Jessica Pitman

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Dr Jessica Pitman DipN Child, Cert Ed, MA PDET, SFHEA, PhD.

Lecturer and Researcher

Tel: 01267 225127

Lecturer in the Early Years Education and Care Department with postgraduate supervision responsibilities.

I have been mainly focussed on children, family, education and the community.  

I started my career as a paediatric nurse and became a community children's nurse supporting children who had life limiting illnesses and their families. I also worked in specialist ALN schools as a school nurse to enable children with health care needs to learn without stress.  

I became interested in adult education during my time as a community nurse and spent some time working in a local college and university while gaining my teaching qualification.  During this time, I also studied community development, community engagement, community organisation and public health at postgraduate level.  

I worked for several years as a trainer in a local authority focussing on organisational development and providing training for senior managers related to high-performance coaching and facilitation skills.  

I worked for many years as family facilitator (parenting worker) providing one to one support for parents and their children to prevent family crisis. Part of my role was also to set up and facilitate community parenting groups and domestic abuse groups in Flying Start areas. This work also embedded a Team Around the Family approach as well as restorative, solution focussed and motivational interviewing techniques with parents and children. This role was also involved in European funding for employment and training. There were many lessons learned from accessing this type of funding which has influenced my belief that focussing on employment as a means out of poverty may not be the only solution for areas of disadvantage (see my work on identity capital).    

My previous role was working for the Children’s Commissioner for Wales as an Investigations and Advice Officer, advising, and supporting children and young people or those who care for them when they felt that a child had been treated unfairly. I also worked as a Participation Officer helping the Commissioner to engage and respond to the views of children and young people in Wales. 

I am currently working within the Early Years Education and Care Department with a special interest in research methods, working with families, catalytic leadership- rights, resilience and social change, sociological and political influences in early childhood, and inclusive leadership – working together to support children and families.

I also have an interest in advocacy, children’s rights, historical contexts of the family, working with single fathers, hegemonic fatherhood and masculinity, community development, community engagement, participatory techniques and adult education. 

I am passionate about adult education, especially supporting those who go through significant life changes. I particularly like working with life stories to understand the issues that may help or hinder people to become the people they wish to be. 

My doctoral thesis related to fathers in areas of disadvantage and identity capital. Identity capital in my study describes the resources that people receive from the relationships around them. These resources can help or hinder them in their quest towards the life they wish to follow.  My research also allowed me to investigate how men in certain areas of disadvantage had versions of masculinity that were considered dominant within their local communities and in the opinions of others, such as governments and the media.  

These dominant narratives sometimes create a deficit view of fathers who lived in these areas. I constructed a new term; Inverse Protest Masculinity (IPM), which focusses on the actions of men that push against the structural forces of society and prejudgements of men living in areas of disadvantage.  Hegemonic fatherhood was a term used to stipulate fathering practices many men may never achieve. There were several reasons highlighted in my research, including societal pressures, loss of contact with children from first relationships, female to male intimate partner violence, and Community Violence Exposure (CVE).   

I look forward to enhancing my academic and research career based on these topics. 


  • Inverse Protest Masculinity (IPM) (Pitman, 2021) 
  • Hegemonic fatherhood 
  • Identity Capital 
  • Psycho-social elements of identity 
  • Single fathers  
  • Supporting parents in practice 
  • Community Violence Exposure (CVE) 
  • Relational Ontology 
  • Re-presentations in the research process 
  • Narrative methodology and lessons in research practice 
  • Narrative Inquiry 
  • Narrative Analysis 
  • Narrative interview methods 
  • Process consent and ethics committees  
  • Biographical interviewing methods 
  • Community education and community work 
  • Facilitating community groups 
  • Safeguarding and rights 
  • Participation  
  • Employment in areas of disadvantage 

Pitman, J(2021) An exploration of how identity capital is constructed in the narrative life stories of fathers in areas of disadvantage.Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Pitman, J. (2016) ‘Capturing capital: Exploring identity capital (IC) from the perspective of parents who attend parenting groups in Flying Start areas, and the implications for practice’ In: ‘Happiness, relationships, emotion and deep level learning’  Dublin: EECERA, p. 41. 

Pitman, J. (2015) An investigation into the actions of parenting educators that effect learners’ self esteem, underpinned by Malcom Knowles’ (1998) theory of how adults mature through learning. Postgraduate dissertation, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

2020 - Part of the research team for the Children’s Commissioner for Wales Coronavirus and Me survey.

2018- 2019 UWTSD1st Year Researcher - HAPI 2: Evaluation of Newydd Housing Big Lottery funded project to extend the communities health and wellbeing across Rhondda CynonTaf. 2018-2022.