My research encompasses two main areas:
- The psychology of teaching & learning (with a particular focus on educational applications of the interleaving and spacing effects)
- Teacher research engagement and teacher professionalism (with a particular focus on knowledge, memory and identity).
I am also interested in the psychology of literacy and language -including creative writing and second language learning - and in the philosophy and politics of educational research. I have many years of professional expertise in the teaching of psychology, especially in the UK, and have written resources for and articles about this topic as well as school books.
Currently as part of my PhD at the University of Strathclyde (where I also work) I am conducting a systematic review into the effect of interleaving on memory for conceptual knowledge. Interleaving means ordering tasks in such a way that each subsequent task is of a different type, rather than learners experiencing several of the same type of task/example in a block.
The next phase of the PhD will involve experimental classroom research using authentic computer-based learning tasks and homework. My principal PhD supervisor is Prof Ian Rivers of Strathclyde's School of Education, and my second supervisor is Prof Jim Boyle who leads the educational psychology team in the university's School of Psychological Sciences & Health.
I am also collaborating with my colleagues Philip Tonner and Anna Beck, on a project which investigates teachers' research activities and research awareness as a part of their professional practice.
A related project 'SURE' (School and University Research Exchange) has established a research partnership between the University of Strathclyde and several local secondary schools to look at how and when schools implement the findings of educational research as part of their practices and decision making.
Memory Researcher Symposium
The applications of long-term memory to education are widely studied in the North America but less so here in Europe. I am in the initial stages of organising a symposium on the topic for interested teachers and academics, with a view to establishing a research network. Please contact me if you are interested in getting involved.
I am open to new collaborations. Please get in touch via the contact form on this site if you have a project idea that you think I might be interested in.