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Dr Sophie Ward


Dr Sophie Ward (Associate Professor, School of Education)

Sophie’s Story Bio

Dr Sophie Ward is something of a storyteller. In 2014, her Little Book of Westerns was published under the penname ‘Sophie Samuel’ (a combination of her name, Sophie, and her son, Sam). In this book, Sophie tells the stories of 50 movies about the Wild West – a movie genre that she loves. When she retires, Sophie would like to publish another little book, this time telling the stories of romantic films. As an Associate Professor of Education, Sophie continues to enjoy telling stories – one of her favourite activities while writing her book, Using Shakespeare’s Plays to Explore Education Policy Today, was providing plot summaries to some of her favourite plays by Shakespeare. Sophie believes that all academic writing is a form of storytelling: we introduce our ideas (characters) and context (the story) and build towards our conclusion (the happy or unhappy ending), introducing along the way elements of hope and danger (the argument). If Sophie told a story about teaching at Durham University, the characters would be some of the funniest, kindest and most interesting people she has ever met, and the story would be the discovery of their academic voice through the trials and tribulations of seminars and assessment, culminating in the ‘happy ending’ of graduation in Durham Cathedral.

Sophie is excited to be working with Teti on Digital Storytelling, to enable students to focus on their own understanding and personal connection with thinkers and/or topic areas explored on the module, Historical and Philosophical Ideas of Education. People have been telling stories about education since the dawn of time, and Digital Storytelling brings this art form into the 21st century.

Link to Sophie’s Staff Profile