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Roger McDonald

Roger McDonald BAEd Hons, MA

Roger McDonald is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Primary Education at the University of Greenwich.

Roger studied a BA Hons Joint Honours degree in geography and education at Canterbury Christ Church University before going on to complete an MA degree in literacy and learning. 

He initially worked as a primary school teacher for 16 years and then became a deputy head teacher in Kent and Medway schools. Roger holds a National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).

As a primary school teacher Roger became interested in the power of picture books across the age ranges, as well as the significant impact music could have on children's writing. He developed the use of Drama within his classroom and eventually across the school to support children's imaginative and emotional engagement with texts. This interest led to a successful completion of his Master's degree and also the invitation to take part in some associate tutoring at Canterbury Christ Church University.

It was the experience of researching and working with students that supported Roger in securing a post to teach in the Primary Department at the University of Greenwich in 2012.

Since joining the university, he lectures on both the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and BA routes into teaching. In addition, he oversees the School Direct (Salaried) route as well as supporting students in their final school experience. Roger is also course leader for the history and politics element of the two year Accelerated Degree.

Roger has taught on degrees with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), the Accelerated Degree, PGCE, and Main English. His foremost teaching interests include English, history and politics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He also Link tutors students on placements and supervises final year undergraduate dissertations.

He is currently working towards a Doctorate exploring a pedagogy of imagination.

Posts held previously:

  • 2004-12, Deputy Head Teacher Saxon Way Primary School
    Responsibilities as English Leader, Assessment Curriculum coordinator, Continuing Professional Development leader and Pupil progress
  • 2010-12, Associate Tutor, Canterbury Christ Church University
  • 1997-2014, Class teacher and tear 6 leader, Lordswood Junior School
  • Senior Lecturer in the Department of Primary Education
  • Lectures on English on the PGCE and undergraduate BA Hons degree courses
  • Mentors students on School Direct (Salaried) route
  • Course leader for the history and politics element of the two year Accelerated Degree
  • Link tutor for students on placements
  • Supervises final year undergraduate dissertations
  • Established the London Teachers' Reading Group, in collaboration with Professor and Teresa Cremin
    Part of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust (CPRT) London Schools Alliance of teachers, schools, HEIs and LAs; the Reading Group meets to discuss emerging issues from the original Cambridge Primary Review corpus of 28 Research Reviews (Alexander, 2010) and recently commissioned material which expands upon these in priority areas.
    This group has grown to include partnership schools from the University of Greenwich; the Abbey Wood reading group, led by Roger McDonald (launched November 2015) includes Boxgrove and Kidbrooke Primary Schools. The Greenwich reading group, led by Professor Andrew Lambirth and Roger McDonald, (launched January 2016) includes the Compass partnership of schools.
  • United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA): Chairs on the National Council and the Executive Committee
    Responsible for professional development opportunities as well as regional representation across the United Kingdom. His work has been judging the academic book award as well as visiting the UKLA literacy school of the year.

Roger's research work has been on the theme of drama, imagination and purposeful writing. He is part of the 'Ways with Words' team at the university, which has worked with 17 local primary schools exploring the pedagogy of writing and supporting schools in the development of writing communities.

In 2015/16 working with schools involved with a 'Year with Poetry' project. A unique opportunity within professional development for teachers to meet together as professionals from different schools and, guided by experts and their own classroom-based research, learn about poetry together by experimenting with ideas and talking with one another.

Funded research projects

  • 2015, Boxgrove Primary School and Kidbrooke Park Primary School: working together with Professor Andrew Lambirth, supporting subject leaders within the schools.

McDonald, R. (2014). Picturebooks. In: V. Bower, ed., Developing Early Literacy 0 to 8. London: Sage.

McDonald, R. (2013). The Primary Teachers Guide to Speaking and Listening. Croydon: Scholastic.

Cremin, T. and McDonald, R. (2012). Drama. In: R. Jones, and D. Wyse, eds., Creativity in the Primary Classroom. London: Routledge.

Cremin, T., McDonald, R., Goff, E. and Blakemore, L. (2008). Jumpstart Drama! London: David Fulton.

Cremin, T., Goouch, K., Blakemore, L., Goff, E. and McDonald, R. (2006). Connecting drama and writing: Seizing the moment to write. Research in Drama Education, 11 (3), pp. 273-91.

McDonald, R. (2017). The really useful drama book. Routledge.

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