I graduated from the University of Plymouth in 1995 with a degree in Psychology (with Certificate of Professional Experience). For my placement year I worked for the Down Syndrome Educational Trust (DSET), Portsmouth. I then completed my PhD (2003), entitled “Development of counting and cardinality in children with Down syndrome: The role of parent-child interaction” at the Department of Psychology, Portsmouth. During this time I also worked at the DSET, contributing to their support and research activities for children with Down syndrome. After my PhD I was the lead researcher on an evaluation of Numicon for teaching number skills to children with Down syndrome. Between 2006-2008 I was a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Department of Psychology, University of Bristol. I then returned to the University of Portsmouth in 2013 as a part-time lecturer, and from 2016 as a Research Associate, on the Changing Mindsets 2 project.
My research interests relate to child development and issues relating to educational psychology. I am currently a Research Associate on randomized control trial investigating the effectiveness of a Growth Mindset intervention for Year 6 children in 101 schools across England (funded by the Education Endowment Foundation), and work with the Growing Learners team on this. In addition, I have been conducting research since 1994 on cognitive development in children with Down syndrome, with a specific interest in the development of numerical skills and the role of parent-child interaction in this.
Since 2013 I have been a personal tutor (Level 4 and 5), delivered seminars for the Introduction to Psychological Science (Level 4) unit, and contributed lectures in the following units: Individual Differences and Psychometrics (Level 5), Approaches to Psychology (Level 5), and Educational Psychology (Level 6). I also supervise research projects on the MSc Psychology and Learning Disability distance learning course.