Senior Lecturer in Education Studies
Dr Richard Newton works on the Education Studies programme at Bishop Grosseteste University. He currently teaches on modules across Years 1-3 as well as supervising undergraduate dissertation students. He leads two first year modules – ‘People, Schools and Society’ and ‘Wellbeing and Resilience’.
Prior to joining BGU in 2018, Richard taught on undergraduate and postgraduate Initial Teacher Training courses at Oxford Brookes University. Whilst at Oxford Brookes he completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education, granting fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. Before working in academia Richard completed a PhD in psychology and an MA in educational research, following a career as a primary school teacher in South Yorkshire.
Richard’s interests stem from cultural psychology and socio-cultural theory, particularly the context of learning and the situated nature of cognition. He has a research interest in socially constructed notions of identity and how these shift in response to external social and cultural conditions. Richard is also interested in ‘transitions’ and how these alter notions of self in different communities.
Richard’s research typically utilises sociocultural, activity and/or dialogical-self theories. The context for much of Richard’s research is mathematics – how people learn mathematics, and the role of society and culture in this, and how people develop notions of identity and self in relation to mathematics.
His PhD research had several strands:
(a) better understanding parents’ experiences of supporting their children’s mathematical learning, utilising ideas around social representations.
(b) studying the mathematical identity or ‘self’ of parents, using dialogical self theory.
(c) analysing mathematical activity between parents and children, using an analytical tool that drew upon socio-cultural theory and activity theory.
(d) an analysis that compared notions of ‘self’ with activity to better understand the role of identity in mathematical activity.
Richard was recently involved in an international collaboration with colleagues in Barcelona, Alicante, Linköping and Helsinki, which looked at trainee teachers’ fundamental mathematical knowledge. He has previously carried out small-scale research with practitioners, for instance looking at the teaching of equivalent fractions and the effectiveness of ‘lesson study’.
Richard has supervised a number of masters-level and doctoral-level students during his academic career.
Richard has presented, or had papers accepted, at a number of national and international conferences including the British Society for Researching Learning in Mathematics (BSRLM); the Congress of European Research in Mathematics Education (CERME); the European Association of Learning and Instruction (EARLI) – Special Interest Group on Learning and Social Interaction; EU-funded Family Maths for Adult Learners (FAMA); and the Nordic Conference on Mathematics Education (NORMA).
– Basford, L., Butt, G. & Newton, R. (2017) To what extent are Teaching Assistants really managed?: ‘I was thrown in the deep end, really; I just had to more or less get on with it’. School Leadership & Management. 37 (3) 288-310
– Newton, R. and Abreu, G de. (2013) The dialogical mathematical ‘self’. Proceedings of the Eighth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, Middle Eastern University, Turkey, 6-10 February 2013.
– Newton, R. and Abreu, G de. (2012) Parents as mathematical facilitators: analysing goals in parent-child mathematical activity. In F. J. Diez-Palomar and C. Kanes (Eds.) Family and the community in and out of the classroom: ways to improve mathematics achievement. Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Servei de Publicacions.
– Newton, R. and Abreu, G de. (2011) Parent-child interactions on primary school-related mathematics. Proceedings of the Seventh Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, University of Rzeszów, Poland, 9-13 February 2011.