Academic staff

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Dr Sarah McGeown

Co-Deputy Head of Institute for Education, Community & Society (ECS) / Lecturer in Developmental Psychology

Education, Community and Society (ECS)


Tel: +44 (0)131 651 6121


St John’s Land (Rm 4.19)



M.A. (Hons) Psychology, University of Aberdeen, 2002

MRes Psychology, University of Aberdeen, 2003

PhD Psychology, University of Hull, 2008

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, 2010

Higher Education Academy Teaching Fellow, 2011





Membership of Professional Bodies

British Psychological Society, United Kingdom Literacy Association, Society for the Scientific Studies of Reading and the European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction.


Editorial/reviewer activities

Ad hoc reviewer for: Learning and Individual Differences, Journal of Research in Reading, Child Development, Educational Psychology, Educational Review, Scientific Studies in Reading, European Journal of Psychology of Education, Dyslexia, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Cambridge Journal of Education, Learning and Instruction, Research in Developmental Disabilities and the British Educational Research Journal.  

Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology.

Member of the Editorial Advisory Group for the Journal of Research in Reading

Editor of: Psychology of Gender Differences (2012).  Nova Science Publishers.

Principal interests

Reading development: I am interested in the influence of cognitive skills and motivation on children’s reading development, and identifying ways to boost children's motivation to read.  Further interests include investigating the influence of method of reading instruction on children’s reading strategies and attainment.

Sex differences and gender identity: Examining the extent to which gender identity explains sex differences in education.

Mental toughness in education: Studying the relationship between mental toughness and attainment among primary and secondary school aged pupils and mental toughness among teachers. 

Motivation and behaviour:  The relationship between academic motivation and classroom behaviour in primary and secondary school aged pupils. 

I would be interested in supervising doctoral research students in the areas listed above.

Current and recent research

Research grants

2011: Nuffield Foundation Undergraduate Research Bursary. Individual differences in the cognitive and behavioural predictors of reading skill

2010 - 2011: HEFCE UnLtd Catalyst Award.  Reading For Fun - A Pupil Led Project to Boost Reading Motivation

2010 - 2011: British Academy Small Research Grant. Investigating sex differences in reading strategies and the effectiveness of different strategies on early reading and spelling

2010:  Nuffield Foundation Undergraduate Research Bursary. Sex differences in reading strategies

2009:  Nuffield Foundation Undergraduate Research Bursary. Effects of reading instruction on children’s reading strategies


Publications list for Dr Sarah McGeown


Courses taught:

Child and Adolescent Development (MSc Education)

PhD Supervision:

2013 - present: Jennifer Salfen. Thesis: Extracurricular activities and PYD in adolescence. 

2013 - present: Matluba Kahn. Thesis: Designing for change: Developing design guidelines for the outdoor environment of primary schools to enhance children's learning and attitudes to school (with Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture)

2014 - present: Jennifer Roberts. Thesis: What enables girls to resist emphasised femininities in the school environment?

2014 - present: Xiaoyi Hu. Thesis: Foreign language learning, anxiety and motivation among primary school aged children

2014 - present: Thalia Theodoraki. Thesis: Executive functions and academic attainment among adolescents (with Department of Psychology)


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