Dr Steven Puttick

Academic Staff & Lecturer

School of Teacher Development

Steve has oversight of Secondary PGCE, FE, and Research Education which includes the school’s Masters programmes, Continuing Professional Development, SKE, and Beyond ITE work

After a first degree in Geography with Mountain Leadership Steve qualified as a secondary Geography teacher at the University of Oxford.  During his time as the head of a comprehensive secondary school geography department he gained an MA in Educational Leadership and Innovation from Warwick University, and was then awarded an ESRC 1+3 studentship to read for an MSc in Educational Research Methodology and then a DPhil (PhD) in Education at the University of Oxford.



  • PGCE Secondary
  • MA Education
  • EdD Education

The main focus of Steve’s research is on geography education, knowledge, school subject departments, and the relationships between academic disciplines and school subjects. He was a member of the SMARTIES (Newton Fund / ESRC) UK-India Network project, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize. He is currently involved in research on: trainee teachers’ experiences of diversity issues; primary teachers’ responses to poverty; primary trainee teachers’ conceptions of geography; and Robert Grosseteste’s educational philosophy (the ‘Ordered Human’ project). He is a peer-reviewer for the journals International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, and School Effectiveness and School Improvement.

2017 – date: External Advisor, The Open University (Comparative and International Education)
2016 – date: External Examiner, Plymouth University (PGCE Geography)
2016 – date: External Examiner, York St John University (Secondary PGCE)
2014 – date: Ofqual Expert Subject Reviewer (GCSE geography)
2014: Researcher and author: ‘Beyond PGCE’ study funded by the Van Houten Foundation at the University of Oxford, exploring relations between PGCE alumni and the university
2012: Consultant for the Open University: PGCE Geography course materials
2009 – 2011: Consultant for Tusk Conservation: geography teaching materials

  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy
  • Geographical Association
  • British Educational Research Association
  • Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
  • Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (CPD committee member)

As second supervisor, Steve currently supervises a number of doctoral students on a range of projects, including:

  • Teachers’ engagements with research
  • Entrepreneurial education
  • Perceptions of dyslexia among teachers and students
  • Threshold concepts
  • Boalian Theatre education

2017 Student teachers’ positionalities as knowers in school subject departments, British Educational Research Journal, DOI: 10.1002/berj.3314

2017 Puttick, S., Paramore, J. and Gee, N. A critical analysis of what ‘geography’ means to primary trainee teachers in England, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, DOI.10.1080/10382046.2017.1321304

2017 Trust me I’m a teacher, Teaching Geography, 42(2), pp.54-56

2017 ‘You’ll see that everywhere’: institutional isomorphism in secondary school subject departments, School Leadership & Management, DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2017.1293633

2017 Researching Geography Education, in Jones, M. (ed.) Secondary Geography Handbook, Sheffield: Geographical Association, Chapter 21

2017 Should we only teach about real people and places?, Geography, 102(1), pp.26-32

2017 Performativity, guilty knowledge, and ethnographic intervention, Ethnography & Education, 12(1), pp.49-63

2016 An analysis of individual and departmental geographical stories, and their role in sustaining teachers, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 25(2), pp.134-150

2015 Recontextualising knowledge for lessons, Teaching Geography, 40(1), pp.29-31

2015 Chief Examiners as Prophet and Priest: relations between examination boards and school subjects, and possible implications for knowledge, The Curriculum Journal, 26(3), pp.468-487

2015 Geography teachers’ subject knowledge: an ethnographic study of three secondary school geography departments. Unpublished doctoral thesis.  Department of Education, University of Oxford

2014 Space-times of teachers’ journeys for knowledge, Teaching Geography, 39(3), pp.114-115

2014 Beyond PGCE: A report on existing relations between OUDE and PGCE alumni, with suggestions for future development. Commissioned by Department of Education, University of Oxford

2013 Looking at and looking along: a conceptual framework for teaching different perspectives in geography, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 22(4), pp.353-366

2013 GCSE Geography Revision: an action research project, Teaching Geography, 38 (1), pp.26-27

2012 Geography teachers’ conceptions of knowledge, Teaching Geography, 37(2), pp.73-75

2011 Tusk Conservation: Silent Forests (author: ‘Silent Forests’ geography resources)

2009 PACE: Africa, Our Home (author: ‘Geography Explorer’ resources)

2017 Education and community engagement in urban observatories. Invited keynote for Smart Cities    UK-India Network Workshops: Visakhapatnam, February 2017; Kolkata, March 2017

2016 Beginning teachers’ experiences of school subject departments. Ethnography and Education Annual Conference. New College, University of Oxford. September 2016

2016 Primary teachers’ perceptions of poverty. Leeds University Centre for Interdisciplinary Childhood and Youth Research conference. September 2016

2015 Opportunities and challenges of school subject departments for beginning teachers. Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers Annual Conference, Birmingham, November 2015

2015 Recontextualisation of knowledge for school geography. Geography Teacher Educators’ Conference, Oxford, January 2015

2014 Insights into teachers’ knowledge work made possible by ethnography. Invited presentation for Qualitative Methods SIG,University of Oxford, December 2014

2014 Space-times of teachers’ journeys for knowledge. STORIES Conference, University of Oxford, March 2014

2014 Geographical knowledge, curriculum making, and recontextualising principles. Geography Teacher Educators’ Conference,Winchester, January 2014

2012 The knowledge debate: teachers’ views. Geographical Association Annual Conference, Manchester, March 2012

2012 Geography teachers’ subject knowledge. STORIES Conference, University of Oxford, March 2012

2012 Teachers’ conceptions of knowledge in secondary school geography. Geography Teacher Educators’ Conference, Swansea, January 2012

Articles by Dr Steven Puttick