School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr James Stanfield




Together with Professor James Tooley and Professor Pauline Dixon, I helped to set up the E.G. West Centre in 2002, a research centre dedicated to generating knowledge and understanding about how markets and self organising systems work in education and which institutions and regulatory frameworks best allow education to flourish.  My PhD research focused on the growth of private schools for the poor in Kenya and how this development relates to the United Nations concept of the right to education.   More recently, I have helped to set up SOLE Central and I'm now working with Professor Sugata Mitra and colleagues across ECLS and Open Lab on numerous research projects relating to Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLE).  My research interests include:

  • the potential of self organising systems and emergent behaviour in education
  • next generation assessments and qualifications
  • educational freedom and the right of parents to choose
  • the history of education prior to state intervention
  • all forms of technology enhanced learning

Together with Dixon, Tooley and Mitra I have taught on the MA International Development and Education for several years and I'm also the Technology and Development pathway leader on the MA Education: International Perspectives.  In 2015 I launched a new module titled Foundations in Technology Enhanced Learning and I'm currently working with colleagues in Open Lab to develop a more open and connected version of EDU8213 - The Future of Learning.  In 2015 I also played a leading role in the development and launch of the the new BA (Hons) Education and Im currently responsible for the development and delivery of six modules across all three stages.  

Since 2015 I have also been the lead education consultant on the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) - a £30 million competitive challenge fund in Tanzania which provides grants to organisations driving innovative approaches which aim to improve the quality, value-for-money, and sustainability of basic services in education, health and water, sanitation and hygiene.

I am also currently the Chairman for the University Learning Analytics Task and Finish Group which will be proposing an ethical policy supporting the use of learning analytics at Newcastle University and also the potential uses of learning analytics with costings and potential benefits.


James is currently supervising several Masters and PhD students.



Module leader: EDU1002 - International Development

Module leader: EDU1006 - Education in Developing Countries

Module leader: EDU2002 - Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Education

Module leader: EDU2004 - Technology and the Future of Learning



Module leader: EDU8211 - Education Policy and Entrepreneurship for Development

Module leader: EDU8225 - Foundations of Technology Enhanced Learning

Module leader: EDU8226 - Developing Research-Informed Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning