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Prof Andrew Tolmie
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
25 Woburn Square
Tel: 02076126224
Prof Andrew Tolmie profile picture
  • Chair of Psychology and Human Development
  • IOE - Psychology & Human Development
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am a developmental psychologist with longstanding interests in the growth of children’s conceptual representations and behavioural skills, and the relationships between these. My research focuses primarily on the development of children’s explicit and implicit knowledge, particularly in the pre-school and primary age range, on the role of physical experience as well as dialogue with parents, tutors, teachers and peers in promoting this development, and on quantitative modelling of the impact of a range of influences on representational and behavioural change. Most of my work has addressed educationally-relevant topics and settings, with a substantial emphasis on primary school science, but also on the acquisition of road-crossing skills among children, and on the growth of conversational skills. 

I am currently Deputy Director of the IOE/UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Educational Neuroscience and Deputy Chair of the British Pychological Society's Research Board; and was Chair of the BPS Editorial Advisory Group from 2010 to 2018, and Editor of the British Journal of Educational Psychology from 2007 until the end of 2012.

Languages spoken/written
  • French (intermediate)

Research Groups
Research Summary

My research areas
  • Psychology - Science learning, Conceptual development, Nonverbal development, Motor control and executive function, Road crossing behaviour, Educational neuroscience, Quantitative modelling
  • Communication - Conversational pragmatics
  • Thinking and reasoning - Scientific thinking, Critical thinking
  • Pedagogy - Teacher communication, Collaborative learning

Teaching Summary

Module leader, Psychology and Neuroscience in Education, core module for BSc Psychology with Education; Programme leader, MSc Developmental and Educational Psychology (ESRC-recognised);contribution to modules on Qualitative Data Analysis for MSc Developmental and Educational Psychology; Issues in Educational Neuroscience for MA/MSc Educational Neuroscience (module and programme founder); Methodology and Statistics, Developmental Psychology and Social Development for MSc Child Development; Cognitive Development and Learning for MSc Psychology of Education; Developing a  Research Proposal for PGDip in Social Science Research Methods; course on Experimental Design for MRes Educational and Social Research

PhD students:

Carla Saragoni - Assessment for learning as a process for enhancing teaching and learning outcomes in Mathematics in Primary Schools in Chile

Jasmine Cockcroft - Predictors of individual variation in school science with a focus on KS3 and KS4 [ESRC-funded]

 Leighanne Mayall - The interaction between motor development and spatial knowledge in Williams syndrome [ESRC-funded]

Cathy Rogers - Exploring the relationship between executive function and creativity in primary age children [ESRC-funded]

Matt Slocombe - Investigating the relationship between analogical reasoning, structural priming, and the development of syntax in children [ESRC-funded]

 Matthew Kirkman - Evaluating the role of pre-morbid educational attainment, socioeconomic status and genetics on cognitive outcome variability in patients with brain tumours [ESRC-funded]

Erika Galea - Regulating emotions in the Maltese classroom to improve the quality of teaching in the early years [Maltese Government funded]

Louise Livingston - Exploring the relationship between motor control, executive function and academic attainment in early years’ educational environments

Quiyu Du - Exploring the relationship among mind wandering, working memory capacity and creativity

Erica Ranzato – Mathematical abilities in atypically developing populations

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