Mr Matthew Smith

Senior Lecturer in Primary Education

Email address: Phone number: 01902 32 2889 Location: Walsall Faculty: Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing School/Institute: Institute of Education Areas of expertise: Development of a sophisticated personal epistemology, Primary teaching, English teaching, especially the key areas of Spelling and Punctuation


Matt is a Primary Teacher Educator and the Pathway Leader for Primary English. He leads on English modules for both undergraduate and postgraduate primary teaching courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the University of Wolverhampton.

A Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Matt is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the epistemological and pedagogical trajectories of PGCE trainees within the field of Primary English. Matt’s research interests have previously focused on personalising the learning journey for children and trainees.

Prior to becoming a Senior Lecturer, Matt worked as a primary teacher, English specialist and Assistant Headteacher. He is keen for children to take ownership of their learning and to work with teachers to develop a facilitative, learner-centric method that favours exploration and social construction of learning over more traditional, didactic teaching styles.

Matt is in his sixth year of HE, having arrived here after being a primary school teacher, Co-ordinator for Literacy and the Creative Arts, Key Stage Co-ordinator, and Assistant Headteacher. In each of these roles he gained further experience of teaching, learning, assessment, management, and leadership. He completed his M.Ed. whilst an AHT, and is currently completing my doctoral studies in Learning and Learning Contexts at the University of Birmingham, focusing on the epistemological trajectories of PGCE trainees as predicated by their espoused pedagogies.

Research interests

Epistemological, ontological and pedagogical paradigms.


  • BA (Hons), 1997
  • PGCE, 1999
  • M.Ed. 2008
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


  • Smith, M. (in print). Using andragogy to teach pedagogy: expecting heutagogy - using against-the-grain teaching practices for desired outcomes.
  • Smith, M. (in print). Examining the relationship between a sophisticated personal epistemology and desired pedagogical practices in trainee teachers.
  • Smith, M. (in print). An Initial Qualitative Analysis of the Developing Epistemological Trajectories of Primary PGCE Trainees as Predicated by their Espoused Pedagogies. Proceedings of the Education Doctoral Research Conference, University of Birmingham.
  • Smith, M. (2013). Personal epistemology and teacher education. Educational Research and Evaluation, 19(1), 92-94.

Previous professional experience

Matt has been a primary teacher, Assistant Headteacher and lecturer for most of his adult life. He has worked in every Key Stage, teaching children from age 5 to 11, with secondary school-age pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and with students in Higher Education since 2009. Previously a Key Stage Co-ordinator in primary schools in Birmingham, Matt has been Co-ordinator for Literacy and the Creative Arts, taken responsibility for outdoor learning, parental involvement in school and their children's learning, and worked with schools on effective modelling for the social construction of high-level texts, usually through the use of poetry or story-writing; phonics instruction; tools and skills for personalising the learning journey of children; and in effective guided reading and the use of e-reading journals.