skip to primary navigation skip to content

Elaine Wilson


University Associate Professor 

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0) 1223 336297



BSc, PGCE, (University of Bath)

MEd, PhD, (University of  Cambridge)


Back to top


Dr Elaine Wilson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty and is a Fellow, Praelector and Dean of Homerton College. Elaine was a secondary school chemistry teacher in Bath and Cambridge and was awarded a Salters' Medal for chemistry teaching. She has also received two career awards for teaching in Higher Education; the University of Cambridge Pilkington Teaching Prize, in recognition of excellence in University teaching and a National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of excellence in teacher education leadership. 
Elaine teaches Masters students in the ELSI route and supervises Doctoral students. Her research interests  are  in; Implementation and Improvement Science, Education Reform, Teacher Education, and Digital Technology. Elaine has supported the implementation of international teacher reform programmes.  Between 2012 - 2016 she developed and supported the implementation of  a whole country teacher reform programme in Kazakhstan, more recently she has worked with teachers in India funded by the British Council and has developed a teacher led development programme in Romania funded by the World Bank. Elaine has collaborated with the Norwegian Research Council since 2017. 

Academic Area

Psychology, Education and Learning Studies 

Back to top

Research Interests

  • Implementation and Improvement Science 
  • Education and International Teacher Development

Current Research Projects

Teachers' Professional Learning and implementing change in school systems

Doctoral Supervision 

Doctoral Students Completed

Dr Ema Demir, PhD 2022 ‘Teacher Capital Unbound? The Role of Organisational Structures for Teacher Social Capital and Student Outcome’.  Researcher, Center for Educational Leadership and Excellence, Stockholm School of Economics. 

Dr Tom Harriot, EdD 2021 ‘An in-depth, naturalistic study of the regulation of learning in collaborative groups in upper secondary school classrooms.’
College Headteacher, Riddlesdown Collegiate.

Dr Tom Cowhitt, PhD 2021 ‘Star coalescence: A mechanism for school practitioners to leverage the relational infrastructure of educational improvement’.
Lecturer at the University of Glasgow

Dr Assel Sharimova, PhD 2021 ‘Understanding informal learning in virtual professional communities of teachers in Kazakhstan’.
Postdoctoral researcher Nazarbayev University, Nur sultan, Kazakhstan

Dr Jude Brady, PhD 2020 ‘Workload, accountability and stress: A comparative study of teachers' working conditions in state and private schools in England’
Research Division Cambridge Education Partnership

Dr Jennifer Song, PhD 2017 ‘Digital technology use in higher education’
Educational consultant Seoul, S Korea

I will not be taking on any further doctoral students. 

Back to top

Course Involvement

Back to top

Selected Publications


Implementation and Improvement Science

Wilson, E., & Sharimova, A. (2019) Conceptualizing the implementation of Lesson Study in Kazakhstan within a Social Theory framework. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies,  8(4)         

Элейн Уилсон, (2018) Қазақстандағы мектеп басшыларының дамуы. Мектепті басқару, Педагогикалық диалог журналының 4 (26).  

ЭЛЕЙН УИЛСОН (2017) Ғылыми бағдарламаларды жетілдіру және іске асыру үдерісінде оқыту: Сингапур мен Қазақстандағы практикалық зерттеулердің үлгісі. ПЕДАГОГИКАЛЫҚ ДИАЛОГ ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКИЙ ДИАЛОГ PEDAGOGICAL DIALOGUE 3 (21) , 52 – 60. 

Ng, W.S.T. & Wilson, E. (2017) A Perspective of Teachers’ Appropriation of Educational Innovations, International Journal of Learning and Lesson Study,6 (3), pp.202-215.  

Wilson, E. (2017) Bringing about change in schools; the case of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, Centre of Excellence Teacher and Leadership Programmes. Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and Centre of Excellence, Nazarbayve Intellectual Schools, Kazakhstan. 
Wilson, E. (2017) Alternative paths to upgrading existing teacher qualifications: the Kazakhstan- based Centre of Excellence Teacher Education Programme. In M.Hartley & A. Ruby, (Eds) Higher Education Reform and Development: The case of Kazakhstan. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. 
Wilson, E. (2017) Reflections on the process of implementing a large scale teacher improvement programme throughout Kazakhstan. Carnegie Foundation Summit. March, San Francisco. 
Wilson, E. (2016) Upgrading teacher qualifications, teacher education in Kazakhstan. European Educational Research Association. September , University College Dublin. 
Wilson, E. (2016) Teacher professionalism in Kazakhstan. Comparative and International Education Society Conference, Vancouver. 
Wilson, E. (2016) Education Reform. Graduate School of Education, Invited Speaker, Nagoya University, Japan. April 2016. 
Turner, F., Brownhill, S. & Wilson, E. (2016) The transfer of content knowledge in a cascade model of professional development. Teacher Development. 
Turner, F., Wilson, E., Ispussinova, S., Kassymbekov, Y., Sharimova, A., Balgynbayeva, B. & Brownhill, S. (2014) Centres of Excellence: Systemwide transformation of teaching practice. In D. Bridges, Educational reform and internationlisation. The case of school reform in Kazakhstan.Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Teacher Networks

Fox, A. & Wilson, E. (2015) Networking and the development of professionals: beginning teachers building social capital.Teaching and Teacher Education, 47, 93 - 107.
Fox, A., Wilson, E. & Deaney, R. (2011) Beginning Teachers’ Workplace Experiences: Perceptions of and Use of Support.Vocations and Learning, 4 (1) 1-24.
Fox, A., Deaney, R. & Wilson, E. (2010) Examining beginning teachers’ perceptions of workplace support. Journal of Workplace learning, 22 (4), 212-227.
Fox, A. & Wilson, E. (2009) "Support our networking and help us belong!": listening to beginning secondary school science teachers. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 15 (6), 701-71

Teacher Education and Well-being

Brady, J. & Wilson, E. (2021). Comparing sources of stress for state and private school teachers in England. Improving Schools, 1 -16. 

Brady J. & Wilson, E. (2020). Teacher wellbeing in England: teacher responses to school-level initiatives. Cambridge Journal of Education, 51(1), 45 – 63.   

 Klassen, R., Wilson, E., Fiu, A., Hannok, W., Wong,M. & Wongsri, N. (2013) Work Stress and Occupational Commitment of Pre-Service Teachers in Four Countries: The Mediating Effect of Self-Efficacy. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28 (4) 1289 - 1309.
Wilson, E. (2012) Building social capital in teacher education through university–school partnership. In M. Evans, (Ed) (2012)Teacher Education and Pedagogy: theory, policy and practice. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Demetriou, H., Wilson , E. & Winterbottom, M. (2012) Perfection in teaching...settling for excellence. In M. Evans, (Ed) (2012)Teacher Education and Pedagogy: theory, policy and practice. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Demetriou, H. & Wilson, E. (2012) It’s bad to be too good: the perils of striving for perfection in teaching. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46,1801 – 1805.
Wilson, E., Demetriou, H. & Winterbottom, M. (2010) Climate change: what needs to be done in order to motivate and sustain new teachers. Science Teacher Education, 57, 34-43.
Wilson, E. & Deaney, R. (2010) Changing career and changing identity: How do teacher career changers exercise agency in identity construction? Social Psychology of Education,13(2)169 - 183.
Demetriou, H. & Wilson, E. (2008) A return to the use of emotion and reflection, The Psychologist, 21 (11).
Demetriou, H. & Wilson, E. (2009) Synthesising affect and cognition in teaching and learning. Social Psychology of Education: an International Journal, 12 (2) 213-232.
Demetriou, H., Wilson, E. & Winterbottom, M. (2009) The role of emotion in teaching: Are there differences between male and female newly qualified teachers' approaches to teaching? Educational Studies, 35 (4) 449-473.

Education Policy

Wilson, E. (2015) Moving from Initial Education through the Professional Learning Continuum, the Role of Universities. In J. Simons (ed) The Importance of Teachers. A collection of essays on teacher recruitment and retention. Policy Exchange.  Wilson. E. (2010) Un "nouveau professionnalisme" des enseignants au Royaume-Uni. Former des enseignants (Teacher Training). Revue Internationale d'éducation de Sèvres, Issue 55.
Wilson. E. (2013) Higher Education Academy. Learning to teach; Supporting research-informed teacher education in a changing policy environment.Learning to Teach.  
Wilson, E. (2012) Great teachers:attracting, training and retraining the best. Report the the UK Parliment Education Select Committee.
Demetriou, H. & Wilson, E. (2010) Student voice revisited: its power in sustaining new teachers. Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Technology

Childs, A. & Wilson, E. (2017) Chemistry Session Guides, 11 -13 and 14 -16. In I. Abrahms & M. Reiss, Enhancing learning with practical science 11- 16. London, Bloomsbury.
Martindill, D. & Wilson, E. (2015),"Rhetoric or reality? A case study into how, if at all, practical work supports learning in the classroom", International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 4 (1) pp. 39 - 55
Wilson, E. (2014) Blended learning in higher education. Invited Speaker. Graduate School of Education, Nazarbayev University, Astana. November
Wilson, E. (2011) Using ICT in science teaching. Invited speaker. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City. August 2011.
Wilson, E. & Demetriou, H. (2007) New teacher learning; substantive knowledge and contextual factors.The Curriculum Journal, 18 (3) 213- 229
Wilson, E. (2005) Powerful pedagogical strategies in initial teacher education, Teachers and Teaching; theory and practice, 11 (4)1470-1478.
Demetriou, H. & Wilson, E. (2010) Children should be seen and heard: the power of student voice in sustaining new teachers.Improving Schools, 13, 1-16.
de Winter, J.A., Winterbottom, M. & Wilson, E. (2010) Developing a user guide to integrating new technologies in science teaching and learning: teachers' and pupils' perceptions of affordances. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 19 (2) 261-267.

Research Methods

Cowhitt, T., Butler, T.  & Wilson Elaine (2019),  Using social network
analysis to complete literature reviews: a new systematic approach for independent researchers
to detect and interpret prominent research programs within large collections of relevant literature,
International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

Wilson, E. & Abibulayeva, A. (2017) An Introduction to Educational Research Methods (In Russian and Kazakh). Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan & The British Council.
Wilson, E. (2017) School-based Research: A Guide for Education Students. 3rd Edition. London, Sage.
Wilson, E. (2017) Action Research, in E Wilson, (Ed) School - based Research, London, Sage.
Wilson, E. (2004) Using activity theory as a lens to analyse interaction in a university - school initial teacher education and training partnership. Educational Action Research, 12(4)587-612.