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Pamela Graham

Principal Lecturer/Teaching Fellow

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

I am a Deputy Head in the Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing. I am a SFHEA who is particularly interested in students’ learning journeys. My teaching spans undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. My core subjects are interprofessional leadership, child and family practice, child and adolescent development and the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. 

My work in HE has involved workforce development with partner employers on the design, development, leadership, delivery and quality assurance of undergraduate and post graduate programmes and initiatives for children, families and communities. I have represented Northumbria University as a school governor, a member of various local authority and voluntary sector workforce development committees, an external examiner and an external panel member for approval processes at other HE institutions.  

Pamela Graham

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My main areas of interest are interprofessional and interdisciplinary provision for children, young people, parents and families. My work is supported by my commitment to the core conditions of person-centred and relational practice.

Although my expertise is more in teaching and learning than in research, I see both as equally important and entirely interrelated. The research and evaluation work I have done has the same underlying aims as my practice and teaching: to improve the life chances and wellbeing of children and young people, particularly those who are in situations where disadvantage and discrimination are common experiences and where they have little power over their circumstances.

Over recent years, while volunteering in a riding school, I have paid close attention to the powerful positive effect that interactions with horses can have on young people for whom life may have been chaotic and not provided them with experience of relationships characterised by respect, trust and problem solving. This has caused me to reflect on the concepts of active learning and intrinsic motivation, both of which have been core elements of my practice and teaching for many years. My professional experience had already made me very aware that authentic interactions and relationships are essential components of practice in the ‘scaffolding’ (Bruner, 1996) of children and young people’s learning, development and wellbeing. As a result of this line of thinking, my doctoral research develops the argument for the place of horses as authentic and therapeutic partners in relational work with young people with low self-esteem.  

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Bearing Witness to the Beauty of Enactive Kinesthetic Empathy across Species in Canine-Human and Equine-Human Interactions: Participant-Observation Ethnographies, Carlyle, D., Graham, P. 2020, In: People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice
  • Horses as therapeutic partners., Graham, P. 9 Sep 2019, Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference 2019
  • Impact Evaluation of Attachment Strategy Training. A case study of understanding attachment as a whole systems approach., Graham, P., Robson, I., Cookson, L. 2016
  • Books, Reports and Media Reviews Child and family practice: a relational perspective by Shelley Cohen Konrad, Graham, P. Mar 2014, In: Journal of Interprofessional Care
  • Horses as co-therapists, Graham, P. 2014, Association for Psychosocial Studies Conference
  • Access to additional services for marginalized children (8-12): Establishing informed consent, Graham, P., Hemmings, P. 30 Mar 2012, Association for Childhood International Global Summit on Childhood Conference
  • It’s a Team Game: Parents as co-researchers in a social impact study, McKenna, L., Graham, P. Sep 2012, British Education Research Association (BERA) Conference
  • An Evaluation of Integrated Services for Young People, Graham, P., Benton, P., Rice, G., Hemmings, P. 2010
  • Interprofessional working and the children's workforce, Graham, P., Machin, A. 2009, Making sense of Every Child Matters: multi-professional practice guidelines, Bristol, Policy Press
  • Partnership between Parents and Professionals, Graham, P. 2007, Supporting Children and Families: Lessons from Sure Start for Evidence-Based Practice in Health, Social Care and Education, Jessica Kingsley Publishers


  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Learning and Teaching PGCert September 01 2002
  • Social Work MA September 01 1994

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