Staff Profiles


Dr Mary Woolley

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922780

Profile summary

Mary Woolley currently works on a variety of research projects for the National Institute of Christian Education Research at Canterbury Christ Church University. Mary runs a module for the EdD programme on The Development of Professional Knowledge. She was formerly Programme Director of the Education Studies BA course at CCCU. From 2008 to 2015 she was lead tutor for secondary history, responsible for 11-18 PGCE, School Direct and Teach First student history teachers. 

Research and knowledge exchange

Mary's PhD explored changing practice in history teaching between 1985 and 2011, using an oral history approach. The focus was on history teachers and their experiences of enacting policy change across this period. Mary is interested in recent histories of education, the changing role of teachers and issues of autonomy, prescription and surveillance. Mary is currently researching the role of parachurch organisations in building the relationship between schools, home and church for NICER's Nexus project. She is also co-PI on a new project exploring trainee teachers' confidence in teaching at the intersect of science and religion. 

Teaching and subject expertise

Mary currently teaches a module on 'The Development of Professional Knowledge' on the EdD course. In the past she has led a variety of undergraduate modules on curriculum theory and the history of education. She has many years experience leading  ITE modules in history education and professional studies. Mary is an Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

External activities

Mary is foundation governor for a local Catholic primary school.

Publications and research outputs

Woolley, M.C. (2020) Teaching History in a Neoliberal Age (Abingdon, Routledge)

Woolley, M.C. (2018) Experiencing the History National Curriculum 1991-2011: Voices of Veteran Teachers, History of Education, 40:2, 212-232

Woolley, M.C. (2017) Experiences of teaching history 1985-2011: the teachers' voice, PhD, Institute of Education, University of London [availlable at]

Woolley, M.C. (2017) Confidence or avoidance? Revisiting attitudes and perceptions of beginning history teachers in relation to teaching controversial and sensitive topics, Revista Electronica Interuniversitaria de Formacion del Profesorado, Vol 19, No.3, pp.1-21

Harris, R.J., Burn, K. and Woolley, M.C. (eds.) (2014) The Guided Reader to Teaching and Learning History, (Abingdon, Routledge)

Woolley, M.C. (2004) How did changing conceptions of place lead to conflict in the American West? reflecting on revision methods for GCSE in Teaching History, 115

Woolley, M.C. (2003) Really weird and freaky: using a Thomas Hardy short story as a source of evidence in the Year 8 in Teaching History 111


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Last edited: 19/11/2020 13:32:00