Dr Elizabeth White

BSc Hons, PGCE, MA, PhD, Chair of the University of Hertfordshire Researcher Development Group

1986 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Teaching specialisms

Professional studies; 

Mentor Development - Student-teacher development; mentoring approaches; working in partnerships.

Researcher Development

Qualified teacher of science

Senior Fellow of HEA

Research interests


School-based teacher educators and institute-based teacher educators

Collaborative partnership for initial teacher education

Professional development, pedagogy and identity of teachers and teacher educators

Teacher leadership

Primary Science Leadership

Development of subject knowledge for teaching

Modelling professional values and practice

Doctoral Supervision

Completed supervisions: the impact of a primary science leadership programme on science subject leader identity and agency; an exploration of what it means to be struggling as a secondary teacher in England.

Current doctoral supervision in the areas of: exploring sources of stress and coping strategies of student health visitors on a programme of study to become qualified health visitors; teaching international trade law in China using a problem-based learning approach; STEM education in Egypt and UK: Opportunities and threats in the process of school change; to what extent does the Early Career Framework (ECF) support Early Career Teachers (ECTs) at the beginnin go their career?; place-based pedagogy in an English secondary state school.


I lead mentor development and research in teacher education in the School of Education and coordinate researcher development across the university. My research is about teacher educators working in school-university partnerships and the learning that they lead in the workplace and beyond. I am interested in the pedagogical choices that they make; their professional development needs; and how they can be nurtured in a professional learning community to support their emerging identity. This research has surfaced a need for professional learning resources for school-based teacher educators and those working with them, leading to the publication of School-based Teacher Training: A handbook for teachers and mentors (White and Jarvis, 2013). Collaboration with academics from the UK and The Netherlands, has resulted in a further three books: Developing Outstanding Practice in School-based Teacher Education (Jones and White 2015), Being a Teacher Educator: Research-Informed Methods for Improving Practice (Swennen and White 2020) and The Teacher Educator's Handbook (White, 2021).  My research includes self-studies of experiences as a teacher educator developing my professional identity and developing research-rich pedagogical practice, evaluation of professional development for primary science subject leaders and international collaborative projects on the professional development of teacher educators.


 For Learning in Teacher Education (FLiTE)

Resulting from an international research project with Dr Miranda Timmermans (Avans University of Applied Sciences and Chair of VELON, the Dutch Association of Teacher Educators), we have responded to the perceived need for professional learning resources for teacher educators. 

FLiTE is a platform where those involved in initial teacher education can find resources and inspiration to develop their practice. It is designed by teacher educators, for teacher educators to:

  • inspire critical reflection on school-based practice in teacher education
  • deepen the professional learning and development of teacher educators
  • develop collaborative working in initial teacher education partnerships
  • enhance the quality of learning opportunities for student teachers


Primary teachers who are subject leaders for science are another group of school-based teacher educators that have been a focus for my research, considering how they develop in their role and attitudes that they and their pupils have towards primary science. Findings of the research carried out as an extension of the evaluation of the Primary Science Quality Mark Programme 2013-15 provide principles of good science learning, teaching and leading in primary schools that involve children, parents, teachers, governors, science leaders and the senior leadership team. They also provide suggestions for schools, and those working with them, to develop primary science learning, teaching and leadership. These findings have been illustrated in the research-rich visual resource below.