School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr James Stanfield



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James is a Lecturer in Education and his research interests include complexity theory and self organising systems in education and the potential of digital innovations to help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals in education.  His current research is looking into a) the impact of introducing SOLE’s in schools and day care centres in Moldova, Ukraine and Romania and b) the sustainability of edtech innovations in Tanzania. 

James is the Module Leader for ‘EDU8213 - The Future of Learning’ and EDU8228 'Investigating Technology Enhanced Learning' and is the pathway leader for the MA Education: International Perspectives (Technology in Education).   In 2015 James also played a leading role in the development and launch of the new BA (Hons) Education.

From 2015 - 2018 James was also the lead education consultant on the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) - a DfID £40 million challenge fund in Tanzania, where he has led on identifying lessons and the development of case studies relating to the Principles for Digital Development.  Download the report Digital Innovation for Social Change: Principles into Practice (2018) and related case studies. This consultancy work has also led to additional research funding. 

James was Chair of the University Task and Finish Group on Learning Analytics from 2017-2018 and he is also a member of the steering group for NUTELA - Newcastle University Advocates for Technology Enhanced Learning and the Technology Enhanced Learning Sub-Committee of the Faculty Education Committee.


Each year James is the dissertation supervisor for several MA students on the MA International Development in Education and the MA Education: International Perspectives.  

James is also currently helping to supervise the following PhD students:

  • Yang Du - Language Policy in SOLE: How Chinese Students Co-construct Language Policy while Learning English in SOLE 
  • Fatma Otain - Future of Learning: A Case Study of the Implementation of SOLE in a Saudi Primary School
  • Sally Rix - How do English Secondary schools appropriate SOLE? 
  • Leonidia Lymperi - Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLE) and EFL proficiency attainment in primary schools operating in remote areas of Greece.
  • Gopalkrishnan Iyer -  The effectiveness of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in Delphi India
  • Lia Cacheiro Quintas - factors Influencing Student Persistence, Continuity or Dropout of Non-Traditional Adult Workers in Online Non-Regulated English Courses in Spain.
  • Eddy Bannerman-wood - Stakeholders’ perceptions of the work of the nonacademic middle manager in two universities in Ghana.
  • Malik Hamed Saif Al Zakwani - Developing Proficiency in the Context of English as a Foreign language Learning in a Foreign Language Centre in Oman: An Action Research of the Application of a SOLE Pedagogy.
  • Shatha Mohammed M Almalki - A narrative study to explore Saudi pre-service school teachers experiences of using electronic reflective journals during their field experience.
  • Mohammed Alwagdani - Investigating the Impact of Flipped Learning on Students Engagement and Achievement in a Saudi High School


I am currently the Primary Investigator on the following funded research project:

Using SOLE Across Boundaries in Romania, Ukraine and Moldova, CARITAS 2017-2019 (£90,000)

SOLE is being introduced in a number of schools and day care centers in Ukraine, Romania and Moldova and we are evaluating the impact on children, teachers and families as well as the relationships between these groups.  We are looking for evidence that children are developing learning habits which enable them to Dream Achieve, Realise and Express and how these might empower children to develop their 'voice'.  Over 1,000 students are taking part in this 2 year study.

Professional activities

  • Investigating Student Collaboration within Self Organised Learning Environments, a paper presented at International Conference on Modern Research in Education, Training and Learning - 5-7 June 2019.


  • Module leader: EDU8213 - The Future of Learning
  • Module leader: EDU8228 - Investigating Technology Enhanced Learning