Adult Education including the Advanced Certifcate; the Certificate and the Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

I have also taught modules on the BA in Post Compulsory Education and Training, and the BA in Lifelong Learning. I was programme director for the MA in Post Compulsory Education and Training 2005-7); I then developed and directed the MA in Lifelong Education and Professional Practice (2007-11). I was programme director for the MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred which was developed with Angela Voss and Geoffrey Cornelius.

At the WEA, I taught: Literature; women's studies; popular culture (in HM Prison, Canterbury). I was also local, regional and national lead on Women and Health Programme - 1993-2003. This included:

 - Responsibility for generation and utilisation of £750,000 in providing community-based courses and training manuals with monies sourced with NHS colleague from various funding bodies

Membership of professional bodies:

 - The Standing Conference on Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults (SCUTREA)

 - The European Society for Research in the Education of Adults (ESREA)

 - Previous member of the Universities' Association for Lifelong Learning (UALL)

Partnership Activity:

As Faculty Director for Community Arts and Education, I have secured a Memorandum of Understanding with our local/regional University of the Third Age (U3A).

I have also secured a Memorandum of Agreement with the WEA. In 2013, I accepted a Special Partnership Award, on behalf of CCCU, from the WEA. 

External examiner roles:

I have acted as external examiner at the University of Sussex and at the University of Wales Institute at Cardiff

External activities


Presentations and organising committee memberships include:

Co-organiser of International Conference at CCCU: 'Re-Enchanting the Academy', Sept 2015

Member of Scientific Committee, ESREA, 2013.


Fraser, W ‘Moments of being’ and the search for meaning: epistemological and methodological challenges for the autoethnographic researcher.  Narratives of Continuity and Change, CCCU, 2013

Fraser, W, Hyland-Russell, T (2009) In Search of Sophia. ESREA, Mar 09, Milan

Fraser W, West, L (2008) Whither Adult Education in the Learning Paradigm? SCUTREA, July 08, Edinburgh

Conference organiser ESREA March 08 at CCCU

Regular Conference participant at SCUTREA

Regular attendee at NIACE Conferences eg on: Learning for Democracy (Sept 07); FE/HE Interface

Research groups:

Mar/April 07); Participation and Equality (Mar 07)

Member of Auto/biography and Narratives Research group – 08-present

Member of research group run by Centre for International Studies in Diversity and Participation (DER in CCCU) inc. presenter, May 22nd 08

Member of CCCU Education Faculty Group for Transformational Learning

Publications and research outputs

Corfield, R., Fraser, W (2016) 'Creating opportunites for indivdual and collective empowerment: Challenges from the macro to the micro'. In Adult Education. Specila Issue, Vol 1, Spring 2016. pp. 32-37

Fraser, W (2015) '‘Moments of Being’ and the Search for Meaning: Epistemological and Methodological challenges for the Autoethnographic Researcher', In Reid, H and West, L (eds) Constructing narratives of continuity and change

Fraser, W; Hyland-Russell, T (2011) Searching for Sophia: Adult Educators and Adult Learners as Wisdom Seekers. In New Directions for Cont Ed (U.S-Jossey-Bass)

Fraser W, West, L (2008) Whither Adult Education in the Learning Paradigm? SCUTREA, July 08

Fraser, W, Scarlett, C & Winner, A (2007) A Gift in Their Hands- A Brief History of Women’s Education in the WEA In Tuckett, A (Ed), Essays in participation and equality. Leicester: NIACE

Fraser, W, Knight, J (2003) Walking Tall –Celebrating a Decade of Partnership between Health and Learning in Learning for Life (WEA) Vol 1 No 6 p9

Fraser, W (1995) Learning from Experience: Empowerment or Incorporation? Leicester: NIACE - Monograph


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/01/2019 15:27:00