Dr Amelia Hempel-Jorgensen (Open University) led this research project and the team included Professor Teresa Cremin (Open University), Dr Diane Harris (University of Manchester) and Liz Chamberlain (Open University).

Dr Amelia Hempel-Jorgensen

Dr Amelia Hempel-Jorgensen

Amelia is a researcher with a sociological focus on the relationship between social justice, pedagogy and inequalities in primary education. She has a particular interest in the role of children’s overlapping identities including gender, social class and ethnicity and teachers’ perceptions of these. Her research seeks to understand how these perceptions can inform pedagogical practices. Closely related is the way in which children are positioned as learners – or readers – and the extent to which their agency as learners is enabled and constrained.

Amelia is a Research Fellow at Open University where she leads a programme of research projects on this topic. Since gaining her PhD from UCL Institute of Education in 2011, she has been researching in education and social justice. Prior to this she was a researcher at a children’s charity and a senior researcher in a central Government department, working closely with policy makers.


Professor Teresa Cremin

Professor Teresa Cremin

Teresa researches teachers’ literate identities through a socio-cultural lens. She is particularly interested in teachers’ identities as readers and writers and the potential influence of these, both on their classroom practice and their students’ literate identities and practices. She also researches creativity and creative pedagogical practice.

An ex-teacher and teacher-educator, Teresa worked in Initial Teacher Education for nearly 20 years. Now she undertakes research with and for the profession and is involved in consultancy for numerous organisations. Teresa has published over 30 books and numerous academic papers.


Dr Liz Chamberlain

Dr Liz Chamberlain

Liz’s specialism is Primary English. She is a case-study researcher who has a focus on capturing what it means for children to be writers. In particular, her main expertise is as a literacy case study researcher with a focus on developing writers’ experiences of writing both in and out-of-school. She was the Strategic Consultant on the DfE-funded Everybody Writes project, working closely with both the Book Trust and the National Literacy Trust.

Liz is a Senior Lecturer in Education at The Open University, where she is currently the Programme Leader for the Education Studies (Primary) degree. Liz has worked in Higher Education for a decade, supporting both initial teaching students and practising teachers.


Diane Harris

Diane Harris

Diane is Research Associate at the University of Manchester and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

During 2015 and 2016 Diane worked with Amelia Hempel‐Jorgensen, Teresa Cremin and Liz Chamberlain as a research team member on the project “Understanding disadvantaged, ‘struggling’ boy readers’ disengagement with reading for pleasure”.

Diane’s PhD looked at the questioning strategies used in science in primary schools, particularly the use of open questions. These were compared with teachers’ questioning strategies in literacy. Diane found that young children from homes where open questions are not used on a regular basis can find this type of questioning extremely confusing. Diane remains passionate about encouraging children and adults to engage with STEM subjects in both their education and their everyday lives.


Recommended reading

The Reading for Pleasure Tree

Find out how the University of Cambridge Primary School have used our research to support reading throughout the school. This research-informed approach has been praised by Ofsted in their recent inspection report. In this account by Aimee Durning their approach is represented as a nurturing Reading for Pleasure Tree.

Joy of reading

In this blog Simon Smith explores how teachers can build community through shared reading. He argues whole class reading can build a sense of ‘belonging, a shared history and experience’. He ends with 7 great tips for reading aloud to your class.

Reflections on OU/UKLA RfP Cambridge conference

In her recent blog school governor and adult literacy professional Kerry Scattergood reflects on what she has gained from attending our recent OU/UKLA RfP conference in Cambridge. In her latest posting she outlines the impact on her support for adults, while in her previous post she suggests how the insights from the research can also be taken forward in schools.

About this project