Phil is a Lecturer in Education at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Phil’s main areas of focus are sociology of education, educational policy, pedagogy, social justice and educational inequality. He completed his PhD in Education (Policy and Practice) at University of Leicester in 2022. Phil’s research explores how socio-cultural-political conditions shape pedagogical practices in a range of different educational settings. Recently, he has compared maintained and independent schools in England, taking into consideration how their different relationships with central government shape pedagogical practices. He is also involved in a research project aimed at exploring the conditions that support and/or constrain the enactment of play-based pedagogies in compulsory school contexts.
Phil’s teaching experience is in the areas of Education and Childhood, focussing on sociology of education, educational policy and practice, pedagogy and transition. Phil teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and supervises doctoral students. Phil is looking to supervise doctoral students who are interested areas related to sociology of education, education policy, pedagogy, social justice and educational inequality.
Phil also leads the School of Social Sciences and Humanities Learning and Teaching Webinar Series.
Selected publications (see ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1861-4281 for full listing)
Nicholson, P. & Hendry, H. (2020). A pedagogical meeting place or a problem space? Extending play-based pedagogy in Year One. Education 3-13, DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2020.1840608
Hendry, H. & Nicholson, P. (2020). How I… pinpointed key challenges for an EYFS approach to Year 1. Times Educational Supplement (TES).
Nicholson, P. (2018) Play-based pedagogy under threat? A small-scale study of teachers’ and pupils’ perceptions of pedagogical discontinuity in the transition to primary school. Education 3-13, 47(4), 450-461. DOI: 10.1080/03004279.2018.1496124
Paper presented at the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) 2018 in Budapest, Hungary - Play-based pedagogy under threat? A small-scale study of teachers’ and pupils’ perceptions of pedagogical discontinuity in the transition to primary school.
Presentation at BERA ECR Network Edge Hill University 2019– Analytical approaches to understanding the perceptions and experiences of educators, parents and children in the transition from Reception to Year One.
Paper presented at the East Midlands Doctoral Conference (EMDoC) in 2018 – Researching the transition from Reception to Year One in England.
Phil is currently writing up his PhD focussed on the transition from Reception to Year One
Phil is currently working with Dr Julie Fisher and Bristol City Council on a project aimed at understanding the experiences of teachers implementing play-based pedagogy in Year One and Two.
Phil continues to be involved with the project led by Dr Emma Pearson and Dr Helen Hendry researching Early Childhood Development in low-resource contexts.
Research Assistant to Dr Emma Pearson at Bishop Grosseteste University (May 2017 – September 2017): Training different cadres in delivering early childhood development at scale in low-resource contexts.
Research Assistant to Dr Helen Hendry at the Open University (April 2021 – June 2021): Designing a ECDE professional development programme with stakeholders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Phil is interested in sharing his knowledge and expertise in Early Childhood and Primary Education with researchers, teachers and the wider public.
Phil is a member of a number of learned societies and engages and collaborates with international researchers. He attends and presents his research at international conferences.
Fellow of Advance HE
Member of British Educational Research Association: (Special Interest Groups: Comparative & International Education; Educational Research and Educational Policy-Making; Social Justice; Curriculum, Assessment & Pedagogy; Socio-Cultural; Research Methodology in Education; Cultural-Historical Activity Theory)
Member of European Early Childhood Education Research Association: (Special Interest Groups: transition)