Here you can find out about current GEReCo members.

Simon Catling

Simon is emeritus professor of primary education in the School of Education, Oxford Brookes University, from which he retired fully in 2014. He was Associate dean of Education and tutor in primary geography education for undergraduate and post-graduate ITE courses, and worked with Masters and Doctoral students. A Past-President of the Geographical Association (1992-3) he has been involved in primary education having held posts a class teacher and deputy headteacher in three primary schools in inner London. He has published widely about primary geography in professional and research journals, as well as books for primary children and for teachers and teacher educators, since the later 1970s, and given many papers at national and international conferences since the early 1990s. His interests include primary geography textbooks and general books on geography for young children, curriculum development and change, children’s geographies and current geographical issues for primary children.

Professor Simon Catling

School of Education, Oxford Brookes University

Current research and projects
The GA’s Primary Geography Quality Mark

Recent publications

Catling, S (2021, in press) Reflecting on knowledge and primary geography, in M Fargher, D Mitchell and E Till (Eds) Recontextualising Geography Education. Springer.

Catling, S and Owen, C (2021) Societal issues as a context for learning: ‘Climate Emergency’, in T Higginbottom and M Lu  (Eds) Creating Inspirational Schools: Reflection, collaboration and leadership. Leek: Lifeworlds Learning, pp.230-299.

Catling, S (2020) Reflecting on the Purpose of Mapwork in Primary Schooling, International Journal of Cartography, 6(3), 27-283.


Matt Finn

Matt is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the Geography department at the University of Exeter. He explores changes in the contemporary conditions of education and works to understand how childhood and young people’s lives vary globally. He brings this to his scholarship of geographical learning and education which is informed by a participatory action research ethos. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and the Higher Education Academy, he is the Education Officer for the RGS-IBG Geographies of Children, Youth & Families Research Group and a member of the RGS-IBG Geography and Education Research Group committee. He is a member of the editorial collective of the Geographical Association journal Geography.

Recent publications

Finn, M. (2022) Reading for a degree: transitions to higher education, Teaching Geography, 47 (1): 36-39

Finn, M. (2021). Questioning recontextualisation: considering recontextualisation’s geographies. In D. Mitchell, M. Fargher (Eds.) Recontextualising Geography in Education, Springer Nature.

Finn, M., Hammond, L., Healy, G., Todd, J.D., Marvell, A., McKendrick, J.H., Yorke, L. (2021). Looking ahead to the future of GeogEd: creating spaces of exchange between communities of practice. Area, 00, 1-11

Lauren Hammond

Lauren Hammond is Lecturer in Geography Education at UCL Institute of Education, where she co-leads the secondary geography PGCE, convenes an undergraduate module for students in UCL’s geography department ‘geography education’, and supervises students at Masters and Doctoral level. Lauren is committed to researching with, and for, young people and her research straddles the fields of children’s geographies, children’s rights, geography and education. Lauren is SFHEA (Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy) and FRGS (Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society). Lauren serves as Deputy Secretary to the RGSs Geography and Education research group and is a member of the Children, Youth and Families research group. Prior to working in academia, Lauren was a secondary school geography teacher in the UK and Singapore.

Recent publications

Healy, G., Hammond, L. Puttick, S. and Walshe, N. (Eds.). (2022) Mentoring Geography Teachers in the Secondary School. Abingdon: Routledge.

Hammond, L. (2021) Recognising and Exploring Children’s Geographies in School Geography, Children’s Geographies, https://doi:10.1080/14733285.2021.1913482

Hammond, L. (2021) London, Race and Territories: Young People’s Stories of a Divided City, London Review of Education, 19(1), 1–14.

Grace Healy

Grace Healy is the Curriculum Director at David Ross Education Trust. Grace leads the Trust’s curriculum and teacher development work and a curriculum team of Trust-wide subject leads. As part of this role, she works closely with Principals to sustain a model for continuously renewing all aspects of curriculum intent, to build capacity in senior curriculum leadership, and to ensure a culture of subject-sensitivity and disciplinary rigour pervades all work on teacher development. She is also the Director of a newly designated Teaching School Hub. She has previously led the geography subject community across a multi-academy trust of 13 primary and secondary schools and contributed to the leadership of a SCITT. She is currently undertaking a PhD at UCL Institute of Education. Grace chairs the Teacher Education Phase Committee of the Geographical Association and has been elected on to the Council of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) as Honorary Secretary (Education). She is Treasurer for GEReCo and the RGS’s Geography and Education Research Group. She also serves on British Educational Research Association’s (BERA) Publication Committee and on the editorial boards of The Curriculum Journal and the London Review of Education. Her principal research interests are in curriculum theory, senior curriculum leadership, the subject-specific mentoring and professional development of teachers, geography teachers’ curricular theorising, and knowledge-exchange across schools and universities in the domains of both geography and education.

Recent publications

Healy, G., Hammond, L. Puttick, S. and Walshe, N. (Eds.). (2022) Mentoring Geography Teachers in the Secondary School. Abingdon: Routledge.

Healy, G. (2021) A call to view disciplinary knowledge through the lens of geography teachers’ professional practice. In M. Fargher, D. Mitchell and E. Till. (Eds.). Recontextualising Geography in Education. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Walshe, N. and Healy, G. (Eds.). (2021) Geography Education in the Digital World: Linking Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.

Rebecca Kitchen

Becky is the CPD, Curriculum and Marketing manager at the Geographical Association, a Senior Leadership Team role with responsibility for professional development innovation and activity.  She has extensive experience working with external partners including Learn Sheffield, Shropshire Local Authority, United Learning MAT and the Croatian government, to support and develop teacher networks both in the UK and internationally.  She is a Chartered Geographer and lead assessor for the GA Professional Award which requires teachers to engage in deep and critical reflection about the professional development that they undertake and the impact that this has on their teaching in geography.  Her research interests focus on student perceptions and representations of geographical knowledge and geography teacher professional development.

Recent publications

Kitchen, R. and Kinder, A. (forthcoming) The professional development of teachers of geography in England, in Artvinli, E., Gryl, I., Lee, J. and Mitchell, J. (eds.) Geography teacher education and professionalization, New York: Springer.

Kitchen, R. (2021) Using mobile virtual reality to enhance fieldwork experiences in school geography, in Walsh, N. and Healy, G. (eds.) Geography Education in the Digital World, Abingdon: Oxford.

Hopkin, J. and Kitchen, R. (2018) Geography, global citizenship and Global Learning in the UK, in Demirci, A., de Miguel González, R. and Bednarz, S. (eds.) Geography Education for Global Understanding, New York: Springer.

David Lambert

David is Emeritus Professor of Geography Education at UCL Institute of Education, London. He graduated from the University of Newcastle, completing a PGCE at the University of Cambridge and a PhD at the University of London. He was a secondary school teacher for twelve years, becoming deputy principal of a comprehensive school. He wrote award winning school textbooks and became a teacher-educator from 1986, since when he has published widely on the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment of geography in education. He was Chief Executive of the Geographical Association from 2002-2012, being appointed Professor of Geography Education in 2007, before retiring in 2018.

Biddulph M., Lambert D. and Balderstone, D. (2020) Learning to Teach Geography, 4th Edn, London: Routledge

Lambert, D. (2019) Editorial: On the knotty question of ‘recontextualising’ geography. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 28, 4, 257-261

Guile, D., Lambert, D. and Reiss, M. (eds) (2018) Sociology, Curriculum Studies and Professional Knowledge: new perspectives on the work of Michael Young. Abingdon: Routledge.

Emeritus Professor David Lambert

Academic profile

David Mitchell

David currently co-leads a Geography initial teacher education programme at UCL Institute of Education. He taught and led geography in a range of state schools in England before moving into teacher education and research. He has close ties to the Geographical Association, having worked with teachers in a number of curriculum development projects. David’s research interests are in the teacher’s role and agency in the geography curriculum, in particular in relation to education for sustainability. David is PI of the EU funded ‘GeoCapabilties 3’ project, completing in September 2021 and he is active in an international community of Geography Educators. He has published papers in a number of peer reviewed journals and is the author of ‘Hyper-Socialised’ a book exploring the potential of teachers as autonomous ‘curriculum makers’ in late capitalism.

Recent publications

Mitchell, D. (2022) ‘GeoCapabilities 3: Knowledge and Values in Education for the Anthropocene’, International Journal of Geography and Environmental Education.

Mitchell, D. and Stones, S. (2022) ‘Disciplinary knowledge for what ends? The values dimension in curriculum research in the Anthropocene era’. London Review of Education.

Beneker, T. and Mitchell, D. (2022) ‘Teaching migration with a geographic capabilities approach – expanding children’s concept of ‘home’’, in Biddulph, Hammond and McKendrick (eds) Children, Education, and Geography: Rethinking Intersections. Abingdon: Routledge.

Steve Puttick

Steve is Associate Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of St Anne’s College. He is a curriculum tutor for the Geography PGCE and MSc Learning and Teaching. He is a qualified geography teacher and was previously the head of department at a comprehensive secondary school in Oxfordshire. Steve serves on the editorial collective of the journal Geography, and is Chair of GEReCo. His research focuses on the intersection between the academic discipline and school subject of geography. This work includes attention to the journeys through which information travels into classrooms, beginning teachers’ experiences of school subject departments, and the role of written lesson observation feedback in constructing ‘good teaching’. Collaborations with colleagues in the School of Geography and the Environment are seeking to contribute to anti-racist curriculum futures, including in the school subject, and in postgraduate teaching through the Oxford-UNISA course ‘Decolonising Research Methods’.

Recent publications

Puttick, S. and Cullinane, A. (2021) Towards the Nature of Geography for geography education: an exploratory account, learning from work on the Nature of Science, Journal of Geography in Higher Education,

Puttick, S. and Wynn, J. (2021) Constructing ‘good teaching’ through written lesson observation feedback, Oxford Review of Education, 47(2), pp.152-169.

Puttick, S. and Murrey, A. (2020) Confronting the deafening silence on race in geography education in England: learning from Anti-Racist, Decolonial and Black Geographies, Geography, 105(3), 126-134.

Susan Pike

Susan is Assistant Professor in Geography Education at the Institute of Education, Dublin City University. Susan teaches Geography Education on the Bachelor of Education and Professional Masters in Education Programmes, as well as Outdoor Education on the Bachelor of Early Childhood Education. She also contributes to Masters programmes in Poverty and Exclusion, Geography Education and Climate Change. Her research focuses on a range of issues relating to learning, agency, community and curriculum for both teachers, student teachers, children and young people. She has a particular interest in children and young people’s geographies and geographical learning. Susan is currently President of the Geographical Association, and recently hosted the 2021 Compassionate Geographies Annual Conference.

Recent publications

Pike, S. (2021) ‘One of my favourite parts of college: Local Experiential Fieldwork in Initial Teacher Education’ In: Wessell, J (eds). Experiential Learning in Geography: Experience, Evaluation, and Encounters. Springer.

Greenwood, R., Austin, S., Bacon, K. and Pike, S. (2021) ‘Enquiry-Based Learning in the Primary Classroom: Student teachers’ perceptions’. Education 3-13, 49 (1).

Pike, S. (2020) ‘Geography for Social and Environmental Justice’ In: Kavanagh, AM., Waldron, F. and Mallon, B (eds). Teaching for Social Justice and Sustainable Development Across the Primary Curriculum. Dublin: Routledge. Abingdon: Routledge.

Emma Rawlings Smith

Emma is Lecturer in Education and Postgraduate Research (PGR) Lead at the School of Educational Sciences, Bangor University, where she focuses on research in teacher education. Emma previously lectured at the University of Leicester in the role of PGCE Geography Lead and SCITT Academic Lead. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS with IBG), Chartered Geographer (& Assessor thereof), Consultant to the Geographical Association, NASBTT Geography Network Lead and member of the GA Teacher Education Phase Committee. Emma joined the Teaching Geography Editorial Board in 2019 and was Guest Editor for Summer 2021. Her research focuses on mentoring, reflective practice, teacher education, the representation of people, curriculum change and place pedagogies, and she is an advocate of practitioner enquiry, action research and lesson study.

Recent publications

Rawlings Smith, E. (2022) Mentoring meetings and conversations supporting beginning teachers in their development as geography teachers, in Healy, G., Hammond, L., Puttick, S. and Walshe, N. Mentoring Geography Teachers in the Secondary School: A Practical Guide. Abingdon: Routledge.

Oakes, S. and Rawlings Smith, E. (2022) What constitutes a good A-level geography education? Teaching Geography, 47(1), 32-35.

Rawlings Smith, E. and Kinder, A. (2022) The professional needs and views of teachers of geography: A national research report by the Geographical Association. Sheffield: Geographical Association. ISBN 978-1-84377-538-6.

Nicola Walshe

Nicola is Head of Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education, a role which gives me oversight of the strategic and operational development of education, research and knowledge exchange across the Department and its research centres. Previously she gained a PhD in Glaciology and taught and worked as Head of Geography in three secondary schools in the UK before leading the Geography PGCE course at Cambridge University, then working as Head of the School of Education and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University.

Nicola is Secretary of GEReCo (Geography Education Research Collective) and co-convenor of the Environmental and Sustainability Education Research (ESER) network in the European Educational Research Association (EERA). She is also on the Governing Council and Continuing Professional Development Committee of the Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET). Nicola’s research interests include environmental and sustainability education, pedagogies at the intersection of nature, the arts and wellbeing, and curriculum and pedagogy within teacher education more broadly.

Recent publications

Moula, Z., Palmer, K., & Walshe, N. (2022). A Systematic Review of Arts-Based Interventions Delivered to Children and Young People in Nature or Outdoor Spaces: Impact on Nature Connectedness, Health and Wellbeing. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 858781.

Walshe, N., Moula, Z., & Lee, E. (2022). Eco-Capabilities as a Pathway to Wellbeing and Sustainability. Sustsainability.

Walshe, N., Healy, G., Hammond, L., & Puttick, S. (2022). Introduction: Mentoring matters in and for geography education. In G. Healy, L. Hammond, S. Puttick, N. Walshe (Eds.), Mentoring Geography Teachers in the Secondary School: A Practical Guide. Routledge.

Lizzie Rushton

Lizzie is a Lecturer in Geography Education in the School of Education, Communication and Society, King’s College London and is programme director of the Geography PGCE. Her research interests are focused in geography and science education, specifically the professional development of teachers, student participation in research and environmental education. Recent research has been funded by BERA, the ESRC and the AHRC. Lizzie is co-founder and Managing Editor of Routes – The Journal for Student Geography. A fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) and a member of the Geographical Association, Lizzie is Deputy Treasurer for the RGS-IBG Geography and Education Research Group.

Recent publications

Rushton, E.A.C. (2021). Building Teacher Identity in Environmental and Sustainability Education. The Perspectives of Preservice Geography Teachers. Sustainability 15(9) 5321.

Rushton, E.A.C., Nayeri, C., Beardmore Crowther, D., Griffiths, L., Newell, P., Sayliss, Z., Wise, J & Zeina, A. (2021). What enables student geography teachers to thrive during their PGCE year and beyond?, Journal of Geography in Higher Education,

Dunlop, L., Rushton, E.A.C., Atkinson, L., Blake, C., Calvert, S., Cornelissen, E., Dècle, C.M.M., De Schriver, J., Dhassi, K.K., Edwards, R.P.R., Malaj, G., Mirjanić, J., Saunders, W.E.H., Sinkovec, Y., Stadnyk, T., Štofan, J., Stubbs, J.E., Su, C., Turkenburg-van Diepen, M., Vellekoop, S., Veneu, F. and Yuan, X. (2021). An introduction to the co-creation of policy briefs with youth and academic teams. Journal of Geography in Higher Education.

Gemma Collins

Gemma has worked as a teacher educator since 2010 and is currently Associate Professor of Geography Education, specifically teaching on the PGDipEd (QTS) Geography course in the School of Education. She also supervises on the MA Teaching Studies course. Before joining the University, Gemma held a number of teaching and leadership posts in Birmingham schools. She is an active member of the Geographical Association, Fellow of the RGS-IBG, and has also worked with the Prince’s Teaching Institute on their Schools Programme for Geography, in conjunction with the University of Cambridge.

Recent publications

Collins, G. (2022) ‘Mentoring that makes the difference: perspectives from student teachers.’ in Hammond, L., Healy, G., Puttick, S. and Walshe, N. (eds) Mentoring Geography Teachers in the Secondary School: A Practical Guide. London: Routledge.

Butt, G. and Collins, G. (2018) ‘Understanding the gap between schools and universities’, in Lambert, D. and Jones, M. (eds.) Debates in Geography Education, 2nd edition. London: Routledge. ISBN: 978-1138672581, pp. 263-274.