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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Xiaofei Qi, BA, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor in the School of Education

Contact Dr Xiaofei Qi


Dr Xiaofei QI is an Assistant Professor at the School of Education, Durham University. Her current work focuses on early childhood education and development, digital parenting, assessment in education and includes studies of longitudinal and experimental designs. She teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate modules related to education generally and Early Years Education and Child Development in particular. She contributes to a range of academic and professional programmes at the School of Education and also supervises higher degree students. 

Xiaofei joined the School of Education in 2019 from the University of Cambridge where she was a Research Associate at the Education Reform and Innovation team within Faculty of Education. Prior to that, she worked at the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre heading up the centre’s project to develop a computerised adaptive entrance test for Eton College. Xiaofei obtained a PhD in Psychology from Birkbeck, University of London in 2015, with a thesis entitled "Does preschool experience matter?" Since then, Dr Qi's work has focussed on exploring the effects of school and home learning environment, particularly during the preschool and primary years, on children's intellectual, emotional and behaviour development as well as well-being more generally. Latest research projects include an EEF-funded RCT trial evaluating Maths Champions-a programme designed to develop maths teaching and children’s maths skills in nursery settings, and a longitudinal study exploring the digital features of home learning environment (HLE) and links to young children’s learning and development (social and emotional development in specific) in early years.

    Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

    Xiaofei would welcome postgraduate research proposals broadly in the areas of assessment and evaluation in education, early childhood education and child development, parenting and family studies, and digital technologies for EFL (English as a Foreign language) acquisition.

    Research Groups

    School of Education

    Research Interests

    • Early childhood education and care (ECEC)
    • Parenting
    • Child ability assessment: verbal and non-verbal
    • Digital Home Learning Environment (HLE)
    • Educational assessment
    • Entrance test development
    • Computational modelling in second language acquisition (SLA)

    Selected Publications

    Conference Proceeding

    Doctoral Thesis

    Journal Article


    Show all publications


    Selected Grants

    • 2019: EEF Maths Champions II
    • 2018: Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme