Developmental, social and educational psychology, including children’s relationships, communication, social identities (especially gender and ethnicity), science learning, moral judgment and peer collaboration.
My research focuses on children’s social development. I explore the links between developing processes of communication and children’s peer group collaboration. In these areas I have examined children’s moral development, cognition and decision-making, learning in science, and how these processes are affected by children’s emerging social identities and relationships. Much of my research focuses on children’s development and learning in diverse and multicultural contexts, and programmes aimed at fostering positive youth development, learning and psychological well-being. In this respect, I have conducted projects understanding gender and ethnic influences on science learning and conversation, and the role of children’s group understanding, affiliations and behaviour in communication and development.
I have received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council as well as many charities including the Nuffield Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Laureus, Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and British Council. I am also co-founder of the White Water Writers project which is a not-for-profit social enterprise funded through HEIF, Ernest Cook Trust and SHINE Foundation, that aims to increase psychological, social and literacy skills in young people from disadvantaged areas.
I studied at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University (MA Psychology & Philosophy) and Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge (PhD Psychology). Before coming to King’s I was Head of Department of Psychology and Associate Dean of Science at Royal Holloway, University of London where I was co-director of the Social Development Lab. I was also a lecturer at Goldsmiths College, London and University of Cambridge. I am a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Higher Education Academy, Editor of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, and a member of the Society for Research in Child Development’s Ethnic and Racial Issues Committee.