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School of Education

Dr Judith Kleine Staarman

Dr Judith Kleine Staarman

Senior Lecturer in Education


 +44 (0) 1392 722864

 North Cloisters NC 116


North Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


I am a Senior Lecturer in Education the Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter, Programme Leader of the MA Technology, Creativity and Thinking, and Director of
Thinking Schools @Exeter.

In my research, I am interested in the process by which people learn, think and engage in creative processes together through collaboration and dialogue, both with and without technology. I also have a wider interest in the role of technology for teaching, learning and thinking, in particular in relation to AI and education futures.

In the past, I have been involved in research on the role of Interactive Whiteboards for teaching and learning, the use of wikis in primary school science and computer supported collaborative learning in primary education. I have also studied Dialogic Teaching in science classrooms and was involved in an ongoing research programme called 'Thinking Together', aimed at improving children's skills in communicating, learning and reasoning (with researchers in Cambridge and other universities). I co-led the pedagogic development and evaluation of a programme to teach data analytical and coding skills to humanities and social science students in a HEFCE funded programme called the Institute of Coding (IoC) and was involved (with Taro Fujita and other colleagues) in a project to test group thinking with iPads.

Recently, I co-led a university-wide project to understand the perceptions of university lecturers and students on the ways in which ChatGPT may change teaching, learning and assessment in Higher Education. I am also involved in a 2 year project to study the role of technology to support narrative writing in primary education (led by Clare Dowdall).


MA Educational Studies (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

PhD Social Sciences (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)


University of Cambridge: Senior Research Associate

The Open University: Research Fellow

Radboud University Nijmegen: Research and Teaching Fellow

Research group links

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Research interests

  • Collaborative processes around learning, thinking and creativity
  • The role of language for teaching and learning
  • The role of technology for teaching and learning processes
  • Dialogic approaches to teaching and learning
  • Speaking, listening and learning
  • Technology and education futures
  • Sociocultural theories of learning
  • Teaching and learning in science education
  • Methods for analysing dialogue and joint activity
  • Classroom ethnographies

Research projects

Teaching Narrative Writing with Digital resources and Apps (2022- ). Co-I, with C. Dowdall, PI. British Academy/Leverhulme

AI and Higher Education: Developing best practices for universities dealing with the rise of text generative AI (2023). Co-Lead, with Barrie Cooper. The project aimed to understand the potential benefits and challenges of the proliferation of AI text generators for higher education. Exeter University Incubator, Exeter University.

Developing teacher agency and expertise around AI and inequality in education (2022). PI, with G. Tarling, Exeter University, E. Denessen & A. Korneef, Leiden University. Global Partnerships Development Fund, Exeter University

HEFCE: Institute of Coding (2018-2021). With partners around the UK and within Exeter University: developing and evaluating a summer school to teach data analytics and coding to humanities and social science students. Also developing a cognitive career coach for students to develop skills in data analytics and science.

Daiwa Anglo-Japanese foundation (2017-2018): Measuring Group Thinking with iPads (Led by Dr Taro Fujita, with other partners in the UK and Japan).

Metafora (2010-2013). European Union 7th Framework Programme for R&D (FP7). Co-I, With Rupert Wegerif (PI), Yang Yang and other (international) partners. This project aimed to develop a computer environment in which students use a visual language to help them to learn to learn together in science and mathematics.

Interactive Whiteboards and Collaborative Pupil Learning in Primary Science (2007-2009). ESRC. Co-I, With Paul Warwick, Neil Mercer (PI) and Ruth Kershner, all University of Cambridge. This project aimed to study children's semi-authonomous use of interactive whiteboards in primary science lessons.

Dialogic Teaching in the Science Classroom (2004-2007) ESRC
 Coordinator: Neil Mercer (University of Cambridge), with Phil Scott (Leeds University) Project description: This project studied the incidence, nature and functions of teacher-student dialogue in science education in upper primary and lower secondary classrooms.

Interactive Whiteboards as Pedagogic Tools in Primary Schools (2005-2006) ESRC. Co-I, With Julia Gillen, Karen Littleton (Open University) and Neil Mercer (University of Cambridge, PI)
 Researcher: Alison Twiner (OU). 
This project studied the impact of interactive whiteboards on teaching in primary schools.

Thinking Together, Clapham Park Project (2005-2006) 
Clapham Park Project, London.
 This interventional project introduced the Thinking Together approach in primary and secondary schools, as part of a community renewal and development programme in south London.

Interaction Processes and Collaborative Learning in Primary School CSCL practices (2000 - 2005) NWO,
 University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. This project, which accumulated in a PhD thesis, studied collaborative processes and student interaction in a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning environment in a primary school in The Netherlands.

Research networks




Research grants

  • 2023 Exeter Education Incubator
    AI and Higher Education: Developing best practices for universities dealing with the rise of text generative AI
  • 2022 British Academy Small Grants
    Teaching Narrative Writing with Digital resources and Apps
  • 2021 University of Exeter Global Partnership fund
    Developing teacher agency and expertise around AI and inequality in education
  • 2018 HEFCE
    The Institute of Coding is a UK-wide partnership between universities and Industry to influence government policy in data science, AI and the digital skills agenda, and guide public engagement with social and ethical issues arising from developments in data science and AI, amongst others. The University of Exeter's involvement is led by staff from Computer Science, the Graduate School of Education, the Q-Step Centre and the Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI). Exeter will lead initiatives on digital skills education for students in disciplines outside Computer Science and on machine learning technologies for giving advice on skill acquisition personalised to individual students.
  • 2010 European Union
    METAFORA - Learning to learn together: A visual language for social orchestration of educational activities.
  • 2007 ESRC
    The project will investigate the use of IWBs as tools for primary children's group learning in science. A series of science activities will be agreed with the participating teachers, enabling children to consider options, plan activities and make joint decisions. The activities will exploit features of IWBs known, from our previous research, to offer distinctive support to pupils' learning. Twelve teachers will be involved, based in schools in Cambridgeshire. Data will consist of (a) video recordings of children's joint activity at the IWB; (b) interviews with children about their perceptions and use of IWB facilities in the context of collaborative work; (c) teacher assessments of the success of the activities in terms of children's motivation and learning outcomes. Analysis will focus on patterns of children's interaction during the activities. Of particular interest will be whether children's interaction at the IWB enables the expression and sharing of differing ideas on scientific topics and how the IWB is used to address such differences. In highlighting ways in which specific features of IWBs can be fully exploited and developed for children's science learning, the research outcomes will be important to IWB designers and software producers, as well as to teachers and research audiences.
  • 2006 British Council/ Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Res
    UK/NL Partnership in Science programme
  • 2004 ESRC
    Interactive Whiteboards as pedagogic tools in primary schools, ESRC: RES-000-22-1269


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Littleton K, Wood C, Kleine Staarman J (In Press). International Handbook of Psychology in Education. Bingley, UK, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Abstract.

Journal articles

Melro A, Tarling G, Fujita T, Kleine Staarman J (2023). What Else can be Learned When Coding? a Configurative Literature Review of Learning Opportunities Through Computational Thinking. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 61(4), 901-924. Abstract.
Tarling G, Melro A, Kleine Staarman J, Fujita T (2022). Making coding meaningful: university students’ perceptions of bootcamp pedagogies. Pedagogies: an International Journal, 18(4), 578-595.
Imperio A, Staarman JK, Basso D (2020). Relevance of the socio-cultural perspective in the discussion about critical thinking. Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica, 15(1), 1-19. Abstract.
Kershner R, Warwick P, Mercer N, Kleine Staarman J (2014). Primary children's management of themselves and others in collaborative group work: 'Sometimes it takes patience. '. Education 3-13, 42(2), 201-216. Abstract.
Pifarre M, Kleine Staarman J (2011). Wiki-Supported collaborative learning in Primary Education: Analysis of how a “dialogic space” is created for thinking together. International Journal of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, 6(2), 187-205.
Mercer N, Warwick P, Kershner R, Kleine Staarman J (2010). Can the interactive whiteboard help to provide ‘dialogic space’ for children’s collaborative activity?. Language and Education Abstract.
Kershner R, Mercer N, Warwick P, Kleine Staarman J (2010). Can the interactive whiteboard support young children's collaborative communication and thinking in classroom science activities?. ijCSCL, 5(4), 359-383. Abstract.
Warwick P, Mercer N, Kershner R, Kleine Staarman J (2010). In the mind and in the technology: the vicarious presence of the teacher in pupil’s learning of science in collaborative group activity at the interactive whiteboard. Computers & Education, 55(1), 350-362. Abstract.
Mercer N, Dawes L, Kleine Staarman J (2009). Dialogic Teaching in the primary science classroom. Language and Education, 23(4), 353-369.
Kleine Staarman J (2009). The joint negotiation of ground rules: establishing a shared collaborative practice with new classroom technology. Language and Education, 23(1), 79-95.
Gillen J, Littleton K, Twiner A, Kleine Staarman J, Mercer N (2008). Using the interactive whiteboard to resource continuity and support multimodal teaching in a primary science classroom. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 4(24), 348-358.
Gillen J, Kleine Staarman J, Littleton K, Mercer N, Twiner A (2007). A “learning revolution”? Investigating pedagogic practices around Interactive Whiteboards in British Primary Classrooms. Learning, Media and Technology, 32(3), 243-256.
Kleine Staarman J, Krol K, Van der Meijden H (2005). Peer interaction in three collaborative. learning environments. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 40(1), 29-39.
De Jong F, Kollöffel B, Van Der Meijden H, Staarman JK, Janssen J (2005). Regulative processes in individual, 3D and computer supported cooperative learning contexts. Computers in Human Behavior, 21(4), 645-670. Abstract.
Kleine Staarman J, Verhoeven L, Aarnoutse C (2003). Connecting discourses: intertextuality. in a primary school CSCL practice. International Journal of Educational Research, 39, 807-816.
Staarman JK (2003). Face‐to‐face talk to support computer‐mediated discussion in a primary school literacy practice. Reading, 37(2), 73-80.


Kershner R, Warwick P, Mercer N, Staarman JK (2022). Primary children's management of themselves and others in collaborative group work: ‘Sometimes it takes patience …’. In  (Ed) Contemporary Issues in Primary Education, Taylor & Francis, 88-101.
Staarman JK, Ametller J (2019). Pedagogical link-making with digital technology in science classrooms. In  (Ed) The Routledge International Handbook of Research on Dialogic Education, Taylor & Francis, 497-508.
Kleine Staarman JAG, Ametller J (2019). Pedagogical link-making with digital technology in science classrooms: new perspectives on connected learning. In Mercer N, Wegerif R, Major L (Eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of Research on Dialogic Education, London: Routledge, 497-508. Abstract.
Kleine Staarman J, Mercer N (2010). The Guided Construction of Knowledge: Talk between Teachers and Students. In Littleton, K, Wood, C, Staarman K, J (Eds.) International Handbook of Psychology in Education, Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Mercer N, Gillen J, Kleine Staarman J, Littleton K, Twiner A (2009). Interactive Whiteboards: does new technology transform teaching?. In Ludvigsen, S, Lund, A, Rasmussen, I, Säljö, R (Eds.) Learning across sites; new tools, infrastructures and practices.
Kleine Staarman J, Trimpe J (2000). Multipele Representaties [Multiple Respresentation]. In Simons PRJ (Ed) Leren en Instructie: Reviewstudie in opdracht van NWO/PROO, Nijmegen: Department of Educational Sciences, University of Nijmegen.


Sazalli N, Wegerif R, Kleine-Staarman J (2014). The motivating power of social obligation: an investigation into the pedagogical affordances of mobile learning integrated with Facebook. Abstract.

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External Engagement and Impact

Editorial responsibilities

Co-Editor (with Karen Littleton and Claire Wood) of The International Handbook of Psychology in Education. Published by Emerald Publishing Group Limited, June 2010.

2010-2017: Member of Editorial Board International Journal of Early Years Education

2018-current: Member of Editorial Board Digital Culture and Education

Competitively won research fellowships

RCUK Academic Fellowship, The Open University (won, but not taken up due to relocation)

International recognition, such as international research collaborations, visiting research posts in overseas institutions, involvement at senior levels in international research associations, acting as referee for national and international research councils.

Visiting lecturer, University of Lleida, Spain

Visiting Research Fellow, The Open University (2004-2005)

Invited lectures & workshops

2018: Technology for teaching thinking. Invited talk at University of Lleida International Week

2011: Qualitative Analysis of Classroom Dialogue. Invited workshop at the EARLI Jure Conference, Exeter 2011.

2006: Analysing Classroom Interaction. Invited seminar at the University of Lleida, Spain

2006: Sociocultural Analysis of Classroom Dialogue (with Neil Mercer). Invited seminar for the EARLI Social Interaction in Learning and Instruction Special Interest Group at Leiden University, The Netherlands

Research-based contributions to practitioner and academic conferences

Kleine Staarman, J., & Piffare, M. (2011). Dialogic interaction among primary pupils in a wiki-  environment in science. Paper presented at the European Association for Research in Learning and  Instruction (EARLI) 2011 conference, Exeter, UK.

Kleine Staarman, J., Warwick, P., Mercer, N. & Kershner, R. (2008). Interactive whiteboards and collaborative pupil learning in primary science. Paper presented at the ISCAR 2008 conference, San Diego.

Mercer, N., Kleine Staarman, J. & Dawes, L. (2008). Time for talk in the science classroom:  the dynamics of teaching through dialogue. Paper presented at the ISCAR 2008 conference, San Diego.

Kleine Staarman, J. (2006). Learning to collaborate: Interactions in a in a primary school learning environment with ICT. [ Leren samenwerken: Interacties in een ICT leeromgeving op de basisschool]. Paper presented at the Educational Research Days 2006, Amsterdam, The    Netherlands.

Gillen, J., Kleine Staarman, J., Littleton, K., Mercer, N., Twiner, A. (2006). A “learning revolution”? Investigating pedagogic practices around Interactive Whiteboards in British Primary classrooms. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, USA.

Kleine Staarman, J. (2005). Analysing the long conversation in the classroom: Collaborative learning trajectories in primary school children’s computer supported literacy practices. Paper presented at the First ISCAR Congress (International Society for Cultural and Activity Research), Seville, Spain.

Mercer, N. & Kleine Staarman, J. (2005). Dialogue and Activity: A methodological gap that needs to be filled. Paper presented at the First ISCAR Congress (International Society for Cultural and Activity Research), Seville, Spain.

Kleine Staarman, J. (2005). Learning to collaborate: the role of intertextuality in the joint               construction of meaning in a primary school CSCL project. Paper presented at the EARLI                  2005 conference, Nicosia, Cyprus.

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I am Programme Leader of the MA Technology, Creativity and Thinking/ MA Technology and Education Futures and module leader for the Digital Futures and Teaching Thinking in the Internet Age modules within this programme. I also teach on the MA Education Dissertation module, Developmental Psychology module, and I teach research methods on the MSc Education programme. I currently supervise a large number of MA, MSc, EdD and PhD students and have supervised more than 25 PhD and EdD students to completion.

For prospective PhD students: I only consider exceptional applications that are very closely related to my research area: the role of dialogue in education, in particular in collaborative learning, both in and around technology in education, as well as without technology. I am also interested in supervising projects related to the role of AI in education, in particular in the ways in which generative AI may impact (digital) literacies.

Please email me your IELTS scores and an academic CV, along with your proposal. I will not consider email requests without a proposal/ IELTS scores/ CV.

You can apply via the university application system directly, but unless you have emailed me prior to your submission, there is no guarantee I will receive your application. Please note that emailing me your proposal before application does not guarantee that I will be your supervisor either - as this is dependent on availability and competition for places at the point of starting your PhD.

Potential research topics include: Collaboration; Dialogue; Intersubjectivity; Digital/multimodal literacies; Chronotopes; Dialogic Teaching; Dialogic Learning; Teaching Thinking

Within these topics, I welcome proposals using the following research methods and methodologies: Design-Based Research; (Socio-cultural) Discourse Analysis; Educational/ Classroom Ethnography; Social Network Analysis; Multimodal Interaction Analysis; Temporal Analysis of Meaning Making/ Learning

Please note that I check similarity scores for post-graduate proposals using Turnitin.



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Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Nadia Abdallah EDD
  • Said Al Abri
  • Laila Al Balushi PhD: Blogs in Language Learning: Enhancing students' writing skill in English Language through Blogs
  • Salha Ibrahim Al Makdi
  • Mansour Alfayez PhD: The Use of Twitter for Teachers' Professional Developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Norah Alhudaithy
  • Wafa Abdullah M Almanjomi
  • Yasamiyan Almasoudi
  • Rawan Abdulkarim alqarawi Alqarawi
  • Mohammed Alqorashi
  • Shatha Alshawi
  • Ceren Aras PhD: Investigation of Collaboration and Interaction among Students in Augmented Reality and non-Augmented Reality Collaborative Tasks.
  • Hanane Maita PhD: Collaborative Work in the EFL Classroom: The Case Study in the Use of ICT among Algerian College Students”
  • Malcolm Richards
  • Ala'a Salagoor
  • Georgina Tarling PhD: Making good use of the internet? How use of the internet is shaped for 5-7 year olds by the home and school contexts
  • Bilal Tayan Implementing and assessing electronic and mobile learning applications: Putting theories into practice
  • Yuanyuan Zhang


  • Bader Afelai PhD: The Pedagogical Affordances of Smartphone Applications for Collaborative Learning amongst Pre-service Teachers in Kuwait
  • Amal Al Ibrahim PhD: The Pedagogical Affordances of a Social Networking Site in Higher Education
  • Wafa Al-Mawaali PhD: Implementing iPad to Support Creative Writing in Second Language Teaching: Oman Higher Education
  • Munthir Alblaihed PhD: Factors influencing student teacher's use of ICT in education
  • Fawzeya Alghamdi PhD: The Role of Social Media on the Academic Practices in Higher Education
  • Arwa Alharthi PhD: Collaborative Action Research of the Use of �Creative Drama and Storytelling� for Teaching Thinking Skills to Children with Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD)
  • Naser Ali PhD: How do Kuwaiti higher education students use technology for academic and social life
  • Yaser Alkhabra PhD: The Implementation of e-learning 2.0 in Higher Education context
  • Sahar Alkhathlan PhD: Effective Social interaction in blended learning in the context of SA higher education
  • Hind Alqirnas PhD: The use of Social Networking Sites (SNS) for self-study by the Saudi Arabian university students
  • Anwar Alshuaib PhD: Investigating the impact of using Web 2.0 in Kuwaiti Higher Education
  • Kim DeVidts EdD: IMPLICATIONS OF FREE ACCESS TO ONLINE LEARNING: Philosophical, Educational, Political, Social, Democratic (Critical) Considerations
  • Annie Fisher MEd
  • Peter Ilic PhD: The Impact of Mobile Phones on Collaborative Learning Activities
  • Napoleon Mannering PhD: Writing processes in wiki-based environments
  • Nick Napper PhD:After 16,000 years of visual communication, are text-based slides the best we can offer our students?
  • Ibe- Enwo Ogbonnia PhD
  • Maria Papayianni EdD
  • Paul Stone PhD: An investigation into multimodal identity construction in the EFL classroom � a social and cultural viewpoint
  • Claire Whittaker MEd

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Office Hours:

I work part-time, Monday to Thursday. I am mostly working from home at the moment and can be contacted using Email, TEAMS or Zoom.

My office hours are online via Teams, on Monday and Thursday between 12 and 1, but please email me beforehand to make sure I am actually there. 

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