Interviewing an Education Expert

Lisa (name changed) is a adjunct research professor working in the field of education. She agreed to share her expertise with me to help gain a professional understanding of education and to support my Penguin project.

I used a structured interview technique with prepared questions in advance and Lisa agreed to have the interview recorded to that I could transcribe our conversation. Her name has been changed to protect her identity and the recording deleted once the transcription was completed. Below is a copy of the full transcript.


What is your job title and job description?

I’m an adjunct research professor in a Faculty of Education. I do research and evaluation in the field of education.

What education systems do you have experience with?

UK, Australia, Canada

What do you know about the UK Educational System?

The UK system is divided into regions – with different systems in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There’s a national curriculum for England & Wales. Full-time schooling is compulsory to age 18 (in England).  

I think you can find some interesting background information on UK schools, reading statistics, and how they compare internationally by looking at the OECD reports of PISA tests. I will send you a link.

Link provided:

What recommendations do you have for improving diversity in the reading material in UK schools?

While I’m not familiar with the reading materials in UK schools, offering diverse reading materials is important to encourage a sense of belonging among students from different backgrounds. Diverse reading materials help students understand diversity and different perspectives. Changes to improve the diversity of reading materials might include: updating the curriculum (at a national level), or providing new resources (at the local level). Teachers may need supports to introduce empathic class discussions about social justice, race, equity.

This project is not about changing curriculums, but if you were to influence change, what would you want education to look like?

Choices, choices, choices. Students could progress at their own speed, moving ahead on topics that they are already familiar with, spending more time on topics that interest them, receiving extra support on topics that they struggle with.

How do you think we can encourage students to read for pleasure?

Offer choices, provide materials that they can relate to. Demonstrate a willingness to introduce new authors to the classroom. Make it fun!

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