top of page

Emeritus Professor of Language Education, University of Edinburgh


Following a degree in English Language and Literature at Oxford, I trained as an English and Drama teacher and worked in the UK and Hong Kong. I moved into higher education in 1987 and since then have held professorships in English and Education at Middlesex, Hull, York, Anglia Ruskin, UCL Institute of Education and the University of East Anglia. I have also held the positions of Head of Department (York, UEA), Dean (UCL-IOE) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation (Anglia Ruskin).


I was Professor in Education and Head of Moray House House School of Education and Sport (Edinburgh) until 30 September 2022, and have now retired from the post.

In October 2022 I was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor of Language Education at the University of Edinburgh.


My teaching and research interests are in writing development, argumentation, poetics and research methodologies for the digital age. Find out more about my research here.


I am a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an elected fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. In January 2016 I became a member of the All Souls Group, Oxford, on education policy. I am a network member of the Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge; and a member of the Global Education Deans' Forum. In 2021, I joined the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Edinburgh.


My family home is in Yorkshire with my wife, Dodi Beardshaw. 

Recently published: 

Polyrhythmicity in Language, Music and Society: complex time relations in the arts, humanities and social sciences, New York/Singapore: Springer, 2021, 160pp

Falling Uphill: forty-six Adirondack poems York: Terpsichore Press, 2021

Latest book

bottom of page