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Alison Hardy

Alison Hardy

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Secondary and Continuing Education Undergraduate and Professional Education


Dr Alison Hardy is a senior lecturer in Nottingham Institute of Education. She is course leader for the MA Education within the Institute and co-leads three modules: Research Skills, Coaching and Mentoring in Education Settings and Dissertation Study. She also supervises doctoral candidates.

Additionally, Alison facilitates writing retreats for academic staff and postgraduate students.

Career overview

Alison joined NTU in 2010 as the course leader for the Undergraduate Teacher Training course for Secondary Design and Technology Education. On this course she lectured on several core modules.

Prior to working at NTU, Alison was a Director of Curriculum at Tresham College in Northamptonshire. This role included strategic responsibility for the 14-19 curriculum at the College and working with partnership schools in four East Midlands counties which included over thirty secondary schools.

Alison has worked in four secondary schools as a design and technology (D&T) teacher; in two of them she was the head of department for D&T. She has also worked at the University of West Bohemia in the Czech Republic.

Research areas

Alison’s primary research focuses on the values stakeholders attribute to different school subjects, and the effect this has on curriculum policy enactment. She has developed a subject-values framework that is used to analyse the origins and consequences of the values people attribute to school subjects.

Through her work she has researched the specific values attributed to design and technology education. Alongside this she has undertaken research into the use of technology-enhanced learning in schools and HE, including the innovative use of social media to support collaborative learning.

Alison is also researching strategies to help academics and doctoral students maintain and change their writing habits through the use of motivational interviews.

Current projects

Understanding the values attributed to school subjects and the relationships between the attributed values and pupils' engagement and motivations.

Exploring the future of design and technology education.

Using writing meetings as a support for PGRs and ECRs academic writing.

Current Doctoral Students

Malika Belmissoum, An investigation into the delivery of MA dissertation in relation to the pedagogy of research methods and supervision instructions.

Suzanne Gomersall, Evaluating the impact of teaching children practical cooking and nutrition skills on children’s attitudes and behaviour towards healthy eating. (Director of Studies)

Lorna Wardle, Early Year Teacher Status : It is improving the quality pedagogical practices in the Early Years Sector. (Lead supervisor)

Kim Western, Developing authentic academic assessment practices on Creative Technology courses.

Kelly Trivedy, Embedding subject-specific critical thinking skills in higher education degree programmes. (Lead supervisor)

Previous Doctoral Students

Paballo Mokenela, Blended and Distance Learning Pedagogy in Higher Education:A Case Study of The National University of Lesotho.

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD exist in Nottingham Institute of Education and further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

External examining

University of Glasgow (2017 - current)

University of Roehampton

University of Brighton

University of Sunderland

Editorial board

International Journal of Technology and Design Education


Design and Technology Education: An international journal

Pedagogy, Culture and Society

PRISM: Casting New Light on Learning, Theory and Practice

Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal


Learning and Skills Improvement Service

Trinity School

Noel Baker School

Trustee for the Design and Technology Association

Member of the National Curriculum advisory group


Alison hosts the Talking D&T podcast, where she shares ideas, news and views about design and technology and interviews teachers and researchers from the design and technology community, including:

Episode 60 Ways of thinking about D&T curriculum

Episode 41 Does substantive and disciplinary knowledge work for D&T?

Episode 24: Understanding the value of D&T

Episode 16: Do we all agree on the purpose of D&T?

Sponsors and collaborators


Professor Rowena Murray

Dr Morag Thow

Michelle Smith

Matt McLain


Journal articles

Edited books

  • HARDY, A. 2021. Learning to Teach Design and Technology in the Secondary School (4th ed). Routledge

Book chapters

Conference proceedings

Blog posts


See all of Alison Hardy's publications...

Press expertise

  • Curriculum development and design
  • School subjects and policy implementation
  • Values in education
  • Design and technology epistemology
  • Supporting academic writing