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Department of Education

Steven Puttick

Associate Professor of Teacher Education

College Affiliation: St Anne's College

Steve is Associate Professor of Teacher Education. He is subject lead for the Geography PGCE and MSc Learning and Teaching.

Steve is a qualified geography teacher and was previously the head of department at a comprehensive secondary school in Oxfordshire, and Head of Programmes at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln. He leads the interdisciplinary Education and Training for the Climate (ETC) Hub at Oxford.

He holds an MA in Educational Leadership and Innovation from Warwick University, an MSc in Educational Research Methodology and a DPhil in Education from the University of Oxford which were funded by an ESRC Studentship. He is a qualified Mountain Leader and rock climbing instructor, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

He researches at the intersection between the academic discipline and school subject of geography, work that is developing through three progress reports on Geographical Education: (I) fields, interactions and relationships; (II) anti-racist, decolonial futures; (III) climate change education (forthcoming). His research has been funded by the GCRF, ESRC, AHRC, ICHR, Nuffield Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Newton Fund, British Council, and PESGB. Recent collaborations include: Climate Change Education Futures in India (GCRF) in collaboration with colleagues at IISER, Pune; the role of cultural heritage in curriculum making in Kolkata (GCRF); and the Smart Cities Network for Sustainable Urban Future project (ESRC / Newton Fund) which was shortlisted for the Newton Prize (India).

Collaborations with colleagues in the School of Geography and the Environment are contributing to anti-racist curriculum futures, including in the school subject, and in postgraduate teaching through the TDEP-funded Oxford-UNISA course ‘Decolonising Research Methods’ which was shortlisted for the Vice-Chancellor’s teaching awards. These ideas are taken further in the context of school geography through his (2024) book: The Geography Teaching Adventure: reclaiming exploration to inspire curriculum and pedagogy.

His research on teacher education focuses on the contribution that geography education research offers to the conceptualisation and practice of teaching. This work includes ethnographic research on teachers’ curriculum making exploring the journeys through which information travels into school classrooms, beginning teachers’ experiences of school subject departments, the role of written lesson observation feedback in constructing ‘good teaching’, and knowledge in teacher education.

Steve serves on the editorial board of the journal Geography and is Chair of the Geography Education Research Collective (GEReCo/IGU-CGE).

Funded Research Projects:

  • Education and Training for the Climate (ETC) Hub (PI)

  • 2022-24

    Funder: SSD

  • Geography, Mathematics and Sustainability (CI)

  • 2023-24

    Funder: TDEP

  • Sustainable Lagoons in West Africa (Network partner)

  • 2021-22

    Funder: GCRF

  • Climate Change Education Futures in India (PI)

  • 2020-21

    Funder: GCRF

  • Decolonising Research Methods (CI)

  • 2020-21

    Funder: TDEP

  • Trust and Climate Change: information for teaching in a digital age (PI)

  • 2020

    Funder: Nuffield Foundation

  • Heritage and enquiry-based learning in urban primary schools in India (PI)

  • 2020

    Funder: GCRF

  • Digital Urbanism and Diasporas: walking the cultural heritage of Calcutta’s riverfront (Wider team)

  • 2020

    Funder: AHRC/ICHR

  • Resilience in STEM learning, (CI)

  • 2019-21

    Funder: Leverhulme Trust

  • Lincolnshire-Hunan Generation UK (PI)

  • 2018

    Funder: British Council

  • The Ordered Human Project: Robert Grosseteste’s philosophy of education

  • 2016-2019

    PESGB (Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain) and Bishop Grosseteste University Grant - Principal Investigator

  • Smart Cities Network for Sustainable Urban Future: UK-India collaboration on sustainable cities and urbanisation

  • 2016-2017

    ESRC / Newton Fund - Wider Team contributing to citizen science and community participation stream

Doctoral Applications

Steve welcomes doctoral applications from students interested in the following research areas:

  • Geography education
  • Climate Change Education
  • Knowledge and the curriculum
  • School subject departments
  • Anti-racist geography education
  • Teachers’ engagements with research


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