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Andrew Clapham

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Undergraduate and Professional Education


Dr Andrew Clapham is an Associate Professor of Education Policy based in the Nottingham Institute of Education. Andrew is the Director of the Centre for Behavioural Research Methods and the Unit of Assessment lead for C23 Education and NIoE Research lead. Andrew is an established academic who holds a PhD in Education and an MA in Research Methods both awarded by the University of Nottingham. Andrew is a Higher Education Academy Senior Fellow.

Andrew examines the sociology of education in both his research and teaching. Through mobilising the work of Foucault, Lyotard and Ball, he focuses upon how education policy is enacted in a range of education settings. Andrew is especially interested in determining what macro-level policy - and the ‘impact’ of policy makers attempts to ‘implement’ policy – means for stakeholders at the micro-level. In doing so, Andrew works closely with policy-makers and practitioners, to develop empirical evidence that informs and critiques educational policy. His research has led to him working extensively with regional, national and international partners.

Career overview

After completing his BEd at Thames Polytechnic, Dr Clapham began teaching science, mathematics and PE in schools in London’s East Ham and North Westminster and then moved to teach science and maths at Djanogly City Academy in Nottingham. He obtained a MA in research methods and his PhD from the University of Nottingham. He then worked on the Education Studies course at Bishop’s Grosseteste in Lincoln and as an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) tutor on the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Teach First science and mathematics courses at the University of Nottingham.

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

Research areas

Andrew’s research employs qualitative and quantitative approaches with a focus upon grounded theory, ethnography and action research. He supervises Post Graduate research students at both Masters and Doctoral level and has successfully supervised candidates on both routes to completion. Andrew is also a Doctoral examiner.

External activity

Dr Clapham reviews papers for a range of academic journals whihc include - Cambridge Journal of Education, Ethnography and Education, Research in Science and Technology Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Journal of Education Policy, International Journal of Educational Research and Pedagogy, Culture and Society.

Andrew is also on the Editorial Board of Pedagogy Culture and Society.

He leads evaluation and research reviews in a number of education settings including mathematics, botanical gardens, zoos and informal science learning.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Clapham has worked as a researcher on the following large scale projects:

LearnToEngage, is a suite of professional development modules for botanic garden staff and museum educators in Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. LearnToEngage is funded through the European Commission’s Erasmus + programme and provides an interactive, co-operative experience with both online and on-site provision. Andrew led the research element of the project to explore how educators in informal learning settings such as gardens and museums used evaluation and research to inform their practice.

The Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment programme, is an Education and Training Foundation programme which aims to promote and enhance the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in post-16 education and training. Andrew led a team of NIoE academics who undertook two phases of research exploring students, staff and employers’ experiences of designing, employing and completing innovative approaches to pedagogy and assessment.


Clapham, A. 2013. Performativity, Fabrication and Trust: Exploring Computer-Mediated Moderation. Ethnography and Education. 8(3), 371-387 DOI:10.1080/17457823.2013.792676

Clapham, A. 2015. “Answer Your Names Please”: A Small Scale Exploration of Teachers Technologically Mediated ‘New Lives’. Teachers and Teaching. Theory and Practice. 21(6), 366-378. DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2014.968893

Clapham, A. 2015. Producing the Docile Teacher: Analysing Local Area Under-Performance Inspection. Cambridge Journal of Education. 45(2), 265-280 DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2014.955837

Clapham, A. 2015. Post-Fabrication and Putting on a Show: Examining the Impact of Short Notice Inspection. British Educational Research Journal. 41(2), 613-682 DOI: 10.1002/berj.3159

Clapham, A. 2016. Enacting Informal Science Learning: Exploring the Battle for Informal Science Learning. British Journal of Educational Studies. 64(4), 485-501 DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2016.1179716

Clapham, A, Eldridge J and R. Vickers. 2016. Legitimation, Performativity and the Tyranny of a “Hijacked” Word. Journal of Education Policy. 31(6), 757-772 DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2016.1181789

Clapham, A, and R. Vickers. 2017. Further Education Sector Governors as Ethnographers: Five Case Studies. Ethnography and Education. 13(1), 34-51 DOI:

Clapham, A, and R. Vickers. 2017. Policy, Practice and Innovative Governance in the English Further Education and Skills sector. Research in Post Compulsory Education 22(3), 370-390

Clapham, A, and R. Vickers. 2018. Neither a Lender nor a Borrower be? Exploring Mathematics ‘Mastery’ Policy Borrowing. Oxford Review of Education

See all of Andrew Clapham's publications...

Press expertise

  • Education policy
  • Education research methods
  • School, college and university governance
  • inspection
  • mathematics education