UEL Baby Dev Lab

Bridging the gap between research and teaching practice

Bridging the gap between research and teaching practice

Gemma Goldenberg

Gemma is currently undertaking PhD research into the influence of a natural, outdoor setting on children’s cognition, behaviour and wellbeing. This research takes place with 4-5 year olds in schools across Newham. Her PhD is funded by the UBEL DTP co-funded and collaborative studentship and is supervised by Dr Sam Wass.

Gemma is studying for her PhD on a part-time basis, whilst doing some freelance writing and being a mum to three sons. She regularly writes articles for Early Years Educator magazine on topics such as outdoor learning and the impact of learning environments. https://www.earlyyearseducator.co.uk/search?q=gemma+goldenberg

She has also written about a wide range of educational issues for publications such as Impact journal, TES and Schoolsweek and co-authored the book ‘Powering up your school’.

Gemma runs an Instagram account @phd_and_three which aims to share both her own, and others research in an accessible way for parents and teachers. She regularly posts updates on her research project and summaries of the latest research on nature and outdoor learning to inform teacher’s practice, as well as tips and inspiration for outdoor learning. https://www.instagram.com/phd_and_three/?hl=en

An avid believer in the need to bridge the gap between research and teaching practice, Gemma strives to work closely with schools and teachers. Having formed a knowledge exchange partnership with Newham Learning, a group of 40 schools in the borough of Newham, she hopes to improve partnership working between schools and universities; allowing schools to make best use of developmental research to inform their pedagogy, while ensuring schools also inform how researchers work – so that their findings are relevant, meaningful and accessible to teachers and their research projects are practical and appealing for schools to take part in.

Prior to starting her doctoral research, Gemma worked for 15 years in state primary schools in London, initially as a class teacher in Camden and then as a curriculum leader in Newham. She later worked as an Assistant Headteacher in Newham, during which time she did a part-time MSc in psychology at the University of East London for which she gained a distinction.

Until recently, Gemma worked part time at the Chartered College of Teaching as a research and learning specialist, where she co-wrote the ‘Education in times of crisis’ series, 4 research reports and 2 studies about the impact of the Covid pandemic on education. https://chartered.college/publications/

Gemma did her postgraduate teacher training at the UCL Institute of Education and has a First Class BA in English and Media from the University of Sussex.