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Philip Wood


School of Social Sciences


Phil Wood is Professor of Education in the Nottingham Institute of Education, School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University (NTU). He is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE. His research focuses on the nature of change, particularly organisational change in educational settings, using process philosophy and complexity theory as ways to explore this area of research. He is also a research impact champion within the School of Social Sciences for the Social Work and Social Policy unit of assessment within the REF exercise.

Career overview

Phil joined NTU in December 2022. After completing a PhD in Quaternary Sciences at Royal Holloway University, London, Phil qualified as a Geography teacher, working at schools in Lincolnshire, first as a teacher of geography and geology, before becoming a head of department and an Advanced Skills Teacher. He then moved into teacher education as a PGCE tutor and then Head of Secondary PGCE at the School of Education, University fo Leicester before leading international masters degrees. Phil then moved to Bishop Grosseteste University as a Reader in Education, before becoming Professor of Educational Change. He has extensive experience of examining at both post graduate taught and doctoral levels.

Research areas

Phil is a mixed methods researcher, who prefers to work across the span of research approaches who supervises Masters and PhD students with interests in: change, especially in pedagogic and organisational contexts, educational theory, process philosophy and complexity theory, and leadership.


Quickfall, A., Wood, P. & Clarke, E. (2022) 'The experiences of newly qualified teachers in 2020 and what we can learn for future cohorts.' London Review of Education. Vol. 20(1). DOI: 10.14324/LRE.20.1.50

Wood, P. & Quickfall, A. (2022) ‘Mentoring in Geography Education: working with the complexity of professional practice and development.’ in Healy, G., Hammond, L., Puttick, S. & Walshe, N. (eds.) Mentoring Geography Teachers in the Secondary School, London: Routledge.

Wood, P. & Quickfall, A. (2022) ‘More Human Than Human? Transformational habitus, capital, field and the implanting of memories in school curricula.’ In Friedrich, D.S. (ed.) Popular Culture and Curriculum. DIO Press.

Woodhouse, J. & Wood, P. (2022) ‘Creating dialogic spaces: developing doctoral students’ critical writing skills through peer assessment and review.’ Studies in Higher Education, 47 (3), 643-655.

Wood, P. & Woodhouse, J. (2021) ‘The Temporalities of the Writing Experience of Part-time Doctoral Researchers in Education.’ In Vostal, F. (ed.) Inquiring Into Academic Timescapes. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Ltd.

Wood, P.; Larssen, D.L.S.; Helgevold, N. & Cajkler, W. (eds) (2020) Lesson Study in Initial Teacher Education: Principles and Practices. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Ltd.

Wood, P. (2019). Rethinking time in the workload debate. Management in Education, 33(2), 86–90.

Wood, P. & O’Leary, M. (2019). Moving beyond teaching excellence: Developing a different narrative for England’s higher education sector. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, 21(2), 112-126.

O’Leary, M. & Wood, P. (2018) ‘Reimagining teaching excellence: why collaboration, rather than competition, holds the key to improving teaching and learning in higher education.’ Educational Review, DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2019.1524203

Edirisingha, P. & Wood, P. (2018) ‘From Evaluation to Sensemaking: Emergent Development of a Masters Distance Learning Research Methods Module.’ European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Access at:

Larssen, D. L. S., Cajkler, W., Mosvold, R., Bjuland, R., Helgevold, N., Fauskanger, J., . . . Norton, J. (2018). A literature review of lesson study in initial teacher education Perspectives about learning and observation. International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies , 7(1), 8-22

Wood, P. (2017) ‘Overcoming the problem of embedding change in educational organizations: A perspective from Normalization Process Theory.’ Management in Education, 31(1), 33-38.

Wood, P. (2017) ‘From Teaching Excellence to Emergent Pedagogies: A Complex Process Alternative to Understanding the Role of Teaching in Higher Education.’ In A. French and M. O’Leary (eds.), Teaching Excellence in Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and the Teaching Excellence Framework. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Ltd.

Wood, P.; Fox, A.; Norton, J. & Tas, M. (2017) ‘The Experience of Lesson Study in the UK’ in L.L. Rowell, C. Bruce, J.M Shosh, M.M. Riel (eds.), The Palgrave International Handbook of Action research

Wood, P. & Cajkler, W. (2017) ‘Lesson Study: a Collaborative Approach to Scholarship for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.’ Journal of Further and Higher Education. 42 (3), 313-326.

O’Leary, M. & Wood, P. (2017) ‘The failings of marketised measurement in capturing the complexity of teaching and learning: the case of lesson observation in the English Further Education sector.’ Professional Development in Education, 43(4), 573-591.

Wood, P. & Cajkler, W. (2016) ‘A participatory approach to Lesson Study in higher education’ International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 5(1), 4-18.

Cajkler, W. & Wood, P. (2016) 'Lesson Study and Pedagogic Literacy in Initial Teacher Education: Challenging Reductive Models.' British Journal of Educational Studies. 64 (4), 503-521.

Cajkler, W. & Wood, P. (2016) ‘Mentors and student-teachers “lesson studying” in initial teacher education.’ International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 5 (2), 84–98.

Cajkler, W., & Wood, P. (2016). Adapting 'lesson study' to investigate classroom pedagogy in initial teacher education: what student-teachers think. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46(1), 1-18.

Edirisingha, P. & Wood, P. (2016) ‘Emergent Evaluation: An Initial Exploration of a Formative Framework for Evaluating Distance Learning Modules.’ European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Access at

Wood, P. & Smith, J. (2016) Educational Research: taking the plunge. Carmarthen: Crown House Publishing Ltd.

Smith, J.; Wood, P.; Lewis, G. & Burgess, H. (2016) 'Critical Friendship as a Pedagogical Strategy.' in V.A. Storey (ed.) International Perspectives on Designing Professional Practice Doctorates. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cajkler, W., & Wood, P. (2015) 'Lesson Study in initial teacher education.' in P. Dudley (ed.), Lesson Study: Professional learning for our time. Abingdon: Routledge.

Cajkler, W., Wood, P., Norton, J., Pedder, D., & Xu, H. (2015). Teacher perspectives about lesson study in secondary school departments: a collaborative vehicle for professional learning and practice development. Research Papers in Education, 30(2),

Wood, P. & Butt, G. (2014) ‘Exploring the use of complexity theory and action research as frameworks for curriculum change.’ Journal of Curriculum Studies, 46(5), 676-696.

Wood, P. (2014) ‘Teacher Professionalism: subverting the Society of Control.’ Forum: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education. 56(2), 223-234.

Cajkler, W. Wood, P. Norton, J. and Pedder, D. (2014) ‘Lesson study as a vehicle for collaborative teacher learning in a secondary school.’ Professional Development in Education, 40(4), 511-529.

Wood, P. (2013) 'How is the learning of skills articulated in the geography curriculum?' in Lambert, D. and Jones, M. (eds), Debates in Geography Education, pp. 169-179

Stevenson, H. & Wood, P. (2013) 'Markets, managerialism and teachers’ work: the invisible hand of high stakes testing in England.' The International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 12(1), 42–61.

Cajkler, W.; Wood, P.; Norton, J. & Pedder, D. (2013) 'Lesson Study: towards a collaborative approach to learning in Initial Teacher Education?' Cambridge Journal of Education, 43(4), 537-554.

Wood, P. (2012) ‘Blogs as liminal space: student teachers at the threshold.’ Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 21(1), 85-99.

Renshaw, S. & Wood, P. (2011) ‘Holistic Understanding in Geography Education (HUGE) – an alternative approach to curriculum development and learning at Key Stage 3’, Curriculum Journal, 22(3), 365-379.