Dr Roger McDonald BA (Ed) Hons, MA, NPQH, PhD

Associate Professor in Primary Education (Literacy)

Key details

Roger McDonald

Dr Roger McDonald

Associate Professor in Primary Education (Literacy)


Roger McDonald is an Associate Professor of Primary Education (Literacy)  in the School of Education at the University of Greenwich with a passion for creating curiosity, and intrigue and generating love and desire to learn from children and adults alike.  His research interests include: the pedagogy of imagination, reading for pleasure, the power of picture books, drama education, and the place of emotion in teaching.

Roger is the current president of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), a member of the stakeholder group for the new ESRC-funded project- Research Mobilities in Primary Literacy Education and is on the advisory board for the Open University project Picture Fiction: overcoming adversity through hope.  In addition, Roger works in partnership with the Open University on developing UK-wide student ambassadors as well as mentoring groups of teachers and lecturers on developing a reading-for-pleasure pedagogy.

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 the 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 within the School of Education at the University of Greenwich in 2012.

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

Responsibilities within the university

Since joining the university, Roger's teaching responsibilities are lecturing 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 school experiences.

Roger oversees University outreach work through the professionals as researchers project which is a classroom action research course run within schools for staff. Since 2014 over 200 participants have taken part in the research evidencing impact within their own practice and within their specific schools.

In addition Roger leads on the Reading for Pleasure work which is in conjunction with the Open University and works to embed the RfP pedagogy across all courses and within partnership schools.

Recognition

  • 2021-2023, President of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA)
  • External examiner at the University of Cambridge PGCE Primary programme
  • Chair of Governors at Wayfield Primary School
  • Open University advisory group: Reading for pleasure
  • Open University advisory panel member: Primary Teaching and learning programme
  • UKLA Executive Council member
  • UKLA National Council member
  • UKLA Academic book of the year panel member
  • UKLA Literacy School of the year judge

Research / Scholarly interests

    • 2021/22/23 - Teachers as Researchers project. Consultancy through the University of Greenwich commissioned for the Thinking Schools Academy Trust.
    • 2017/18 - Teachers as Researchers project. Consultancy through the University of Greenwich at South Rise Primary School and Wingfield Primary School.
    • 2017/18 - Voices in the community project. Consultancy through the University of Greenwich working with families who have no recourse to public funds.
    • 2017/18 - Open University. Consultancy work with the Open University leading a reading for pleasure hub in the South East.
    • 2017/18 - Open University- Reading for pleasure advisory group.
    • 2016/17 - Teachers as Researchers project. Consultancy through the University of Greenwich at Boxgrove Primary School and Kidbrooke Park Primary school.
    • 2016/17 - Primary First Trust: Planning and delivery of the ‘Mastery in English’ development course. Consultancy through the University of Greenwich.
    • 2016/17 - Poetry in a year project. Working with 5 schools in Kent. Consultancy through the University of Greenwich.
    • 2015/16 - Teachers as Researchers project. Consultancy through the University of Greenwich at Boxgrove Primary School and Kidbrooke Park Primary school.
    • 2014/15 - Cambridge Primary Review Trust: In September 2014, together with Professor Teresa Cremin, I set up the Cambridge Primary Review Trust’s (CPRT) London Teachers’ Reading Group. Part of the 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 and recently commissioned material which expands upon these in priority areas.
    • 2013 to 2015 - Writing is Primary Consultancy through the University of Greenwich.  Working with 12 schools in Kent and the South East. Led by Professor Andrew Lambirth.
    • 2011 - Working as a teacher researcher contributing to the ‘Writing Voices’ project with Professor Teresa Cremin.

Key funded projects

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

Recent publications

Article

Lambirth, A. , Cabral, A., McDonald, R., Philpott, C. , Brett, A. , Magaji, A. (2019), Teacher-led professional development through a model of action research, collaboration and facilitation. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Professional Development in Education, 47 (5) . pp. 815-833 ISSN: 1941-5257 (Print), 1941-5265 (Online) (doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2019.1685565).

Lambirth, Andrew , Cabral, Ana, McDonald, Roger (2019), Transformational professional development: (re)claiming agency and change (in the margins). Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Teacher Development, 23 (3) . pp. 387-405 ISSN: 1366-4530 (Print), 1747-5120 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2019.1605407).

McDonald, Roger and , (2016), Making effective language choices. English Association and United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA). In: , , , . English Association and United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), English 4-11, 58 . pp. 18-20 ISSN: 1460-5945 (Print), (doi: ).

Book

McDonald, Roger and , (2017), The Really Useful Drama Book: Using Picturebooks to Inspire Imaginative Learning. Routledge. In: , , , . Routledge, (1st) . ISBN: 9781138185999 (doi: ).

Book section

McDonald, Roger and , (2018), Investigating the aims, values and purposes of primary education. Routledge. In: , , In: Teresa Cremin, Cathy Burnett (eds.), Learning to teach in the primary school. Routledge, (4th) . pp. 231-245 . ISBN: 9781138211063 (doi: https://www.routledge.com/Learning-to-Teach-in-the-Primary-School-4th-Edition/Cremin-Burnett/p/book/9781138211063).

Conference item

Magaji, A. , Cabral, A., Lambirth, A., McDonald, R. , Brett, A. , Philpott, C. (2021), Working together with teachers and senior leaders in a teacher-led professional development through a model of action research, collaboration, and facilitation. University of Greenwich. In: SHIFT 2021, 13 Jan 2021, , Radically reimagining Higher Education for a new era: working together for a just and sustainable future. University of Greenwich, (doi: ).