Dr Nick Pratt

Dr Nick Pratt

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Education (IMP)

Plymouth Institute of Education - School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Senior Lecturer in Education with a specialism in mathematics education, doctoral supervision and social theory.


2004: PhD (University of Plymouth) – Thesis entitled 'Interactive teaching in the National Numeracy Strategy: tensions in a supportive framework' 
1989: PGCE (Primary Science; University of Exeter) 
1988: BA (Hons) Engineering Science (University of Oxford)

Professional membership

EdD Leaders National Network Professional Doctorates (SIG)
British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM)
Society of Research in Higher Education (SRHE)


Teaching interests

I work on the following programmes:
  • Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)
  • PhD
  • MA Education
  • BA Education


Research interests

Current projects include:
- Understanding 'mathematics mastery' and teacher assessment in primary schools.
- Exploring the development of professional knowledge through the doctoral programmes – see: www.srhe.ac.uk/downloads/reports-2016/Pratt-Shaughnessy-Research-Report.pdf
More generally my interest is in the ways in which accountability affects interactions and relationships between learners and educators and how this results in changes to the ways in which learning takes place.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Caroline McGrath (2018) as DoS: ‘Oral Story: A pedagogical tool encouraging children’s mathematical thinking.’
Clare Dowdall (2012): ‘Text Production in Bebo: a study of three children's text production in online social networking sites’.

Phil Brown (2019) as DoS: ‘Student voices and student choices: narrative accounts of differentiated higher education experiences of first in family HE students’
Sasha Pleasance (2018) as DoS: ‘Illusio in lesson observation: making policy work by playing the game.’
John Hilsdon (2018) as DoS: ‘The significance of the field of practice ‘Learning Development’ in UK higher education’.
Paul Hodson (2017): ‘From the Secret Garden to the Panopticon? Changing freedoms and the growing crisis in primary school headteacher recruitment.’
Helen Goodall (2014) as DoS: ‘Professional Development And Beyond: A Participative Study Of A Self-Facilitated Learning Group’.

Grants & contracts

External funding:
2017: ‘Supervision of professional doctoral students: investigating pedagogy for supporting critical voice and theorisation’: £10k funded by SRHE Research Award 2017-2018.
2005: ‘Developing a VLE to support ITT students’, £10,000 funded by TTA: Promoting E-Learning Communities In ITT & Inductionproject.
2004: Video Inspired Dialogue (VID): Distributing and exchanging knowledge across an e-learning community’,£25,000 funded by TTA: Supporting e-learning communities in ITTproject.
Internal funding:
2010: Learning as participation in the development and enactment of professional knowledge; £10k funded by Plymouth University, 2010–2012.


Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Pratt N & Alderton J (2023) 'The policy and practice of mathematics mastery: the effects of neoliberalism and neoconservatism on curriculum reform' The Curriculum Journal , DOI Open access
Pratt N & Alderton J (2022) 'Review of “A contemporary theory of mathematics education research”' Research in Mathematics Education 1-5 , DOI Open access
Pratt N & Shaughnessy J (2021) 'The effects of managerialism in higher education on doctoral theorising: time to think?' British Journal of Sociology of Education , DOI Open access
Alderton J & Pratt N (2021) 'Filling gaps: assessment software and the production of mathematics and its teaching and learning in primary schools' Critical Studies in Education , DOI Open access
Pratt N & Alderton J (2019) 'Producing assessment truths: a Foucauldian analysis of teachers’ reorganisation of levels in English primary schools' British Journal of Sociology of Education 581-597 Author Site , DOI Open access
Czerniawski G, Pratt N & Vigurs K (2017) 'Editorial: Professional doctorates in Education: Exploring the tensions and opportunities for those in leadership' Management in Education 31, (4) 151-152 , DOI Open access
Pratt NM (2016) 'Playing the levelling field: teachers’ management of assessment in English primary schools' Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice , DOI Open access
Pratt NM & Kelly P (2016) 'The cultural construction of subject discipline knowledge: comparing ‘abstraction’ in two international contexts' Research in Comparative and International Education , DOI Open access
Pratt N (2016) 'Neoliberalism and the (internal) marketisation of primary school assessment in England' British Educational Research Journal , DOI Open access
Pratt NM, Tedder M, Boyask R & Kelly P (2013) 'Pedagogic relations and professional change: a sociocultural analysis of students' learning in a professional doctorate' Studies in Higher Education 40, (1) 43-59 , DOI
Kelly P, Dorf H, Pratt N & Hohmann U (2013) 'Comparing teacher roles in Denmark and England' Compare 44, (4) 566-586 , DOI Open access
Pratt NM & Back J (2013) 'Using communities of practice as a tool to analyse developing identity in online discussion' Learning, Media and Technology 38, (3) 284-300 Publisher Site , DOI
Kelly P, Pratt N, Dorf H & Hohmann U (2013) 'Comparing Pedagogy in Mathematics in Denmark and England' European Educational Research Journal 12, (4) 553-567 , DOI
Dorf H, Kelly P, Pratt N & Hohmann U (2012) 'Varieties of teacher expertise in teaching. Danish language and literature in lower secondary schools' Nordic Studies in Education 32, (01) 17-34 , DOI
Kelly P, Hohmann U, Pratt N & Dorf H (2012) 'Teachers as mediators: an exploration of situated English teaching' British Education Research Journal 39, , DOI Open access
Dorf H, Kelly P, Pratt N & Hohmann U (2012) 'Varieties of teacher expertise in teaching Danish language and literature in lower secondary schools' Nordic Studies in Education 32, 17-34 Open access
Peacock A & Pratt N (2011) 'How young people respond to learning spaces outside school: A sociocultural perspective' Learning Environments Research 14, (1) 11-24 Author Site Publisher Site , DOI Open access
Pratt N (2009) 'Process skills and knowledge; what does it mean to learn science?' Primary Science (106) 27-29
Pratt N & Back J (2009) 'Spaces to discuss mathematics: communities of practice on an online discussion board' Research in Mathematics Education 11, (2) 115-130 Author Site , DOI
Pratt N (2008) 'Multi-point e-conferencing with Initial Teacher Training students in England: pitfalls and potential' 24, (6) 1476-1486
Pratt N & Woods P (2007) 'Changing PGCE students' mathematical understanding through a community of inquiry into problem solving' 9, 79-94
Pratt N & Kelly P (2007) 'Mapping mathematical communities: classrooms, research communities and masterclasses' 27, (2) 34-39
Pratt N (2006) 'Interactive teaching in numeracy lessons: what do children have to say?' 36, (2) 221-235 Author Site Publisher Site
Pratt N (2003) 'On Martyn Hammersley's critique of Bassey's concept of the fuzzy generalisation' OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION 29, (1) 27-32 , DOI
Pratt N (2002) 'Mathematics As Thinking' 181, 34-37
Pratt N (2006) Interactive Maths Teaching in the Primary School. London Sage Publications Ltd
Pratt N & Shaughnessy J (2022) 'Unpicking quality in doctoral work' in Saunders L; Trotman D The Professional Doctorate in Education Activism, Transformation and Practice Cambridge Scholars Publishing 130-145 Open access
Waite SJ & Pratt N (2015) 'Situated learning (Learning in Situ)' in Wright JD International Encyclopaedia for the Social and Behavioural Sciences Elsevier 5012-5032 Open access
Pratt N (2011) 'Mathematics outside the classroom' in Waite S Children learning outside the classroom. From birth to eleven London Sage Publications 80-93
Waite S & Pratt N (2011) 'Theoretical perspectives on learning outside the classroom: relationships between learning and place' in Waite S Children learning outside the classroom. From birth to eleven London Sage Publications 1-18
Donnelly R, McSweeney F & Pratt N (2009) 'Using Multipoint Audio-Conferencing with Teaching Students' Applied E-Learning and E-Teaching in Higher Education IGI Global 290-309 , DOI
Pratt N (2008) 'Using multipoint conferencing with teaching students: balancing technological potential with practical challenges' in Donnelly R; McSweeney F Applied eLearning and eTeaching in Higher Education New York Information Science Publishing
Pratt N & Berry J (2007) 'The joy of mathematics' in Hayes D Joyful teaching and learning in the primary school Exeter Learning Matters 97-105
Conference Papers
Pratt N & Alderton J (2017) 'It's different, it's difficult, it's unknown': Letting go of levels' 10th Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (CERME) 2-/-0/20172-/-0/20173580-3587 Open access
Pratt N (2015) 'Mathematics assessment, competition and professional capital' 3107-3114
Other Publications
Pratt N & Waite S Learning outside the classroom: birth to eleven. London Sage