Jill Steel PhD
Thesis title: Children's Reading and Wellbeing: Exploring the influence of Reading to Dogs
In 2023 I was awarded my PhD which I completed at the Moray House School of Education and Sport. My primary interests are in children and young people's wellbeing and literacy outcomes, and how Reading to Dogs may support these.
I have created and developed the Reading to Dogs intervention, Paws and Learn™, partly informed by practising teachers.
My career includes experience both as a Primary School Teacher and a College Lecturer in Childhood Practice. In addition I volunteered for many years with my dogs as a Therapet visitor in conjunction with the Canine Concern Scotland Trust, and conducted research into animal-assisted learning in a P1 classroom during my Masters in Educational Studies at the University of Glasgow in 2013/14.
Achievements in relation to my studies include:
Awarded Edinburgh Innovations funding to develop Paws and Learn™, March 2023.
Winner of a BERA 22 conference ECR award, September 2022.
Awarding funding from the Children and Young People Hub towards illustrations for Paws and Learn™, July 2022.
Awarded the Diversity award by the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) during their annual conference, July 2022.
Awarded funding to produce a film about the 'Paws and Learn' study by the Edinburgh Futures Institute, July 2021.
Awarded the University of Edinburgh's Principal's Career Development Scholarship for my PhD study, 2019-2022.
Winner of the University of Glasgow's William Boyd prize for the highest achieving student in the Masters in Education, 2013/14.
Interweaving Conference MAY 2022 - Presenter
UKLA Conference Birmingham JULY 2022 - Presenter of two presentations
International Society for Anthrozoology JULY 2022 - Presenter
British Educational Research Association Liverpool SEPTEMBER 2022 - Presenter of two presentations
Scottish Educational Research Association NOVEMBER 2022 - Presenter (planned)
International Society for Anthrozoology Conference JUNE 2021 - Presenter
United Kingdom Literacy Association JULY 2021 - Presenter
International Society for Anthrozoology Conference SEPTEMBER 2020 - Presenter
American Psychological Association AUGUST 2020 - Presenter
In the press
Interview with Kate Parker from the Times Educational Supplement.
- Open from February 2020 - June 2020.
- Seeking views of UK teachers on Reading to Dogs
Reading to Dogs as a form of animal‐assisted education: are positive outcomes supported by quality research? (2023)
In Literacy. Published August 2023.
McGeown, S. & Steel, J. (2023). To read or not to read? How diverse practices, perspectives and experiences shape our reading engagement. BERA Blog Special Series. https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog-series/to-read-or-not-to-read
Reading to Dogs in schools: a controlled feasibility study of an online Reading to Dogs intervention (2023).
In International Journal of Educational Research, 117, 102117. Published January 2023.
Steel, J. (2022). Reading to Dogs in schools: Misguided fad or effective research-backed intervention? BERA Blog. https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/reading-to-dogs-in-schools-misguided-fad-or-effective-research-backed-intervention
Collaboration and co-design: Learning from literacy interventions co-created by researchers and teachers (2022).
Sarah McGeown, Emily Oxley & Jill Steel
In The Psychology of Education Review 46 (2). Published September 2022.
Defining Terms Used for Animals Working in Support Roles for People with Support Needs. Animals, 12(15), 1975. (2022)
Howell, T. J., Nieforth, L., Thomas-Pino, C., Samet, L., Agbonika, S.,...Steel, J., ... & Bennett, P.
In Animals, Received: 31 May 2022, Accepted: 15 July 2022, Published: 4 August 2022
Children’s wellbeing and reading engagement: The impact of Reading to Dogs in a Scottish Primary 1 classroom (2022).
In Education 3-13, Received 26th June 2022, Accepted 30th June 2022, Published 14th July 2022.
Teacher-researcher collaboration in animal-assisted education: Co-designing a reading to dogs intervention (2022)
In Educational Research (NFER), Received 19 Apr 2021, Accepted 06 Dec 2021, Published online: 21 Jan 2022
Reading to dogs in schools: an exploratory study of teacher perspectives (2021)
In Educational Research (NFER) Pages 279-301 | Received 30 Oct 2020, Accepted 22 Jun 2021, Published online: 17 Aug 2021
May 13, 2019 in Citizenship, Social and Economics Education 201918:1, 33-43