Dr Sandra Eady is a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology, Sociology and Education Division.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Teaching and Learning

I took up the post of Programme Director for the BA Hons Education Studies (Primary) and BA Hons Education Studies degrees in 2018. Prior to joining Queen Margaret University I was Deputy Director of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) at Stirling University and chaired the Central Local Authority and Stirling Partnership (CLASP) committee. I have extensive experience working across a wide range of ITE and Professional Masters in Education Programmes in England and Scotland. I have a Doctorate in Primary Science Education and am a qualified teacher, fully registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

I started my career as a Primary School teacher in England where I became increasingly intrigued by social constructivist approaches to learning and the way children became motivated by interdisciplinary and experiential learning related to real world issues. I became increasingly interested in children’s learning in science influenced by the Science Processes And Concept Exploration (SPACE) project directed by Paul Black and Wynne Harlen which emphasised the importance of starting with children’s initial ideas in science and helping them to develop their understanding of scientific concepts through relevant inquiry based learning. This interest led to move into ITE first at Canterbury Christ Church University and then to the University of Cumbria where I taught on Primary undergraduate, PGCE primary science and Professional Masters in Education programmes. During this time I undertook a PhD at Warwick University with a focus on the co-construction and enactment of the science curriculum in English primary schools. My doctoral thesis allowed me to extend my research interests both in terms of inquiry based approaches to primary science and in terms of teacher’s professional learning. As a result I collaborated on a number of research projects including the reciprocal professional learning between primary science coordinators and probationer teachers and latterly on a research project with Scottish teachers which combined geocaching with place responsive science education for sustainability.

Whilst at Cumbria and Stirling Universities I became increasingly interested in the importance of early career teacher professional learning through inquiry into practice and action research. This has provided me with further opportunities to promote a socio-constructivist and critical pedagogies to professional learning engaging in small scale research projects concerning the policy discourse surrounding the value of Masters level learning on PGCE programmes.  

More recently I have focused my research on undergraduate ITE and have collaborated as a co-investigator on a Scottish Government funded project which explored how a university and local authorities established a sustainable model of partnership to support early career teachers. Currently I am involved in a collaborative research project which is devising a framework to measure quality in teacher education the Measuring quality in teacher education (MQuITE)  funded by the Scottish Government.  I am also a member of the Science Educational Research in Scotland SERIS which is currently involved in a comparative study exploring the way the science curriculum is portrayed across Scotland, Nigeria and British Columbia.

My doctoral research explored the policy trajectories which influenced the co-construction and enactment of the science curriculum in English primary schools during the implementation of the Primary National Curriculum. Since completing my thesis my research has focused on teacher professional learning and professional practice, educational policy, partnerships and practices. Curriculum development, interdisciplinary learning and its relevance to learning for sustainability, particularly in relation to science education outdoor learning.

Active research interests:

  • Measuring quality in teacher education
  • The use of mobile digital technologies to support science for sustainability and outdoor learning
  • Interdisciplinary learning and teaching

Research Methods:

  • Qualitative, interpretive, ethnographic
  • Case study, Action Research, Practitioner inquiry
  • Observation, interviews, focus groups, content analysis, questionnaires

Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

My current role for 2018/19 is programme development of the BA Hons Education Studies (Primary) and BA Hons Education Studies degrees.