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Professor Maggie Gregson


Home / About / Academic staff profiles / Teacher Training and Education / Maggie Gregson

Professor of Vocational Education

I am a Professor of Vocational Education and Director of the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT) at the University of Sunderland. I started my career in the Department for Education and Employment as a policy professional, involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of Youth and Adult Training in England, before moving to Higher Education (HE).

My career in HE involves the development of teacher education and research in the Further Adult and Vocational Education (FAVE) sector. I lead the national Practitioner Research Programme (PRP) funded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). This involves the managing and teaching of MA/MPhil programmes, supervising PhDs and leading national developments in advancing understanding of and support for practitioner-research in the FAVE sector.

My research interests include studies in the field of practice-focused research, vocational education, assessment, initial and continuing teacher education, reflective practice, professional learning and approaches to educational evaluation and improvement. Most recently my research is exploring the nature of educational practice, processes and stages of skill development and the advancement of craft. I have published widely in the fields of practice-focused research, vocational education and educational assessment and evaluation.

I have had extensive experience of working with national UK government agencies in designing and developing national standards, subject specific curricula and supporting pedagogical strategies across a wide range of vocational areas, subjects and disciplines. This includes the development and design of a dedicated Master of Arts degree for Professional Teacher Educators.

My recent publications include Reflective Teaching in Further Adult and Vocational Education (2015, 2020, Bloomsbury), Practice-Focused Research in Further Adult and Vocational Education: shifting horizons of practice, theory and research 2020 Palgrave Macmillan,) and a Special Issue in Post Compulsory Education for the Journal of Education Science (2020).

My work is of particular relevance to policy professionals and those working in all sectors of education with responsibility for, or an interest in, developing research-informed approaches to the improvement of educational practice.



Teaching and supervision

I am Principal Investigator for the customised ETF-SUNCETT national MA Short Course and MPhil programme. The MPhil which in addition to 20 sector practitioners on the customised MA Short Course currently supports 21 postgraduate research degree students on the ETF-SUNCETT customised MPhil students at the University.

Completed supervisions since 2014:

Dr John McVey (2014)
Title: Expansive and Restrictive Learning Environments in Engineering Apprenticeship Training
Co-Supervisor: Dr Lawrence Nixon Faculty of Education and Society

Dr Ian Whyte (2015)

Title: What Makes a Good Sports Coach? A Deweyian analysis
Co-Supervisor: Dr Lawrence Nixon Faculty of Education and Society

Dr Sam Broadhead (2016)

Title: Practical Wisdom in Access to Arts Education
Co-Supervisor: Professor Mike Collier Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries

Dr Michael Smith (2020)

Title: How Can I Be Sure?: Revisiting Assessment Practices in GCSE English in the Further Adult and Vocational Education (FAVE) Sector

Dr Brian Todd (2020)

Title: Formative Assessment in Engineering Apprenticeships
Co-Supervisor: Dr Lawrence Nixon Faculty of Education and Society

  • Current PhD supervisions Director of Studies:
Martell Baines
Title: Their Defining Moments: critical influences upon progression into the Arts, considered through the lenses of Bernstein’s Pedagogic Rights

Andrew Buglass

Title: Engaging the Artist as the Educator: Can Representing Experiences of
Educational Practice through Art Improve Pedagogical Reflection?

Daniel Creed

Title: Curriculum Design in Study Programmes in Further Adult and Vocational Education: the neglect of the curriculum process model and its consequences in practice

Susan Edgar

Title: What are the elements of PGCE Programmes which result in good educational outcomes for trainee teachers in Primary Education and demonstrate signature pedagogy for Initial Teacher Education?

Frances Norton

Title: Critical Thinking: Can it be taught or can we only create conditions in which it can flourish?

Karen Redhead

Title: What is the impact of the government's national reforms of apprenticeships on the profile of learners, curriculum design, quality of teaching and learning and relationships with employers?

Robin Webber-Jones

Title: Tales of Virtue and Vice:The Impact of Technical-Rational Approaches to Educational Evaluation and Improvement on Senior and Middle Leaders in Further Education in England

Research interests for potential research students

  • Teacher education
  • Practitioner-research
  • Practice-focused research
  • Professional learning 
  • Vocational education
  • Reflective practice
  • Practice-focused research
  • Educational evaluation and improvement
  • Policy development and its impact upon practice

Research

Most recent research:
  • Principle Investigator for the Education and Training Practitioner-Research Programme 2018-2023.

Publications

Number of items: 39.

Article

Baines, Martell and Gregson, Margaret (2020) Reflections of a Practitioner–Researcher in the Field of Widening Participation in Arts Education. Education Sciences, 10 (5). e133. ISSN 2227-7102

Gregson, Margaret (2020) In Practice: The Importance of Practitioner Research in Vocational Education. Education Sciences, 10 (3). e79. ISSN 2227-7102

Norton, Francis and Gregson, Margaret (2020) The Thinking Skills Deficit: What Role Does a Poetry Group Have in Developing Critical Thinking Skills for Adult Lifelong Learners in a Further Education Art College? Education Sciences, 10 (3). pp. 1-14. ISSN 2227-7102

Gregson, Daniel, Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2019) Top-down and Inside Out: breaking boundaries between research, theory and practice. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 20 (3). pp. 36-52. ISSN 1913-8067

Hillier, Yvonne and Gregson, Margaret (2015) Working Together: Research and Scholarly Activity in Further, Adult and Vocational Education. International Journal of Training Research, 13 (2). pp. 106-108. ISSN 1448-0220

Gregson, Margaret and Nixon, Lawrence (2011) Unlocking the Potential of Skills for Life (SfL) Tutors and Learners: a critical evaluation of the implementation of SfL policy in England. Unlocking the Potential of Skills for Life (SfL) Tutors and Learners: a critical evaluation of the implementation of SfL policy in England. ISSN 2040-0993

Nixon, Lawrence and Gregson, Margaret (2011) The role of Phronesis and Techne in pedagogical action and dialogue. Educational Theory. ISSN 0013-2004

Gregson, Margaret and Nixon, Lawrence (2009) Assessing Effectiveness: ways of seeing impact. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. Assessing Effectiveness: ways of seeing impact. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 21 (3).

Steer, Richard, Spours, Ken, Hodgson, Ann, Finlay, Ian, Coffield, Frank, Edward, Sheila and Gregson, Margaret (2008) ‘Modernisation’ and the role of policy levers in the learning and skills sector. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 59 (2). pp. 175-192. ISSN 1363-6820

Finlay, Ian, Spours, Ken, Steer, Richard, Coffield, Frank, Gregson, Margaret and Hodgson, Ann (2008) ‘The heart of what we do’: policies on teaching, learning and assessment in the learning and skills sector. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 59 (2). pp. 137-153. ISSN 1363-6820

Coffield, Frank, Edward, Sheila, Finlay, Ian, Hodgson, Ann, Spours, Ken, Steer, Richard and Gregson, Margaret (2007) How policy impacts on practice and how practice does not impact on policy. British Educational Research Journal, 33 (5). pp. 723-741. ISSN 0141-1926

Edward, Sheila, Coffield, Frank, Steer, Richard and Gregson, Margaret (2007) Endless change in the learning and skills sector: the impact on teaching staff. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 59 (2). pp. 155-173. ISSN 1363-6820

Nixon, Lawrence, Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2007) Pedagogy and the intuitive appeal of learning styles in post-compulsory education in England. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, Vol 59 (1). pp. 39-51. ISSN 1363-6820

Spours, Ken, Coffield, Frank and Gregson, Margaret (2007) Mediation, translation and local ecologies: understanding the impact of policy levers on FE colleges. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 59 (2). pp. 193-211. ISSN 1363-6820

Gregson, Margaret, Elliott, Julian G, Higgins, Steve and Moseley, David (2005) Thinking Skills frameworks for use in education and training. British Educational Research Journal, 31 (3). pp. 367-390. ISSN 01411926

Book Section

Gregson, Margaret, Spedding, Patricia and Kessell-Holland, Paul (2020) Bringing Practitioners Back In. In: Practice-Focused Research in Further Adult and Vocational Education Shifting Horizons of Educational Practice, Theory and Research. Palgrave. ISBN 9783030389932

Gregson, Margaret and Kessell-Holland, P. (2020) Practice! Practice! Practice! In: Practice-Focused Research in Further Adult and Vocational Education Shifting Horizons of Educational Practice, Theory and Research. Palgrave. ISBN 9783030389932

Gregson, Margaret and Kessell-Holland, Paul (2020) What Do We Mean by Good Work? issues of practice and standards of quality in vocational education. In: Practice-Focused Research in Further Adult and Vocational Education Shifting Horizons of Educational Practice, Theory and Research. Palgrave. ISBN 9783030389932

Gregson, Margaret and Todd, Brian (2019) Realizing Standards of Practice in VET. In: Handbook of Vocational Education and Training for the Changing World of Work. Springer, Switzerland, pp. 1471-1493. ISBN 9783319945316

Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2018) Learning Together: Evaluating and improving Further Adult and Vocational Education through practice-focused research. In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Vocational Education and Training Network (VETNET). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 1 . Vocational Education and Training Network VETNET, Bern, pp. 165-172. ISBN 9781723598005

Gregson, Margaret and Nixon, Lawrence (2015) 12.2 Unlocking the potential for improvement in Skills for Life teaching and learning at the local level. In: Readings for reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education. Reflective Teaching . Bloomsbury, London, pp. 200-205. ISBN 9781472586506

Gregson, Margaret and Nixon, Lawrence (2015) 14.1 Ways of seeing impact. In: Readings for reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education. Reflective Teaching . Bloomsbury, London, pp. 232-236. ISBN 9781472586506

Gregson, Margaret, Spedding, Patricia and Nixon, Lawrence (2015) 16.1 Helping good ideas to become good practice: Enhancing your professional practice through Joint Practice Development (JPD). In: Readings for reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education. Reflective Teaching . Bloomsbury, London, pp. 268-273. ISBN 9781472586506

Spedding, Patricia, Gregson, Margaret and Nixon, Lawrence (2015) 15.3 Tackling Prejudice Together: What are trainee teachers' experiences of prejudice in educational contexts? In: Readings for reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education. Reflective Teaching . Bloomsbury, London, pp. 255-259. ISBN 9781472586506

Nixon, Lawrence, Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2015) 2.5 Challenging the intuitive appeal of learning styles. In: Readings for Reflective Teaching In Further Adult and Vocational Education. Reflective Teaching . Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781472586506

Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Trish (2005) Philosophy Goes To College: An evaluation of a thinking skills intervention in post compulsary educaton and training in the North East of England. In: Vocational Learning: Transitions, Interrelationships, Partnerships and Sustainable Futures. Australian Academic Press, pp. 248-257. ISBN 187537860X

Monograph

Nixon, Lawrence, Gregson, Margaret, Spedding, Patricia and Mearns, Andrew (2008) Practitioners’ experiences of implementing national education policy at the local level. An examination of 16–19 policy. Technical Report. Institute of Education, University of London, London.

Gregson, Margaret, Spedding, Patricia, Moseley, David and Baumfield, Vivienne (2008) Evaluation of the Northumberland Raising Aspirations In Society (NRAIS) Project. Project Report. University of Sunderland Press, Sunderland.

Nixon, Lawrence, Gregson, Margaret, Spedding, Patricia and Mearns, Andrew (2008) Practitioners’ experiences of implementing national education policy at the local level. An examination of 16–19 policy research information. Project Report. Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Davies, Jane, Elliott, Julian G, Gregson, Margaret, Harker, Elizabeth and Oglethorpe, Brian (2003) An Evaluation of the Partners for Study Support Grant Scheme. Other. University of Sunderland, with the permission of DfES on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Conference or Workshop Item

Gregson, Daniel, Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2019) Top-down and Inside-Out: breaking boundaries between, research, theory and practice. In: Comparative International Education Society Annual Research Conference (CIES 2019), April 14-18, 2016, San Francisco.

Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2018) Improving educational practice through educational research in Post Compulsory Education and Training in England. In: 3rd International Conference of the he Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education (ARPCE), 13-15 July 2018, Oxford.

Gregson, Margaret, Nixon, Lawrence and Kearney, Sheila (2013) Joint Practice Development: new research policy and practice partnerships in action in the FE and Skills Sector. In: British Education Research Association Conference, 3 - 5 Sep 2013, Falmer, University of Sussex.

Gregson, Margaret and Nixon, Lawrence (2013) Knowing Different: the impact of professional development on educational practice. In: American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 27 Apr - 01 May 2013, San Francisco.

Book

Gregson, Margaret and Spedding, Patricia (2020) Practice-Focused Research in Further Adult and Vocational Education. Palgrave. ISBN 9783030389932

Gregson, Margaret, Duncan, Sam, Brosnan, Kevin, Derrick, Jay, Husband, Gary, Nixon, Lawrence, Spedding, Patricia, Stubley, Rachel and Webber Jones, Robin (2020) Reflective Teaching in Further, Adult and Vocational Education (5th Edition). Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781350102002

Gregson, Margaret and Broadhead, Samantha (2018) Practical Wisdom and Democratic Education Phronesis, Art and Non-traditional Students. Palgrave Macmillan, London. ISBN 9783319733111

Gregson, Margaret, Nixon, Lawrence, Pollard, Andrew and Spedding, Patricia (2015) Readings for Reflective Teaching in Further, Adult and Vocational Education. Reflective Teaching . Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781472586506

Gregson, Margaret, Hillier, Yvonne, Biesta, Gert, Duncan, Sam, Nixon, Lawrence, Spedding, Patricia and Wakeling, Paul (2015) Reflective Teaching in Further Adult and Vocational Education (4th Edition). Reflective Teaching . Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781780937922

This list was generated on Thu Jun 30 23:57:05 2022 BST.
Practice-focused research
Reflective practice
Teacher education
Vocational education
Educational evaluation and improvement pedagogy

I am currently a member of three national Expert Panels for the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). I Chair of the T-Level Professional Development Construction Expert Panel and a member of the T-Level Professional Development External Advisory Group and a member of the T-Level Professional Development Teaching Expert Panel.

In 2013, I was invited to contribute to the work of the Commission for Adult and Vocational Teaching and (CAVTL).

I am a peer reviewer for several publishers including Open University Press, Palgrave Macmillan and Bloomsbury. I am also peer-review for a number of prestigious journals including, the Journal of Vocational Education and Training, the Journal of Education, Technology and Society, the Journal of Education Science and the International Journal of Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning. I also serve on the Editorial Board of Intuition, the professional journal of the Society for Education and Training.

I have conducted research in collaboration with a number of other Universities including, the Learning and Skills Research Network project 'Thinking Skill Frameworks for Post-16 learners: an evaluation' (led by David Moseley , Newcastle University 2004) and the ESRC project 'The Impact of Policy upon Practice' (led by Professor Frank Coffield, UCL, 2008-2011).

In 2006, with my colleague Trish Spedding, I co-designed the original SUNCETT project. This project is currently one of the longest standing practitioner-research programmes on the FE landscape in England. I am now leading the latest ETF-funded Practitioner Research Project, which supports practitioner-research at MA/MPhil Level on a national scale. This project runs for five years from 2018-2023.

Last updated 16 November 2021