Cults Academy, University of Aberdeen, University of Hull
PhD (University of Hull), MRes and M.A.(Hons) (University of Aberdeen)
Lecturer in Psychology (University of Hull)
Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology (University of Edinburgh)
I’m a psychologist interested in how children learn to read and how to get children passionate and excited about reading!
I’m interested in how to most effectively teach children to read, particularly children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I’m also interested in what motivates children to read and how we can encourage children to become motivated and engaged readers who choose to read for pleasure! Finally, I’m interested in sex differences in reading, specifically in understanding to what extent reading is seen as a more feminine activity.
I am interested in the interplay between developmental psychology and education and I work within a small team of developmental psychologists based within the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. I lecture on various aspects of child development (cognitive, social and emotional development) and carry out research in primary (and sometimes secondary) schools, exploring different aspects of children’s and adolescents’ reading. I also provide professional learning workshops for teachers on various aspects of children’s reading: early reading acquisition, supporting reading comprehension, reading motivation and engagement and reading difficulties/disorders.
My Typical Day:
Reading research papers, teaching students, meetings with PhD students, writing, learning new things…. and unfortunately, emails!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
easy-going, enthusiastic, conscientious
What did you want to be after you left school?
I had no idea......
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Ha! Does anyone give an honest answer to this? I did struggle in a couple of classes but was never in serious trouble.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
More time to spend with my daughters, someone to do their laundry, a lie in once in a while!
Tell us a joke.
Why are pirates so mean? They just arrrr!
What topics do you work on?
I am interested in how children learn to read and the effectiveness of different approaches to initial reading instruction. I also study children’s reading motivation, engagement and reading choices. Finally, I am interested in sex differences in reading.
What methods do you use?
Standardised assessments of reading, language and cognition (e.g. memory), questionnaires and interviews to study reading motivation and engagement
Who was your favourite teacher?
My maths teacher Mrs Arthur
Me and my work
I am interested in the interplay between developmental psychology and education and lecture on various aspects of child development (cognitive, social and emotional development). I carry out research in primary (and sometimes secondary) schools, exploring different aspects of children’s and adolescents’ reading. I also provide professional learning workshops for teachers on various aspects of children’s reading.
Teaching UG or PG students, reading or writing research papers, meeting PhD students… and unfortunately, emails!