Dr Lorna Hamilton

Senior Lecturer


Having worked as an English teacher and as a primary teacher, I draw on substantial experience in schools to inform my teaching. However, I am also passionate about educational research. My research profile began to be established while I was still working in schools and my work on perceptions of ability shaped my MEd (1996). This led into PhD study looking at constructs of ability within comprehensive and independent schools working with Professors Sally Brown and Jon Nixon, University of Stirling.  From this, my work has developed in relation to (student) teacher beliefs and professional identity, ability and the organization of learning and pupil voice and personhood.

I have taught across most courses in the school including PGDE Primary, PGDE secondary and Ed.D programmes as well as on MSc Education and MSc Research programmes. A strong focus of my work has been on cross curricular learning (Enterprise inspired learning) and assessment, the integration of theory and practice and educational research methods.

I have a strong background in qualitative research and have a particular interest in the use of case study - see book on case study in the link below.

Book on Case study in Education Research released by BERA/Sage : Hamilton,L. & Corbett-Whittier, C ( 2013)Using Case Study in Education Research. London:BERA/SAGE

New edited book: Hamilton, L. & Ravenscroft, J. (eds) ( 2018) Designing Education Research. UK: Bloomsbury.


  • BA, PGCE, MEd, PhD

Responsibilities & affiliations

Professional membership and leadership positions

  • 2016 Royal society of Edinburgh Consultation Research strategy and priorities for Scotland
  • 2014-15 Royal Society of Edinburgh Consultations National improvement framework
  • 2014- Athens Institute for Education and Research
  • 2014- International Forum of Researchers in Education  (IFORE)www.ifore.in
  • 2012- 14 HEA Academic Associate
  • 2016-   External School of Health Learning and Teaching Committee
  • 2016-   Member of University Senatus
  • MSc Education Programme Director 2012-2015
  • 2013-2016   External School of Health Board of Studies  
  • 2012 onwards co-opted member of SERA Executive Committee   
  • 2007-2010   Head of Education and Society
  • 2009-2011 Immediate Past President SERA
  • 2007-2009 President of Scottish Educational Research Association
  • 2005-2007 Vice-president Scottish Educational Research Association
  • 2007-2009  On British Educational Research Association Council
  • 2001-2005 Executive committe member SERA
  • 2007-2011 Member of planning group newly established UK Strategic Forum for Research in Education (uksfre.ac.uk)
  • Current Editorial Boards:  Scottish Educational Review; International Journal of  Education Research; Athens Journal of Education.
  • Reviewer: British Educational Research Journal, Teaching and Teacher Education, Scottish Educational Review, Teachers College Record,Cambridge Journal of Education, International Education Research and Journal of Teacher Education, Athens Journal of Education.
  • Leading SERA committee on Knowledge Exchange publication: Researching Education Bulletin

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I have a very successful track record of supervising doctoral students to completion and I am keen to hear from you if you are interested  in any of the areas below:

  • Identity - personal and professional / teacher beliefs and values (early professional development)/ behaviour in schools and developing professional identity / intercultural education- interculturalism
  • Inclusion - Critical approaches to Giftedness- gifted and talented youth / ability and ability grouping / the organization of learning
  • Pupil voice - hidden voices and absent dialogues

Current PhD students supervised

  • PhD 2021 Faculty and mentoring of undergraduates

    PhD 2021 Social Justice and ITE – in two states Kansas and Wyoming

    PhD 2021 Exploring the identity of gifted high school students in China

    PhD 2019  ICC policy and ELL in Chinese universities

    PhD 2017 “Second Language acquisition and cultural identity – the case of Chinese as a Second language”


Past PhD students supervised

  • All successfully completed
  • Nur Salwa Binti Abdul Wahid -Culture and the ESL Classroom in relation to learners willingness to communicate (WTC) at University in Malaysia
  • Linsha Zhou - Creativity and teachers - comparing Scotland and China
  • Emilia Georgiou- Intercultural Education in Greek-Cypriot Primary Schools
  • Sumera Umrani- English Language Teaching in Higher Education in Pakistan
  • Noor Banu- Service Education in Malaysia
  • Dimitra Tsakalou- Teacher beliefs and values in relation to inclusion in Greece
  • Jing Zhang- Professional identity and Chinese midwives
  • Peggy Mwanza- The role of NGOs in the development of education policy and provision in Zambia
  • Angela Gayton- Personhoood and foreign language learning in Scottish schools
  • Ling-Ying Lu- An examination of grouping in Taiwanese Junior High Schools: Policy and Practice 
  • Winifred Kisitu- Early Childhood Care and Education in Uganda: The Challenges and Possibilities of Achieving Quality and Accessible Provision

Research summary

Social construction of identity: drawing on a social constructionist view, my work has been built around concepts of layered narratives of self which reflect a dynamic and fluid view of identity and the importance of contextual narratives and the interactions between the inner and outer world of the individual. This work has underpinned projects on interculturalism, identity negotiation of the gifted, creativity and the student teacher, study abroad and ESL in a post-colonial context. 

Project activity

I am currently working on a project exploring the nature of ITE school experience during and after the pandemic and preservice teachers emerging from the pandemic..

Previous work includes:  Leadership during the pandemic across the 4 countries of the UK, Conceptualising intelligence  in ITE,Early professional development and curriculum reform, Behaviour in Scottish Schools,  a survey of the use of setting in Scottish primary schools, pupil voice in the examination process and ability dialogues in high school.

Conference papers include:

  • Tsakalou, D; Hamilton,L.; Brown,J. Institutional narratives and the struggle for inclusive communities in the Greek context. Paper presented at the Scottish Educational Research Association Conference and World Education Research Association Focal meeting, Edinburgh 2014.
  • McLuskey,G.; Brown,J.; Hamilton,L.; Lloyd,G.; Macleod,G.; Munn,P.; Sharp,S. 'Take more time to actually listen':Trust, power and student voice. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Conference, Warwick 2010.
  • Munn,P.; Sharp,S.; Lloyd,G.; Macleod,G.; McLuskey,G.; Brown,J.; Hamilton,L. A comparison of perceptions of behaviour in Scottish schools 2009 and 2006. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Conference, Warwick 2010.
  • Hamilton, L. Managing pupil behaviour: preparing student teachers for practice. Paper presented at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences, Saskatoon, Canada 2007.
  • Stack, N; Hamilton,L. & Sutherland, M. Able in Alba. Paper presented at the World Congress for Gifted and Talented Youth, Warwick 2007.
  • Hamilton, L. A Teacher educator self-study: Search for connection and relevance. Paper Presented at the Scottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Perth, 2006.
  • Hamilton, L. Setting (regrouping) and broad banding: challenges to the organisation of learning in Scottish primary Schools. Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, 2005.