Dr Mary Bovill

Programme Director: PGDE (Secondary Education) / Lecturer and Researcher



My PhD developed out of research interests in teachers’ beliefs about texts and textual practices in secondary English and history: Ways of Being, Ways of Knowing: Framing Pupils’ Engagement with Literary and Historical Texts. I teach on ITE programmes, specifically in English and Philosophy with Children, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to developing a philosophical inquiry pedagogy in the secondary classroom.  My current research interests explore critical pedagogy and critical literacy; citizenship; interdisciplinary learning and communities of practice. I lead an interdisciplinary project with the philosophy department on ‘Philosophy in Prisons’ and continue to develop my methodological approaches to interpretative phenomenological analysis in all areas of research. In both my teaching and research activities, I am interested in developing teachers’ understanding of a critical pedagogy that values human reasoning and challenges static concepts of identity.


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1993                MA(Hons) Philosophy           University of Glasgow

1996                PGCE (Secondary) English    University of Edinburgh

2015                PhD Education                        University of Edinburgh

Responsibilities & affiliations



Member of Pedagogy, Learning and Curriculum Research Cluster Group and Philosophy of Education Research Cluster Group at the School of Education, Moray House

Research summary

Conceptions of texts and textual practices in English and History.

Philosophy in prisons

Philosophy with children

Critical Thinking

Past research interests

'Ways of Being, Ways of Knowing: Framing pupils' Engagement with Literary and Historical Texts'

Knowledge exchange


Project activity

Philosophy in Prisons

Philosophy in Schools

Teaching for Critical Thinking in Business: Developing the Active Teacher to Support Student Critical Thinking

Current project grants

Seedcorn Grant