Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My research interests to date have focused on special educational needs, inclusion and educational technology. I have had a particular interest in autism education and, in the HANDS project, the development of mobile technology to develop social and life skill functioning in children with autism. This work is continuing with my current mobile apps project where, working with the IoE Centre for Research in Autism Education, I am leading on developing and evaluating a mobile app for emotional regulation in autism, also working closely with a London secondary school and a UK software house. I also have a track record in knowledge exchange, and have worked closely with a number of software firms on development projects. As well as autism, I am also interested in the potential use of mobile technology with other groups with impairments, including children and young people with ADHD, people with brain injuries, and people with visual and hearing impairments.
The second, linked strand of my work focuses on the professional practice of teachers working with children with special needs. In 2014 I published a book "Professional Uncertainty, Knowledge and Relationship in the Classroom: A Psychosocial Perspective", which is based on a theoretical development of the work of Donald Schon and his later commentators (Kemmis in particular), melding his theoretical construct of the reflective practitioner with the epistemological framework of the 20th century object relations psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion. Illuminated with case study examples of teachers working with autism. This has been well received and makes a significant contribution to debates about how caring professionals should consider the balance between tacit and theoretical knowledge, with particular implications for pre and in service teacher education, particularly for teachers working with children with special educational needs. This work builds on my training and experience at the Tavistock Centre, London, a world leading centre for the use of psychoanalytic theory in relation to the emotional and social development of children and young people.
The work on this book also has strong links to my work on professional development, particularly the UK Department of Education grant considering best practice approaches for the training of beginning teachers in relation to special educational needs.
I am also involved in another cognate funded project evaluating best practice approaches to using technology in the classroom with children with special needs.
I have published widely on my research in peer reviewed journals as well book chapters, books and conference papers.