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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Prof Carole Torgerson, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Visiting Chair, SFI, Copenhagen, Denmark

Professor in the School of Education

Contact Prof Carole Torgerson

Affiliate of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education

Biography

After taking degrees in English Literature and Modern English Poetry from the Universities of York and Stirling, Carole Torgerson taught English in a wide variety of schools in England and Scotland. She undertook her doctorate in design issues in experimental research at the University of Sheffield before starting her academic career. She was Reader in Evidence-based Education at the University of York, before moving to The University of Birmingham as Professor of Experimental Design and then to Durham University where she is Professor of Education.

Carole was co-chair of the Campbell Collaboration Education Co-ordinating Group between 2006-9 and principal member of the United States Institutes of Education Sciences (IES) Reading and Writing and Science and Mathematics review panels, and a consultant methodologist to the IES on research design between 2006-13. She is the founder and co-organiser of the annual international Randomised Controlled Trials in the Social Sciences Conference, now in its thirteenth year.

Carole’s main teaching interests are: masters, doctoral and post-doctoral education and training in research design, methodology and methods in education and the social sciences; experimental research (randomised controlled trials RCTs and studies of quasi-experimental designs QEDs) and literature reviews; undergraduate teaching in research methods; rigorous evaluation design and methods in education and all areas of social policy.

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Carole is happy to discuss supervisions with prospective doctoral students in the following areas:

The use of systematic review, meta-analytic, experimental and quasi-experimental designs in any area of education; literacy; English education; music education.

Research Interests

Carole's main methodological research interests are in experimental design and research synthesis. Much of her funded research has been in evaluations using randomised controlled trial designs and systematic reviews and meta-analyses of experimental research. She has received awards from the Education Endowment Foundation, DfE, Home Office, ESRC, HEA, CfBT, HEFCE, NIHR, MRC, Sutton Trust and a range of other organisations.

Media/Knowledge translation and impact (policy and practice)

Carole Torgerson, Discussant: Gianluca Argentin and Gianpaolo Barbetto Gli effeti a breve termine delle Family Group Conferences sul benessere desli studenti at Dialoghi per il benessere a scuola: Il progetto Family StAR: un esperienza innovativa, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano, Italia, October 17th 2018

Carole Torgerson and Dominic Wyse 'Grammar teaching in the national curriculum: has it failed the test?' TES 20th December 2017

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/grammar-teaching-national-curriculum-has-it-failed-test

Carole Torgerson 'Experiments in education: The key to tackling educational disadvantage?' in (Eds.) Claudia Wood and Ralph Scott 'Harnessing what works in eliminating educational disadvantage...', DEMOS, 2014

Carole Torgerson ‘Education research: Call for controls’ Letter, Science, September 2, 2011

Carole Torgerson ‘Perverse pay off’, Letter, New Scientist, April 30, 2011

Andrews, R., Torgerson, C., Low, G. And McGuinn, N. (2011) Teaching argument writing to 7-14 year olds, Better Evidence-based education: English, Winter 2011

Carole Torgerson ‘Reading on trial’, Letter, Telegraph, July 21, 2010

Brooks, G., Torgerson, C.J. and Hall, J. (2009) The use of phonics in the teaching of reading and spelling, Evidence-based policy briefs, Volume 3, June, 2009, NCS Pearson, Inc., US

See, BH, Torgerson, CJ and Andrews, R ‘Argumentation skills are underdeveloped in undergraduates, Point for Debate, THES, 1 June, 2007

Torgerson, C. Need for randomisation, BMJ, 2006 

Torgerson C.J. Initial formation of unbiased groups is most important issue in randomised controlled trials. British Medical Journal 2002;25:1155

Research Groups

Research Projects

  • A systematic review of the international literature on effective professional development interventions for groups of welfare professionals
  • DIY Evaluation Guide Version 3
  • EasyPeasy Evaluation
  • Evaluation of ABRA
  • Evaluation of Calderdale : Improving writing quality, using SRSD and memorable experiences
  • Evaluation of ReflectED
  • Independent evaluation of SHINE on Manchester schools
  • Independent Evaluation Of The Maths Champions Programme
  • SHINE
  • Smoking prevention in young people: a cluster randomised controlled trial of implementation intentions
  • Teen Sleep Research Pilot
  • The research design basis for undergraduate quantitative methods (QM) teaching
  • Third Space Learning
  • Toolkit for Higher Education Access 2
  • Toolkit for Higher Education Access: A series of systematic reviews
  • Tutor Trust Project Evaluation
  • Writing Bundle: An evaluation of Grammar for Writing
  • Writing Bundle: Calderdale Excellence Partnership
  • Writing Bundle: Discover

International Collaboration

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Torgerson, C. & Torgerson, D. (2017). True experimental designs. In The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research. Wyse, D., Selwyn, N., Smith, E. & Suter, L.E SAGE publications Ltd., London.
  • Torgerson, C.J., Torgerson, D.J. & Brown, C.A. (2015). Randomized controlled trials. In Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation (fourth edition). Newcomer, K., Hatry, H. & Wholey, J. Jossey-Bass Wiley.
  • Torgerson, C., Hall, J. & Light, K. (2012). Systematic reviews. In Research Methods and Methodologies in Education. Arthur, J., Waring, M., Coe, R. & Hedges, L.V. Sage. 217-230.
  • Torgerson, C.J., Torgerson, D.J. & Brown, C.A. (2010). Randomized controlled trials and non-randomized designs. In Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation. Wholey, J. Wiley.
  • Andrews, R., Torgerson, C.J. & See, B.H. (2009). Discipline-specific skills in argumentation. In Argumentation in Higher Education: Improving Practice through Research. Andrews, R. Routledge/Falmer: New York.
  • Torgerson, C.J. & Torgerson, D.J. (2009). Randomized controlled trials in education research. In Education Science: A Critical Reader. St. Clair, R. Open University Press: Milton Keynes.

Journal Article

Report

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2017: A systematic review of the international literature on effective professional development interventions for groups of welfare professionals (£30000.00 from TrygFonden)
  • 2017: ABRA Trial (£18135.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2017: Evaluation of 'ReflectED Metacognition' (£20971.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2016: Tutor Trust Project Evaluation (£42325.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2015: Evaluation of Maths Champions (£6427.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2014: Calderdale 2 (£107700.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2014: Calderdale 2 (£6029.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2014: Sleep and attainment (£3198.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2014: Third Space Learning (KnowMaths: On-line Maths Tutoring) (£11076.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2013: DISCOVER 2013/14 (Writing Bundle) (£5543.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2013: SHINE 2 (£11956.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2013: Toolkit for Higher Education Access 2 (£9765.25 from The Sutton Trust)
  • 2012: An evaluation of Grammar for Writing (£10477.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2012: An evaluation of the Calderdale Excellence Partnership Project (£10477.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2012: SHINE (£47505.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2012: Smoking prevention in young people: A cluster randomised controlled trial of implementation intentions (£20101.69 from MRC)
  • 2012: The Research Design Basis for Undergraduate Quantitative Methods (QM) Teaching (£18427.00 from ESRC)
  • 2012: Toolkit for Higher Education Access (£34929.87 from The Sutton Trust)
  • 2014: Development of an Interactive DIY evaluation guide (£782.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)

Supervises