Dr Sarah McGeown is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh. She has a particular in interest in research-practice partnerships and participatory research approaches. Sarah’s research aims to understand and improve children’s literacy experiences and outcomes, typically working in collaboration with children, teachers and other professionals to achieve this.
How did you became interested in learning difficulties?
My own research has not focused on learning difficulties specifically. Although as a researcher interested in improving literacy experiences and outcomes, I’ve always had an interest in supporting those children who struggle with reading, for whatever reason (e.g., difficulties with decoding, comprehension, attention, etc) and ensure my research reflects their perspectives, experiences and needs.
Can you give us an overview of your work?
My research involves working in partnerships with local and national organisations, children, young people, teachers and other professionals to ensure my research is informed by educational priorities and is relevant, meaningful, and usable for those working in practice. I have a particular interest in supporting children’s literacy experiences and outcomes, and supporting those who have difficulties with reading, or are disengaged with reading, for whatever reason.
What do you think are the main challenges in this research field?
- The disconnect between University-led research and the priorities of parents, teachers and children/young people with specific learning difficulties.
- Communicating research to parents, teachers, children and young people to ensure it has a positive impact on their lives and learning.