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School of Education

Staff Profile

Prof Steve Higgins, BA (Oxon), PGCE, PhD

Professor in the School of Education

Contact Prof Steve Higgins (email at s.e.higgins@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Steve Higgins is Professor of Education at Durham University.

Steve joined the School of Education in September 2006 from Newcastle University, where he was the founding Director of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching. Before working in higher education he taught in primary schools in the North East where his interest in children’s thinking and learning developed.

His research interests include the areas of effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) and digital technologies for learning in schools, understanding how children's thinking and reasoning develops, and how teachers can be supported in developing the quality of teaching and learning in their classrooms. He has a particular interest in the educational philosophy of Pragmatism and the implications for teaching and learning, particularly relating to the use of research evidence to develop practice in schools. His recent projects have included being a member of the TLRP/TEL-funded SynergyNet [link to: https://www.dur.ac.uk/education/research/groups/?mode=project&id=555 ] research team, investigating the use of multi-touch tables in classroom learning and the development of research capacity through the ESRC Research Development Initiative in both Visual Methods and Meta-analysis.

He is one of the authors of the Sutton Trust/EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit [insert link to: http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/toolkit/ ] and has given more than thirty keynote presentations and talks on using research evidence to support more effective spending in schools to policy and practitioner audiences based on this work. He has an interest in developing understanding of effective use of research evidence for policy and practice.

His teaching areas include primary mathematics, the use of new and emerging technologies in education and supporting effective professional development of teachers. This is particularly using approaches which focus on the development of children's thinking, reasoning and understanding. He supervises doctoral students in these areas. Steve teaches across a number of undergraduate and post-graduate programmes including PGCE, Masters and taught doctorate programmes.

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Steve is looking for potential doctoral students investigating the use of digital technologies for learning, particularly in schools, and in the application of meta-analysis as a means to synthesise research evidence in education.

Completed Supervisions (since 2008)

The Impact of the Interactive Whiteboard on Medical School Students' ESL Essay Writing

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the E-learning Experience in Some Universities in Saudi Arabia from Male Students’ Perceptions

The effectiveness of a CALL multimedia classroom on L2 learners' achievements, attitudes and the word solving strategies' frequencies and the perceptions of helpfulness, when compared with learners in traditional classrooms: A quasi-experimental study

The Effectiveness of Using E-learning, Blended Learning and Traditional Learning on Students' Achievement and Attitudes in a Course on Islamic Culture: an Experimental study

What is 'digital literacy'? A Pragmatic investigation

An Exploratory Study on the Beliefs and Practices of Teacher-Child Interactions of Selected Early Childhood Educators in Singapore

“You are too out!”: a mixed methods approach to the study of “digital divides” in three Chinese senior secondary schools.

An exploratory study of teacher orchestration of collaborative Mathematics tasks in relation to learning and interaction in primary schools.

Keynote presentations

Steve Higgins 'Technology and learning: from the past to the future’ ‘The Future of Learning, Knowledge and Skills (TULOS) Programme Launch’ 5th February, 2014, Helsinki 

Steve Higgins ‘Technology trends for language teaching: looking back and to the future’ Learning and Teaching English in the Digital Age: Policy and Practice in Europe, British Council, Barcelona, 4th December, 2013

Steve Higgins ‘The Future of Collaborative Learning Strategies: Teaching Methods with Multi-Touch Technology’ Keynote presentation to the 2nd Annual Education Technology Strategies Summit Keynote, Toronto, February 28-29, 2012

Steve Higgins ‘New digital technologies and new opportunities for lifelong learning’ Keynote presentation to the Vivere E Crescere Nella Comunicazione Conference, Bressanone, Italy 16-17th December 2011

Steve Higgins How Should Education Respond To The Changing World? Tools, Technologies and Techniques For Teachers Keynote Presentation to the Finnish Education Research Association Conference, East Finland University, Joensuu, Finland 24th- 25th November 2011

Steve Higgins, Self regulation and learning: evidence from meta-analysis and from the classroom Conference Keynote for Self-Regulation and Dialogue in Primary Classrooms Psychological Aspects of Education Current Trends Conference, British Journal of Educational Psychology Conference Cambridge, June 2-3rd, 2011

Indicators of Esteem

  • Address: Addressed an All Parliamentary Committee for Scientific Learning and Education about learning styles and learning to learn.
  • Advisor to a range of international bodies :

    Steve has acted as advisor to a range of international bodies such as the Italian Ministry of Education about Learning to Learn and transveral competences (2008-9) and he was a member of the European CRELL Network on Learning to Learn (2007-9). He previously served as a member of Design Council’s Learning Environments Expert Panel (2003-5). He is currently a member of the Education Endowment Foundation’s [link to: http://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk ] Evaluation Advisory Group.

  • Editor: Editor of ERIE 2001-3
  • International: Advisor to the Italian Education Ministry (Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione) on Learning to Learn in schools. Reviewer for the Qatar National Research Fund.
  • Invited member: Invited member of EU Commission research network on Learning to Learn.
  • Invited member: Invited member of the Design Council's School Learning Environments Expert Panel.
  • 2010: ESRC Peer Review College member: Steve is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College.
  • 2013: Editorial Board Memberships: Steve was a member of the Editorial Board of the British Educational Research Journal (BERJ) from 2009-13 and is currently and Editorial Board member for the International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE) and Thinking Skills and Creativity. He reviews for a number of further journals including the British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET), Computers and Education, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL) and the International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (IJCSCL). He is currently one of the four Editors of The Curriculum Journal.
  • 2014: Keynote address: Steve Higgins 'Technology and learning: from the past to the future’ ‘The Future of Learning, Knowledge and Skills (TULOS) Programme Launch’ 5th February, 2014, Helsinki

Supervises

Research Interests

  • Classroom Interaction and Discourse in Primary Schools
  • Digital technologies and Learning
  • Meta-analysis and Research Evidence in Education

Research Groups

Research Projects

Selected Publications

Journal papers: academic

Books: authored

  • Goodbourn, R., Hartley, T., Higgins, S. & Wall, K. (2009). Learning to Learn for Life 3: Research and Practical Examples for Secondary Schools. Continuum Publishing.
  • Barmby, P., Bilsborough, L., Harries, T. & Higgins, S. (2009). Primary mathematics: Teaching for understanding. Buckingham: Oxford Univesity Press.

Books: edited

Books: sections

  • Higgins, S.E. (2014). Formative assessment and feedback to learners. In Proven Practices Education: Classroom Management and Assessment. Slavin, R.E. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. 11-15.
  • Higgins, S.E. (2013). Matching Style of Learning. In International Guide to Student Achievement (Educational Psychology Handbook). Hattie, J. & Anderman, E.M. London: Routledge. 337-438.
  • Higgins, S. (2013). Self regulation and learning: evidence from meta-analysis and from classrooms. In British Journal of Educational Psychology Monograph Series II: Psychological Aspects of Education - Current Trends: No. 10. Self-regulation and dialogue in primary classrooms. Whitebread, D., Mercer, N., Howe, C. & Tolmie, A. Leicester: British Psychological Society. 111-126.
  • Higgins, S.E. (2013). What can we Learn from Research? In Beyond Early Reading. Waugh, D. & Neaum, S. St. Albans: Critical Publishing Ltd.
  • Higgins, S.E. (2012). Impact evaluation: a case study of the introduction of interactive whiteboards in schools in the UK. In Research Methods and Methodologies in Education. Arthur, J., Waring, M., Coe, R. & Hedges, V. Sage. 131-136.
  • Hall, E., Wall, K., Higgins, S., Stephens, L., Pooley, I & Welham, J. (2010). Learning to Learn with Parents: lessons from two research projects. In Action Research in Education: Volume 3: Key Examples of Action Research in Schools within International Settings. Campbell, A. & Groundwater-Smith, S. London: Sage Publications. 3: 121-135.
  • Barmby, P., Harries, A.V. & Higgins, S.E. (2010). Teaching for understanding/understanding for teaching. In Issues in teaching numeracy in primary schools. Thompson, I. Open University Press. 45-57.
  • Higgins, S.E. (2010). The impact of interactive whiteboards on classroom interaction and learning in primary schools in the UK. In Interactive Whiteboards for Education: Theory, Research and Practice. Thomas, M. & Cutrim-Schmid, E. Hershey, Pa: IGI Global. 86-101.
  • Higgins, S. (2008). Mathematical learning and the use of information and communications technology in the early years. In Teaching and Learning Early Number. Thompson, I. (Ed) Maidenhead: Open University Press. 214-221.

Conference papers

  • Mercier, E., Higgins, S.E., Burd, E.L. & Joyce-Gibbons, A. (2012), Multi-Touch Technology to Support Multiple Levels of Collaborative Learning in the Classroom, in van Aalst, J., Thompson, K., Jacobson, M.J. & Reimann, P. eds, Short Papers, Symposia and Abstracts 2: The Future of Learning: 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012).
  • Mercier, E., McNaughton, J., Higgins, S. & Burd, E. (2012), Orchestrating Learning in the Multi-touch Classroom: Developing Appropriate Tools, in van Aalst, J., Thompson, K., Jacobson, M.J. & Reimann, P. eds, Short Papers, Suymposia and Abstracts 2: The Future of Learning: 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012).
  • Mercier, E., Higgins, S. & Burd, E. (2011), Interdisciplinary design research: developing educational technology, 14th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Research into Learning and Instruction. Exeter.
  • Hatch, A., Higgins, S.E., Joyce-Gibbons, A. & Mercier, E. (2011), NumberNet: Using Multi-tough Technology to Support Within and Between Group Mathematics Learning, in Spada, H., Stahl, G., Miyake, N. & Law, N. eds, 1: Connecting CSCL to Policy and Practice: CSCL2011. 176-183.
  • Alagha, I., Burd, E., Higgins, S. & Mercier, E. (2011), SynergyNet Exploring Design and Pedagogy in a Supported Collaborative Learning to Policy and Practice, in Spada, H., Stahl, G., Miyake, N. & Law, N. eds, Vol. III - Community Events Proceedings: 9th International Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL 2011). Hong Kong, China, International Society of the Learning Sciences, 1081-1082.

Other media: research

Other publications: research

  • Higgins, S., Baumfield, V., Newton, D. & Elliott, J. (2009). Developing effective multimedia instruction for expert learners. American Journal of Psychology 567-569.

Reports: official

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Education: Expertise regarding the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) for learning in schools.
  • General policy: Expertise regarding the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) for learning in schools.
  • Subject specialists: Expertise regarding the effective use of information and communications technology (ICT) for learning in schools.