Dr Laura Mazzoli Smith
Research Excellence Academy Fellow
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 0191 208 6380
- Address: The Research Centre for Learning and Teaching,
School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences,
Room 2.52, King George VI Building
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
My initial degree was in Anthropology at University College London. I then completed a Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and taught EFL in the UK and South East Asia. On returning to the UK I completed a Master’s Degree in Gender, Literature and Modernity at the University of Warwick, where I subsequently worked in university management. I was seconded to the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) as a Project Manager, developing out-of-school extension and enrichment provision for students labelled as gifted and talented under the national strategy. I then moved to NAGTY’s Research Centre as a Research Fellow.
My PhD (2010), funded by a University of Warwick Postgraduate Scholarship, drew on narrative methods to consider lived experiences of ‘giftedness’ in the context of policy espousing both equity and excellence. In conjunction with Professor Jim Campbell I have published a book based on my thesis entitled Families, Education and Giftedness: Case studies in the construction of high achievement (Sense, 2012).
I have been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Warwick's Institute of Education and Honorary Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education, University of Cumbria. I have also worked as an education consultant for organisations including Nord Anglia Education Ltd., Rural Learning, The Big Sofa, Oxford Learning Partnership and the Gifted Students Academy.
- Scientific Committee, Life History and Biography Network, European Society for Research on the Education of Adults
- British Educational Research Association
- Society for Educational Studies
- Core Member, Research Centre for Learning and Teaching, Newcastle University
My research lies within what can be broadly thought of as the sociology of education. I am interested in better understanding the relationship of out-of-school processes to academic achievement, particularly in relation to the contradiction which lies at the heart of an ostensibly meritocratic system that disproportionately and consistently rewards the most privileged groups of learners. I have an on-going interest in conceptions of ability and how academic development is best fostered if we take seriously the implications of understanding giftedness as a socially constructed concept. Linked to this is an interest in a range of contested areas broadly thought of as connected to academic identity, including research on aspirations, social class and social mobility in particular.
I am interested in innovative qualitative methodologies, particularly the use of narrative and biographical methods, to explore processes underpinning the formation of academic identity and I have devised a narrative method for working with family groups (see Mazzoli Smith, 2014: Sage).
Recent research with care-experienced students and on poverty and schooling are discussed in these short videos for practitioners and teachers in training:
looked after children and their education https://youtu.be/CARTRpV8LbQ
childhood poverty and schooling https://youtu.be/qyzCiD3YIjo
2016 - 2017 ESRC Impact Accelerator Account: Changing Stories - narrative and relational agency in widening participation (PI)
2016 Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal: Changing Stories scoping and pilot (PI)
2016 Nuffield Foundation: Out of School Activities and the Education Gap
2016 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Early Career Fund: Systematic review of interventions that have been successful with disadvantaged able/gifted learners (PI)
2015 - 2016 Children North-East: Evaluation of the Poverty Proofing Initiative
2015 Gateshead Council: Evaluation of the Multi Agency Safe-guarding Hub (MASH)
2014 - 2015,Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Early Career Fund: Investigating whether and how Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) enable pupils to perform outside of normal academic roles and identities (PI)
2013 - 2014 Catherine Cookson Foundation: Supporting the Progression of Looked After Young People to University: Evaluating the work of the North-East Raising Aspirations Partnership in the context of analysing differing pathways to university progression for looked after young people (PI)
2013 Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal: Fairness in Education (PI)
EDU8207 Thinking Critically about Research Methodology (module leader)
EDU8095 Research Strategies and Methods
HSS8004 Qualitative Methodology in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
HASS PGT Skills Enhancement Programme
Individual supervision of Masters level student dissertations
I am currently supervising the following doctoral students:
- Helen Woodley (EdD)
- Andrew Ashley (PhD)
- Shirley (Mei Ling) Chan (EdD)
- Norah Alqarni (PhD)
- Helen Allis (EdD)
- Elizabeth Trattles (EdD)
- Mazzoli Smith L, Todd L, Laing K. Students' views on fairness in education: the importance of relational justice and stakes fairness. Research Papers in Education 2017, Epub ahead of print.
- Mazzoli Smith L, Laing K. Creating a transformational space through narrative: Looked after young people tell their life stories. In: Formenti, L; West, L, ed. Stories that Make a Difference: Exploring the collective, social and political potential of narratives in adult education research. Milan: Pensa Multimedia, 2016, pp.247-255.
- Laing K, Mazzoli Smith L, Todd L. Educating urban youth: fair or foul?. In: Davoudi,S; Bell,D, ed. Justice and Fairness in the City: A multi-disciplinary approach to 'ordinary' cities. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2016, pp.231-248.
- Mazzoli-Smith L, Todd L. Poverty Proofing the School Day: Evaluation and development report. Newcastle upon Tyne: Research Centre for Learning and Teaching, Newcastle University, 2016.
- Mazzoli Smith L, Laing K. Choices Together: Evaluation of the Raising Aspirations Partnership. Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle University, 2015.
- Laing K, Mazzoli Smith L, Todd L. Evaluation of Gateshead MASH: Final report. Newcastle University: Research Centre for Learning and Teaching, 2015.
- Mazzoli Smith L, Campbell RJ. So-called Giftedness and Teacher Education: Issues of Equity and Inclusion. Teachers and Teaching 2015, 22(2).
- Campbell RJ, Mazzoli Smith L. Young, Gifted and Working-Class: Issues arising from Case Studies of Families with Gifted Children. International Journal for Talent Development and Creativity 2015, 3(1), 131-144.
- Mazzoli Smith L. Extending sociological theorising on high ability: the significance of values and lived experience. International Studies in the Sociology of Education 2014, 24(4), 354-371.
- Mazzoli Smith L. Family Beliefs and Practices around Academic Ability and Social Mobility; narratives of contradiction, continuity, and resistance. In: Reid,H;West,L, ed. Constructing narratives of continuity and change : a transdisciplinary approach to researching lives. London: Routledge, 2014, pp.105-116.
- Mazzoli Smith L. Giftedness and globalisation: the challenge of cultural diversity for gifted education programmes in a neoliberal educational marketplace. Gifted Education International 2014, 30(3), 197-211.
- Mazzoli Smith L. Innovative narrative life history interviews: the construction of academic giftedness in family context. United Kingdom: Sage, 2014. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/978144627305013500201.
- Dolan P, Leat D, Mazzoli Smith L, Mitra S, Todd L, Wall K. Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLEs) in an English School: an example of transformative pedagogy?. Online Educational Research Journal 2013, 1-19.
- Campbell RJ, Mazzoli Smith L. De-mystifying Giftedness: an overdue perspective. Gifted and Talented International 2012, 27(2), 27-31.
- Mazzoli Smith L, Campbell JR. Families, Education and Giftedness: Case Studies in the Construction of High Achievement. London and New York: Sense Publishers, 2012.
- Mazzoli Smith L. Gifted Students Academy Extended Support Programme: Ecclesfield School Evaluation Report. London: Gifted Students Academy, 2012.
- Mazzoli Smith L. Gifted Students Academy Extended Support Programme: Radclyffe School Evaluation Report. London: Gifted Students Academy, 2012.
- Mazzoli Smith L, Campbell JR. The Recognition of Cultural Bias in Researching those Labelled Gifted: an overdue perspective. Gifted and Talented International 2012, 27(1), 55-62.
- Mazzoli Smith L, Eyre D. Survey of Overseas Gifted Education Centres (Identification and Programmes). Oxford: Nord Anglia Education Ltd, 2011.
- Campbell RJ, Robinson W, Neelands J, Hewston R, Mazzoli L. Personalised Learning: Ambiguities in Theory and Practice. British Journal of Educational Studies 2007, 55(2), 135-154.
- Muijs RD, Mazzoli L, Hewston R, Campbell RJ. The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth: Second Annual Post-18 Survey of Students. University of Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, 2007. Occasional Paper 20.
- Robinson W, Campbell RJ, Mazzoli L. Developing Expertise: School-based Case Studies. University of Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, 2006. Occasional Paper 12.
- Campbell RJ, Muijs RD, Mazzoli L, Hewston R, Neelands J, Robinson W, Eyre D. Engagement with School, Identity and Self-esteem: Some Characteristics of Gifted and Talented Students in England. . University of Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, 2006. Occasional Paper 11.
- Mazzoli L, Campbell RJ, Hewston R. The Second Annual Survey of the Workloads and Support Needs of Gifted and Talented Coordinators in Secondary Schools in England. University of Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, 2006. Occasional Paper 15.
- Mazzoli L, Campbell RJ, Muijs RD. What’s so Different about Gifted and Talented Students? Gifted and Talented Students and Psychosocial Adjustment. University of Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, 2006. Occasional Paper 14.
- Mazzoli L. Ethical Procedures for Research with Children: A Position Paper . University of Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, 2005.
- Mazzoli L, Campbell RJ, Eyre D, Muijs RD, Neelands J, Robinson W. The First Annual Survey of NAGTY Students. University of Warwick: National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, 2005. Occasional Paper 7.