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Sue Brindley


University Senior Lecturer in Education
PPD Programmes Manager

E-mail Address


01223 767642


  • BA (Hons) English (London)
  • MA English Literature (Open University)
  • MA Curriculum Studies (London)
  • MA (Cantab)
  • PhD Teacher Research, Knowledge, Professionalism and Identity (London)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE)
  • Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN)
  • ICT in Initial Teacher Education (ITTE)
  • International Association Mother Tongue Education (IAIMTE)
  • International Federation for the Teaching of English (IFTE)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • Fellow Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)

Journal involvement

  • Editor: Journal of Teacher Development; an International Journal of Teacher’ Professional Development
  • Editorial Board: Technology, Pedagogy and Education
  • Editorial Board: English in Australia
  • Editorial Board: Mentoring and Tutoring Partnerships in Learning
  • Editorial Board: Dialogic Pedagogy Journal

Research Groups

Equality, Education and Development (EED)

Associate of Pedagogy, Language , Arts and Culture in Education (PLACE)

College Membership

  • Graduate Mentor and Director of Studies Newnham College, Cambridge
  • Director of Studies Clare College, Cambridge

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Sue Brindley taught in secondary schools in East London for sixteen years, where she was a Head of Department, Head of Faculty, Deputy Head and Acting Head. She moved into Higher Education as a lecturer at the Open University where she wrote the online Secondary English and generic assessment modules of the distance learning PGCE course. Sue then moved on to policy and government level as professional Officer for English at QCA, the government body responsible for the national curriculum and associated assessment arrangements. She was appointed to the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education in 1999 to co-ordinate the English PGCE and then the Secondary PGCE courses.

She developed the blended learning MEd Researching Practice and currently co-ordinates the teaching and research in this area, with a team of colleagues. Sue is general editor of a subject series on researching at Masters level - MasterClass (Bloomsbury).

Her current interests are working with teachers and schools on professional development through practitioner research
(CamSTAR: Cambridge, School Teachers and Research), which has developed links with Sydney University, Australia. She is particularly interested in the legitimisation of professional knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism through research. CamSTAR brings her into contact with substantial numbers of teachers working across a wide range of areas, and she is now working on a cross school project (with ten schools) on Conditions for Excellence. A previous research theme on Dialogic Teaching led to a two year funded research project (Esmee Fairbairn) exploring dialogic teaching and learning  in secondary schools (CamTalk).

She is also widely involved in researching digital technologies, teaching and learning with a particular interest on the extension, enhancement and transformation potentials of digital technologies for classroom practitioners. She is interested in the ways in which digital technologies can transform approaches to teaching and learning which allow teachers and students to explore approaches to learning which move beyond the traditional. Sue is general editor of two series on teaching with Digital Technologies (Open University Press and Continuum).

She continues to have an ongoing interest in teaching English, not least through the MEd blended learning module on Understanding Shakespeare Through Performance she co-ordinates with Shakespeare’s Globe as part of the Researching Practice MEd.

International work includes working with schools in Argentina in developing a teacher research based approach to assessment, and with Outreach India, a teacher exchange scheme based at the Faculty of Education.

Academic Area/Links

  • Developing Professional Knowledge through Research
  • Dialogic Teaching and learning
  • Secondary English
  • Teaching and learning through digital technologies

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Research Topics

  • Constructions of Professionalism, Knowledge and Teacher Identity 
  • Dialogic Teaching and Learning
  • ICT and the impact on teaching and learning
  • Secondary English teaching: across the curriculum
  • Teachers and Research

Prospective PhD Applications

Sue would welcome informal contact from prospective PhD students on any of the research topics mentioned above.

Current Research Projects

  • The relationship between professional knowledge, professional identity and practitioner research (CamStar)
  • Dialogic teaching and learning in the secondary school (CamTalk)

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Course Involvement

  • PGCE
  • MEd Researching Practice

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Brindley, S. (due 2018) A Handbook of Teacher Development: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Research. Wiley Blackwell.

Schuck, S., Aubusson, P., Burden, K., Brindley, S. (2017) Uncertainty in Teacher Education Futures: Scenarios, politics and STEM. Springer (Chapters 2,3,5)

Riga, F., Brindley, S., Abedin, M. and Vrikki, M. Talk as a means of inspiring the ‘internal dialogue’ essential for problem-solving in Mathematics: a case study. (2017 Under Review)

Vrikki, M., Brindley, S., Abedin, M. & Riga, F.  Is Dialogic Space a Condition for Learning? Exploring a Case Study of a Religious Education Classroom. (2017 Under review)

Van de Pol, J., Brindley, S., Higham, R. (2017) Secondary Teachers’ Developing Understanding and Classroom Practice in Dialogic Teaching – A Case Study. Journal Educational Studies. Published online Mar 09 2017. Journal publication due 2017.

Brindley, S., Marshall, B. (2015) ‘Resisting the Rage for Certainty’ : Dialogic assessment : a case study of one secondary English subject classroom in the UK. English Teaching Practice and Critique Vol. 14 Issue: 2, pp.121-139.

Higham, R., Brindley, S., Van de Pol, J., (2014) Shifting the primary focus: Assessing the case for dialogic education in secondary classrooms Language and Education Volume 28, Issue 1,  pp.86-99.           Brindley, S., Mullen, C. A., English, F. W., Ehrich, L. C., & Samier, E. A. (2013). Guest Editors of "Neo-liberal Networks in Public Education." Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education (two-volume issue).

Brindley, S. (2013) The policisation and politicisation of teacher knowledge. Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education (two-volume issue) Interchange May 2013, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 187-228

Brindley, S. (2013) Teacher education futures: compliance, critique, or compromise? A UK perspective Journal: Teacher Development Volume 17, Issue 3, August 2013, pages 393-408 Published online: 27 Aug 2013 Special Edition Journal of Teacher Development Eds.Schuck, S. and Aubusson, P.

Brindley, S. and Manuel, J  (2012). Teenagers and Reading: Literary Heritages, Cultural Contexts and Contemporary Reading Practices. South Australia: Wakefield Press/AATE

Brindley, S. and Bowker, A. (2013) Ethics and School Based Practitioner Research. Educational Action Research Vol 21 Issue 3 pp 289-306

Brindley, S. (2010) English in England and Wales in Wyse, D. et al The International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching: Routledge-Taylor and Francis.

Brindley, S. (2009) Reclaiming English Teaching in Manuel et al Re-visioning English Education: imagination, innovation, creativity. Sydney: Phoenix Press.

Brindley, S. and Riga, F. (2009) 'Assessment and Teacher Knowledge in English Education'. English in Education Vol 43 Issue 1.

Brindley, S. with Hagger, H., Burn, K., Mutton, T. (2008) 'Practice makes perfect? Learning to learn as a teacher', Oxford Review of Education 34 (2), 159-178.

Brindley, S., Greenwood, D., Adams, A. (2007) Models of Reading in the secondary classroom: literature and beyond in Teaching Secondary English with ICT. Edited Adams, A. and Brindley, S. Open University Press.

Brindley, S., with Martin, M. (2006) 'Comberton Village College: A Super case study'. Researching Schools McLaughlin, C., Black Hawkins, K., Brindley, S., Mcintyre, D. and Taber, K. Routledge.

Series Editor

Teaching through ICT in the Secondary classroom (10 volumes series, published 2005-2008 Open University Press).

Teaching with Digital Technology (12 volume series Bloomsbury 2009-).

MasterClass (12 volume series Bloomsbury 2010-).


Teaching Secondary English with ICT (2007). Open University Press.

Teaching English with Digital Technologies (2011). Continuum.

MasterClass English (with Bethan Marshall)  (2011). Bloomsbury.