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Penny Coltman


University Senior Lecturer

Academic Groups

Psychology & Education

E-mail Addresses



  • BSc (Leeds)
  • PGCE (Cambridge)
  • MEd Res (Cambridge)


  • Member: European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (Metacognition Special Interest Group)
  • Member: Association for Science Education
  • Recipient: University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for Teaching 2008
  • Consultancy: BBC Worldwide Primary Mathematics and Science, and Early Years publishing
  • In-service training provider:  Madrid, Tokyo, UAE

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Penny accumulated wide experience throughout the range of early years education as a teacher and freelance consultant before engaging in initial teacher training. She has written widely for a number of educational publishers notably BBC worldwide, including a range of science and mathematics DVD resources for use on Interactive Whiteboards, and worked with a major company to produce two award winning practical resources which support the teaching of early mathematics. Personal interests and enthusiasms include the development of mathematical metalanguage in young children, the development of scientific conceptual development and self regulation in relation to very young children. Penny’s current particular focus explores the extent to which encouraging classroom talk can support self regulated learning.

Penny is the co-ordinator of the East Anglian regional Cambridge Primary Review Network which aims to to support and disseminate the work of teachers, researchers, teacher educators and others who wish to explore and build upon the ideas, findings and proposals of the Cambridge Primary Review, the most comprehensive enquiry into English primary education since the 1960s.

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  • Development of cognitive and emotional self-regulation in young children
  • Early metacognitive development
  • Development of mathematical and scientific skills, concepts and language in the early years
  • Early years pedagogy

Recent Research Projects

ChAT: Children Articulating Thinking. An internally funded project commencing March 09 which aims to examine the role of classroom talk in the development of Year 1 children's metacognition and self-regulation.

Independent Learning in the Foundation Stage (C.Ind.Le): project funded by Cambs Early Years Partnership; with David Whitebread and Holly Anderson; to develop model and pedagogy of independent learning in the Foundation stage and produce Professional Development guidance and training materials. Analysis continuing of verbal and non-verbal indicators of metacognition in young children; pedagogical elements encouraging development of cognitive and emotional self-regulation in the 3-5 age group.

The i-Prism project, funded by the Dr Margaret Lowenfeld Trust, explored the development of early concepts of shape and space, and led to the production of an interactive CD Rom for research dissemination/INSET.

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  • Early learning in mathematics and science
  • Professional issues
  • Enterprise education


  • Postgraduate Teaching. MEd: Researching Practice teaching and supervision.
  • Early Years and Primary PGCE course. Member of course management team. Lectures and seminars concerned with early science, professional issues and enterprise education.

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Whitebread, D. and Coltman, P. (2010) Aspects of pedagogy supporting metacognition and self-regulation in mathematical learning of young children: evidence from an observational study ZDM: 42 ( 2) 149-161.

Coltman, P., Greenwood J., and Slade, C. (2010) Science (7-9) Interactive whiteboard resource to support teaching of science within a cross curricular context.  BBC Active.

Whitebread, D., Coltman, P., Jameson, H. and Lander (2009 Play, cognition and self-regulation: what exactly are children learning when they learn through play? Journal of Educational and Child Psychology, 26  ( 2) 40-52.

Whitebread, D., Coltman, P., Pino Pasternak, D., Sangster, C., Grau, V., Bingham, S., Almeqdad, Q. and Demetriou, D. (2009) The development of two observational tools for assessing metacognition and self-regulated learning in young children, Metacognition and Learning, 4(1), 63-85.

Whitebread, D. and Coltman, P. (2007) 'Developing Young Children as Self-Regulating Learners'. In J. Moyles (ed) Beginning Teaching: Beginning Learning in Primary Education, 3rd Ed., Open University Press.

Coltman, P. (2006). Talk of a Number: Self regulated use of Mathematical Metalanguage by Children in the Foundation Stage, Early Years, 26,1, 31-48.

Whitebread, D., Anderson, H., Coltman, P., Page, C. and Pino Pasternak, D. (2005). Developing Independent Learning in the Early Years, Education 3-13, 33, 1, 40-50.

Anghileri, J., P. Coltman and C. Maragna (2004). 'iPRiSM: Interactively Promoting Research in School Mathematics.' Education 3-13 31(1).

Anghileri, J., P. Coltman and C. Maragna (2004). iPRiSM: Interactively Promoting Research in School Mathematics CD-ROM, London: BEAM.

Coltman, P., J. Anghileri and D. Petyaeva (2002). 'Scaffolding Learning through Meaningful Tasks and Adult Interaction.' Early Years 22(1): 39-49.