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Dr Elaine Hall

Professor of Legal Education Research

Department: Northumbria Law School

Professor Elaine Hall joined Northumbria School of Law as a Reader in legal education research in October 2013. She was previously Lecturer in Research Methods at Newcastle University where she was a member of the Centre for Learning and Teaching.  Her research career has spanned twenty years and more than thirty funded projects.  This research has been directed towards the experience of teaching and learning from the early years to old age, as curriculum-specific, metacognitive and professional practices. The diversity of context has produced a unifying theory of pedagogic enquiry, which focuses on the intent of the researcher, the power of research and pedagogic tools and the critical engagement of research networks. 

Her doctorate Enacting Change in Classrooms focuses on the potential for professional learning for educators in all contexts through enquiry processes.  Elaine was also a UKCP registered psychotherapist with a private clinical, supervision and teaching practice in Newcastle.  She holds a Masters in Integrative Psychotherapy from the University of Wales.

Elaine leads the Legal Education and Professional Skills Signature Research Area.

 Elaine is an Editor of the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education (IJCLE) and organises its annual conference. She is a Board member of the Association of Law Teachers and the Law Teacher journal.

She is also an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Education Research; Guest Editor for the International Journal of Research Methods in Education; and a regular reviewer for journals including British Educational Research Journal, Educational Review, Teachers and Teaching, Teacher Development and the European Journal of Psychology of Education.

Elaine is co-convener of Network 15: Research Partnership in Education within the European Educational Research Association.  She acts as external examiner for the University of Glasgow Practitioner enquiry programme and the Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Sciences at Queen Margaret University as well as conducting doctoral examinations at Glasgow, Durham, Sheffield and Middlesex.

Campus Address

CCE1 - 107

0191 227 3153


University of Newcastle

PhD ‘Enacting Change in Classrooms’ (2011)

University of Wales

MSc Int. Psychotherapy (2011)

Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln (University of Hull)

Post-Graduate Certificate of Education: Specialising in primary (1992)

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

BA (Hons) History (1990)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

At the heart of my academic and professional work is a reflexive exploration of pedagogy and learning.  The most powerful outcomes of my empirical work have been developing and refining the processes of practitioner enquiry.  Traditional research approaches have privileged the perspectives of outsiders observing and commenting on practitioners and their success as measured against external criteria or the degree of fit between observed practice and theorised ideal practice.  In practitioner enquiry, those most intimately concerned with the learning set the research agenda, decide the direction of the enquiry and are responsible for assessing the warrant of the findings.  Practitioner enquiry engages in debate with traditional research and applies many of its’ approaches in order to ensure that the work is rigorous but because of the grounding in practice contexts, it is able to move beyond merely deductive testing of established theory to a more dialogic and inductive engagement with the nature of the questions to be asked.  It is possible to transfer pedagogical enquiry practice across disciplines: lawyers, speech and language therapists, dentists, community workers, teachers from nurseries and playgroups, primary, secondary and special schools, Further and Higher Education settings have all used enquiry techniques to explore the learning and relationships in their context and crystallise their understanding of where they can enact change or cement existing good practice.  The Legal Education and Professional Skills Signature Research Area explores a number of key questions about the range of experiences open to Northumbria Law students:

  • how the ideals and aspirations of the Law School are expressed through curriculum and pedagogy;
  • the role of experiential learning and clinic in the development of legal professionals;
  • whether particular forms of pedagogy and learning environments create different interactional possibilities and more ecologically sensitive learning outcomes;
  • how the complex interplay between assessment, professional standards and experiential learning relates to the development of professionals and citizens ,
  • how formal and informal learning opportunities at Northumbria prepare students for lifelong learning and engagement.

Current/Recent Projects

Contributing to the Higher Education Academy funded research project looking at Reward and Recognition for teaching in Higher Education, an international benchmarking collaboration between England and Australia.

Design of and contributions to the EQUATE programme, a pedagogy research development programme for lecturers across Newcastle University.

Leadership of the Cambridge Primary Review network in the North East region.

Running the annual ESRC Visual Research Methods Workshop as part of the North East Doctoral Training Centre, contributing  a workshop on visual methods to the ESRC NRCM Research Methods Festival

Key Publications

Wall, K., Arnott, L, Cassidy, C., Beaton, M., Christensen, P., Dockett, S., Hall, E., I’Anson, J., Kanyal, M., McKernan, G., Pramling, I. and Robinson, C. (2017) Look Who’s Talking: Eliciting the voices of children from birth to seven International Journal of Student Voice 2(1).

Wall, K and Hall, E (2017) The Teacher in Teacher-Practitioner Research: three principles of enquiry in Boyd. P and Splitz, A. (Eds.) Student Teachers Learning Through Inquiry: International Perspectives Kielce, Poland: Jan Kochanowski University Press

Hall, E. (2017) Notes on the SRA report of the consultation on the SQE: Comment is free, but facts are sacred The Law Teacher, 41, 1

Wall, K and Hall, E. (2016) Teachers as metacognitive role models. European Journal of Teacher Education 39, 4, 403-18 

Hall, E. (2016) The tenacity of learning styles: a response to Lodge, Hansen and Cottrell Learning: Research and Practice DOI:10.1080/23735082.2016.1139856

Hall, E and Wall, K (2016) The Abductive Leap: eliding visual and participatory in research design in Pini, B and Moss, J (Eds.) Visual Educational Research: Critical Perspectives  London: Palgrave ISBN 978-1-137-44734-0

Lofthouse, R and Hall, E. (2014) Developing practices in teachers’ professional dialogue in England; using Coaching Dimensions as an epistemic tool. Professional Development in Education. 40, 5, 758-78, DOI: 10.1080/19415257.2014.886283

Wall, K., Higgins, S., Hall, E. and Woolner, P. (2013) ‘That's not quite the way we see it’: the epistemological challenge of visual data. International Journal of Research and Methods in Education, 36, 1, 3-22.

*Baumfield, V., Hall, E. and Wall, K. (2013) Action Research in Education: Learning Through Practitioner Enquiry. London: SAGE.

PGR Supervision

Recent doctoral candidates completed

  • Tribe Mkwebu (2017) Clinical Pedagogy: A systematic review of factors influential in the establishment and sustainability of clinical programmes  and  a grounded theory explication of a clinical legal education case in Zimbabwe
  • Richard Grimes (2017) Learning through experience: developing clinical models for legal education 

Ongoing doctoral supervision

  • Rachel Dunn (F/T PhD) Skills development in clinical legal education: conceptual and contextual issues in Europe
  • Paul McKeown (by publication – internal) Values and ethics in clinical legal education
  • Carol Boothby (P/T DLaw) Complexities of clinical supervision: reflective analysis of curriculum, management and relationships
  • Christopher Simmonds (P/T DLaw) Unmet need? Clinic, sustainability and social justice
  • Tamsin Nelson (P/T DLaw) Using standardised client to teach interviewing skills to law students: the students’ experience
  • Sarah Morse (P/T DLaw) Are the theoretical aims and objectives of Street Law, as a form of Public Legal Education, achieved for the stakeholders involved?
  • James Gray (P/T DLaw) A phenomenological exploration of the law teacher.
  • Andrew Watson (P/T DLaw) Privacy and Data Protection: factors impacting the enforcement of data protection rights in the UK


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