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Emma Carter


Senior Research Associate

E-mail Address



  • PhD Psychology and Education (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • MPhil Psychology and Education (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • GradCert in Educational Studies (University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • B Ed Honours (University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • BMus Honours (Australian National University, Australia)

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Member of the British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • Member of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)

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Emma is a Senior Research Associate with interests in the impacts of disadvantage on cognitive and social-emotional development and strategies that can best address the needs of learner’s from underserved backgrounds. Her PhD research examined the psychosocial experiences of disadvantaged students from ethnic minority backgrounds involved in programmes aimed at identifying and developing high academic potential within Australia and the UK. Case studies included the Academic Leader’s Programme (Cape York Institute of Policy and Leadership, Australia) and the Emerging Scholar’s Intervention Programme (Support and Help in Education Trust, UK).

Emma has previously worked as a Research Assistant for REAL Centre where she supported the development of the survey instrument for a longitudinal evaluation of the impact of Speed Schools for out-of-school children in Ethiopia. In 2012, she also worked as a Policy Advisor for the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership in Australia. Here, she developed a research base informing recommendations for the ‘Opportunity System’, a reform project aimed at improving psychological, educational, social and economic outcomes for Indigenous Australians. Emma has over 10 years of international experience as a teacher, having worked in Australia, China, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. She has also worked as a Research Associate for the REAL Centre where she undertook a comprehensive evaluation of Complimentary Basic Education (CBE) in Ghana. The CBE programme aims to bridge achievement gaps of out-of-school children so they can be reintegrated into mainstream public education after nine months of accelerated learning instruction. Currently, Emma works as a Senior Research Associate at the REAL Centre for the Mastercard Foundation's Leaders in Teaching initiative, a project focused on improving STEM teaching quality in secondary schools in Rwanda. Alongside this role she also works as a consultant for the World Bank's Global Education Division where she co-leads the development of the classroom observation tool, Teach Secondary, has supported on the development of Teach Primary (2nd Edition) and supports country implementation.

Academic Area/Links

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Research Topics

  • Education research in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Contemporary approaches towards the understanding and measurement of intelligence
  • Psychosocial impacts of poverty and disadvantage
  • International education
  • Educational evaluation
  • Accelerated learning approaches
  • Classroom observation
  • Country experience; Ethiopia, Ghana, China, United Arab Emirates, Australia, UK, Rwanda.

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Course involvement

• Supervised undergraduate students for the units ‘Psychological Development’ (Preliminary and Part 1) and ‘Language, Communication and Literacy’ from The Education Tripos and Psychological and Behavioral Sciences Tripos degrees.

• Acted as examiner for the Quantitative Research Methods paper and the Research and Investigation Final Project. 

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Principal and Recent Publications

Journal publications

Molina, E., Carter, E., Luna Bazaldua, D., Pushparatnum, A. & Singal, N. (under review, 2023). Teaching for All? Measuring the Quality of Inclusive Practices Across Eight Countries.

Carter, E., Hinton, R., Rose, P. & Sabates, R. (2023). Exploring the Role of Evidence in the Government’s Adoption of Ghana’s Complementary Basic Education programme. Development in Practice,

Carter, E., Kangabe, B & Singal. N. (2022). Head teacher and government official’s perceptions of teaching quality in Rwanda, Educational Management, Administration & Leadership,

Carter, E., Cortez-Ochoa, A., Leonard, P & Rose, P. (2022). School leaders’ and teachers’ preparedness to support education during the COVID-19 emergency in Rwanda. Journal on Education in Emergencies,

Akyeampong, K., Carter, E., Rose, P., Ryan, J., Sabates, R. & Stern, J. (2021). The effects of language preference and home resources on foundational literacy retention during school holiday closures in Ghana: Lessons from the Complementary Basic Education Programme. Prospects: Comparative Journal of Curriculum Learning and Assessment,

Carter, E., Onwuegbuzie, A. & Singal, N. (2021). Perceptions of Teaching Quality in Rwandan Secondary Schools: A Contextual Analysis, International Journal of Educational Research, 109,

Carter, E. (2021). Orbiting Two Worlds: Shifting Conceptions of Giftedness Amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Roeper Review, 43:2, 79-98, 10.1080/02783193.2021.1881850

Daly, K., Carter, E., & Sabates, R. (2021). Silenced by an Unknown Language? Exploring Language Matching during Transitions from Complementary Education to Government Schools in Ghana, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 10.1080/03057925.2021.1941772

Sabates, R., Carter, E. & Stern, J. (2021). Using Educational Transitions to Estimate Learning Loss due to COVID-19 School Closures: The Case of Complementary Basic Education in Ghana, International Journal of Educational Development, 82,

Carter, E., Rose, P., Sabates R., & Akyeampong, K. (2020). Trapped in Low Performance? Tracking the Learning Trajectory of Disadvantaged Girls and Boys in the Complementary Basic Education Programme in Ghana. International Journal of Educational Research, 100,

Carter, E., R. Sabates, P. Rose, & K. Akyeampong. (2020). Sustaining Literacy from Mother Tongue Instruction in Complementary Education into Official Language of Instruction in Government Schools in Ghana. International Journal of Educational Development, 76, doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2020.102195.

Research and Policy Papers

Akyeampong, K., Carter, E., Rose, Sabates, R. & Stern, J. (2022). Language of instruction and achievement of foundational literacy skills for girls and boys in Ghana. In L.O. Milligan & L. Adamson (Eds). Girls Education and Language of Instruction: An Extended Policy Brief. Joint publication for the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath and the Girls Education Challenge.

Carter, E., Leonard, P., Onwuegbuzie, A., Rose, P. and Sabates, R. (2022). Teaching quality in secondary education in Rwanda: Changing perspectives of STEM teachers before and after school closures. Leaders in Teaching Research and Policy Series.

Carter, E., and Rose, P. (2021). Teacher Practices in Rwandan Secondary Mathematics Classrooms: Findings from Classroom Observations. Leaders in Teaching Research and Policy Series.

Carter, E., Onwuegbuzie, A., Singal, N. & van der Velde, L. (2021). What Makes a 'Good Teacher' and Constitutes 'Quality Teaching': Practitioner Perspectives from Rwandan Secondary Schools. Leaders in Teaching Research and Policy Series.

Carter, E., Leonard, P., Nzaramba, S. & Rose, P. (2021). Effects of School Closures on Secondary School Teachers and School Leaders in Rwanda: Results from a Phone Survey. Leaders in Teaching Research and Policy Series.

Carter, E., Leonard, P., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Rose, P. & Sabates, R. (2021). Teaching Quality in Secondary Education in Rwanda: Evidence from STEM Teachers. Leaders in Teaching Research and Policy Series.

Ani-Asamoah, B., Arenge, G., Carter, E. & Rose, P. Using Teacher Assessments to Understand Teacher Pedagogical Knowledge in Rwanda. (2021). Leaders in Teaching Research and Policy Series.

Ani-Asamoah, B., Carter, E., Colenbrander, K., Leonard, P. & Rose, P. (2020). Video Recordings of Classroom Observations: Using the Teach Tool in Rwandan Secondary Schools. Leaders in Teaching Research and Policy Series.

Carter, E., Molina, E., Pushparatnum, A., & Rose, P. (2020). Measuring Teachers’ Encouragement of Socioemotional Skills in the Secondary Classroom’. In Smart, A., and Sinclair, M. (Eds.). NISSEM Global Briefs, Volume II: Educating for the social, the emotional and the sustainable: Pedagogy, practice and materials. NISSEM.

Sabates, R., Carter, E., & Stern, J. (2020). Using Educational Transitions to Estimate Learning Loss due to Covid-19 School Closures: The Case of Complementary Basic Education in Ghana. Research and Policy Paper No. 20/8.

Research Reports

Carter., E., Molina., E., Francis., G.,  Arenge, G., & Tsapali, M. (2023). A Review of Effective Teaching Practices in Secondary Education: Establishing the Evidence Base for the Teach Secondary Classroom Observation Tool. Report for the World Bank. 

Singal, N., Carter, E., Marie del Toro Mijares, A., Molina, E., & Pushparatnam., A. (2023). The Teach Primary Classroom Observation Tool: Strengthening Its Focus on Inclusion. Report for the World Bank.

Akyeampong, K., Carter, E., Higgins, S., Rose, P. & Sabates, R. (2019). Understanding Complementary Basic Education in Ghana - Final Impact Evaluation. (Crown Copyright: Department for International Development). Report published by DFID under Development Tracker for Ghana Complementary Basic Education.

Carter, E., Sabates, R., Rose, P. (2019). Addressing transitions into public schools for children undertaking Complementary Basic Education in Ghana. Report for DFID Ghana Office (September 2018). REAL Centre, University of Cambridge:

Carter, E., Sabates, R., & Akyeampong, K. (2018). Assessing the effects of English language support for children undertaking Complementary Basic Education in Ghana. Report for DFID Ghana Office (May, 2018). REAL Centre, University of Cambridge:

Research instruments

Molina, E., Pushparatnam, A.,  Melo Hurtado, C., Wilichowski, T.,  Marie Del Toro Mijares, A., Ding, E.,  Aloys, J., Carter, E., Singal, N. (2022). Teach Primary : Observer Manual (English). Teach Primary Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.


Carter, E. & Kernan, M. (2023). Gaining research permissions in Rwanda and Tanzania: Engaging locally and building integrity as an ‘outsider. FERSA University of Cambridge Blog.

Marie Del Toro Mijares, A., Carter, E., Froy, C & Molina, E. (2023). Measuring inclusive teaching practices that support learning for all. World Bank Blogs: Education for Global Development.

Shima, L. & Carter, E. (2022). Lessons learned from a North-South research partnership in Rwanda. UKFIET: Education and Development Forum.

Sabates, R. & Carter, E. (2020). Estimating learning loss by looking at time away from school during grade transition in Ghana. Education and Development Forum.