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CREFI welcomes Dr Fran Martin, from the University of Exeter, UK. Fran is a senior lecturer in Education at the University of Exeter and leads the Re-Place Research Group.
Research interests Fran’s doctoral thesis was on PGCE students’ conceptions of geography, pedagogy and epistemology and the impact of these on their development as teachers of primary geography. The theoretical framework for this research was based on personal construct psychology and how the ways in which student teachers construe subjects and teaching can act as barriers to effective learning and teaching. This has led to the proposal of a new paradigm for Primary Geography "Ethnogeography", which she is exploring with geography teacher educator colleagues across Europe. Other research interests include Global Issues in Education, with colleagues from Exeter, Bath Spa and the University of West England, and teacher development and practice in the areas of sustainable development and global partnerships. To support her research interests she belong to the following research groups / networks: Register of Research in Primary Geography (National) Geography Education Research Collective (GEReCo) (National) Heredot (European) International Geographical Union (International).
Research projects An ESRC First Grant has been awarded for a project titled: ‘Global Partnerships as sites for mutual learning: teachers‘ professional development through study visits‘. The project runs from October 1st 2009 - September 31st 2012. It builds on a pilot study conducted in 2006-07 and a consultation phase in 2007-08 that was supported by a small-scale British Academy grant. The research investigates the learning of professionals in the UK, Gambia and Southern India.
A collaborative pilot project with geography teacher educator colleagues at Oxford Brookes University, the Geographical Association and Stranmillis University, Northern Ireland, is exploring the geographical memories that prompted primary teachers to specialise in geography. The methodological approach is similar to Significant Life Experience research that has been conducted in the field of Environmental Education.