Skip navigation

Dr Sean McCusker

Associate Professor

Department: Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Dr Sean McCusker has a background in Engineering with a Ph.D in Civil Engineering. However, since moving to Education, he has spent many years in educational research and development. He has worked on large scale Assessment projects, including the World Class Arena and World Class Tests and the KS3 ICT Tests. He has been applying creative ideas to adapt practices and techniques from a range of environments for use in education. He has led projects in Storytelling and ICT-enabled distance learning.  He has been involved in a number of European Projects, taking part in and leading the UK partnership in projects on; Girls and STEM, Girls and Technology, LEGO® Serious Play® and Seniors and Technology.

His research interests are centred on Understanding and Communication within broad educational contexts.  This covers many strands including; developing methods for representing large and complex data sets, understanding how data is interpreted and used, Assessment and Assessment for Learning and LEGO® Serious Play®.  His interests lie in the affordances of play and playfulness as a tool for thinking and exploration. Current work focuses on the potential of clowns and clowning methods witinin the educational context. He also has a parallel interest in the development of tools to enable the public understanding of quantitative data and is in the process of developing this through the use of innovative and interactive data display interfaces.  

Sean McCusker

Public Understanding of Evidence; Data Interfaces and Representation; Play and Playfulness; Clowns and Clowning; Lego Serious Play; International and Development Education.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Clowning and Creative Teaching: How to Be a Clown-Teacher, Mccusker, S. 29 Aug 2023, Pedagogy of the Clown, Cham, Switzerland, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Pedagogy of the Clown: Clowning Principles in Education, McCusker, S. 29 Aug 2023
  • Where Educators Can Benefit From the Wisdom of Clowns, McCusker, S. 16 Oct 2023, In: International Journal of Management and Applied Research
  • A comparative investigation of emerging adults’ moral thinking and communication competencies in Taiwan, the USA, and the UK, Lee, A., Walker, D., Chen, Y., Thoma, S., McCusker, S. 2 Oct 2022, In: Journal of Moral Education
  • Alias the Jester – What Can Clowns Tell Us about Teaching?, McCusker, S. 19 Feb 2021, Early Careers in Education, Bingley, Emerald
  • C.O.A.C.H: a cross-national study of coach training for teachers across 5 countries, McCusker, S., Welply, O. 2 Jan 2021, In: Coaching
  • Everybody’s monkey is important: LEGO® Serious Play® as a methodology for enabling equality of voice within diverse groups, McCusker, S. 14 Mar 2020, In: International Journal of Research and Method in Education
  • Evidence-based teaching: a simple view of “science”, Wrigley, T., McCusker, S. 2019, In: Educational Research and Evaluation
  • The Use of Metaphors With LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY ® For Harmony and Innovation, McCusker, S., Clifford Swan, J. 21 Dec 2018, In: International Journal of Management and Applied Research
  • Who needs examinations: a story of climbing ladders and dodging snakes, Mccusker, S. Jun 2017, In: Research in Mathematics Education

  • Vivien Perry An exploration of midwifery student’s opinions and experiences of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s expectations of professional good character whilst off duty. Start Date: 01/11/2016 End Date: 23/06/2023
  • Michael Cole An Exploration of the Long-Term Impacts of Short CPD Workshops Start Date: 09/01/2018 End Date: 07/03/2019
  • Emily Vince Inclusion in Early Years settings, what are the main factors affecting positive teacher attitudes? Start Date: 01/03/2021
  • Emily Vince Inclusion in Early Years settings, what are the main factors affecting positive teacher attitudes? Start Date: 01/03/2021 End Date: 07/08/2021
  • Richard Glancey Facilitating critical pedagogy via the use of a Student Law Think Tank: a qualitative evaluation Start Date: 02/05/2019 End Date: 08/07/2021
  • Stephen McStay A phenomenological study of student nurse experiences with smart phones in a learning environment Start Date: 01/10/2019
  • Sasha Ban All Our Children. The impact of a significant other, place or thing on young people’s development - toward a Young People Centred Framework. Start Date: 01/02/2016
  • John Weirs From student to young professional: Exploring the impact of work-based placements on the transformation of undergraduate construction students. Start Date: 20/07/2018 End Date: 19/11/2021
  • Hana Al Balushi Environmental Education in Oman: Exploring the Factors Determining Student’s Self-Reported Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours toward Environmental Issues. Start Date: 01/10/2016 End Date: 25/06/2020
  • Deborah Herridge 'Re-imagining primary science pedagogy: Beyond Shulman, the importance of fun in learning science.' Start Date: 05/02/2019
  • Fozah Alzemaia An Exploration of Inclusive Education in Elementary Mainstream Schools in Saudi Arabia Start Date: 13/10/2017 End Date: 24/10/2019
  • Sarah Fairbairn Start Date: 01/10/2019 End Date: 29/10/2019

  • Civil Engineering PhD June 30 1999
  • Fellow Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) 2015
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2010

a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

Roisin Currie
Jack Gooday with the Chief Constable of Humberside Police receivng an award.
Vera Selby MBE.
Image of earth in space. Shutterstock/ixpert
image of a mobile phone with the instagram app logo on the screen
More news

Back to top