Personal profile


Before taking an academic post at Northumbria University, Kirstin was a class teacher, senior leader, and Specialist Leader of Education in primary schools in the North East for more than 13 years. Kirstin is currently the Initial Teacher Education subject lead for English, as well as Languages. She is a module leader for the Educational Research and Enquiry strand of the BA Primary Education programme, and also leads a module on Northumbria's interdisciplinary Professional Doctorate programme in Health, Education and Society. 


Alongside her role at Northumbria, Kirstin is a Senior Associate for the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), co-leading a national project to explore school leaders' use of research evidence. As part of this work, Kirstin has co-authored a number of tools and resources to support research evidence literacy, including the EEF's (2024) 'Using Research Evidence: A Concise Guide'. 


Kirstin collaborates closely with a number of regional and national organisations, including the Maths Hub Network and Research Schools Network. Kirstin is an invited member of the Royal Society's Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education: Primary and Early Years, a national Research and Innovation Lead for the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM), and a school governor for a local primary school. 


Kirstin completed her MEd and EdD at the University of Newcastle, and also holds an MLitt in Latin American Literature. She has a particular interest in innovative approaches for professional development, including simulation-based approaches; teacher research; perceptions and experiences of teaching and learning; and the role of student voice in developing pedagogy. 


Kirstin is the chair of the National Simulation Network, a group of academics collaborating to promote simulation-based approaches for Initial Teacher Education and teacher professional learning. 

Research interests

Kirstin's principal interests include:

  • evidence use in education
  • professional learning, including simulation-based approaches
  • teacher research, and participatory research with teachers, students and children
  • perceptions of teaching and learning, and the impacts of these upon self-concept, motivation and learning outcomes
  • the development of metacognition through peer collaboration and talk

Education/Academic qualification

Education, EdD, ‘I think when I work with other people I can let go of all of my ideas and tell them out loud’: The impacts of a Thinking Skills approach upon pupils’ experiences of Maths, Newcastle University

1 Sept 201018 Apr 2016

Award Date: 18 Apr 2016

Education, MEd, Newcastle University

1 Sept 200731 Aug 2009

Award Date: 3 Dec 2009

Education, PGCE, Newcastle University

1 Sept 200630 Jun 2007

Award Date: 30 Jun 2007

Latin American, MLitt, The Theme of Power in Angeles Mastretta's 'Arrancame La Vida', Newcastle University

1 Sept 200431 Aug 2005

Award Date: 1 Dec 2005

Hispanic Studies, BA (Hons), University of Liverpool

1 Sept 199930 Jun 2003

Award Date: 8 Jul 2003

External positions

Royal Society Advisory Panel for Maths Education (ACME): Primary and Early Years

1 Oct 2022 → …

Education Endowment Foundation

31 Aug 2021 → …


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