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Dr Esme Glauert
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
20 Bedford Way
Tel: 0207 612 6221
Dr Esme Glauert profile picture
  • Associate Professor in Primary Education
  • IOE - Learning & Leadership
  • UCL Institute of Education

I received a degree in Physics from Oxford University and a Diploma in Social Administration from the London School of Economics. My early career in community and preschool education highlighted the importance of early years education for children's long term life chances and their active interests in investigating the world around them from a young age. This inspired me to train to be a teacher and fostered my long term research interests in learning and teaching in early years and primary science. My subsequent experiences in primary education as a teacher and science advisor in inner London, focused my attention on debate about the place and importance of science in the primary curriculum and the processes of teacher professional development. This was further informed by my own experiences of study for a Diploma and MA in Primary Science at the Institute of Education before taking up a post as Lecturer in Primary Education. My background has informed the emphasis on the integration of research, curriculum development and teaching throughout my work.

Research Groups
Research Summary

My research interests focus on pedagogy in primary science. My PhD research 'Making Sense of Electricity in Reception and Year 1' has contributed to emerging debates about the nature of young children's explanations in science and the coherence of their reasoning, and the implications for early years teaching. Integral to my work at the Institute of Education has been ongoing engagement in collaborative research involving researchers, teachers and teacher educators to inform curriculum design and pedagogy in teacher education, and in the classroom. For example I have been involved in research into pedagogy in primary science initial teacher education and the impact of teachers' engagement with and in research through practitioner inquiry on their sense of agency in interpreting policy in varied contexts. I have acted as a consultant supporting the development of Science Research Learning Communities for primary school networks across London and Primary Science Teaching Trust Fellows. 
I was a UK partner in two EU funded projects Creative Little Scientists (2011-2014) and Creativity in Early Years Science (2014-2017). Creative Little Scientists brought together expertise in the areas of science and mathematics education, early childhood, creativity in education, cognitive psychology, comparative education and teacher education to build a picture of policy and practice in science and mathematics education for children aged 3-8 and their potential to foster creativity and inquiry learning and teaching. Research was conducted in nine European countries to represent a wide spectrum of educational, economic, social and cultural contexts. The Creativity in Early Years Science project built on this in developing a European professional development course and accompanying materials to promote the use of creative approaches to teaching science in preschool and early primary education. Findings and materials from these projects have been widely disseminated through papers and workshops presented at international and national conferences and symposia, publications, programmes of initial and continuing teacher education and the project websites. I was a London hub leader in the Thinking, Doing, Talking Science Project, an EEF funded effectiveness trial (2016-2018) of training materials focused on the design of cognitively challenging, practical and interactive primary science lessons.

Teaching Summary

Throughout my time at the Institute I have been involved in teaching on the Primary PGCE and MA programmes. I have been Programme Leader for the Primary PGCE, Coordinator of the Science Component and am currently Module Leader for the Science Specialism Module. I am also involved in outreach work with Institute partner schools. I have been Programme Leader for the Primary MA and contribute to teaching across its modules. Throughout my work on the Primary MA I have sought to internationalise the curriculum, develop varied approaches to learning and teaching, to capitalise on students' rich and diverse backgrounds, knowledge and experience, to foster dialogue, and diversify approaches to assessment. I also supervise doctoral students. As indicated in my Research Summary, I have been concerned throughout my teaching to foster and develop research-based approaches to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. In 2020 I was awarded a UCL Provost Education Award for curriculum development and leadership with a focus on research-based education.

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