Dr Thomas Ralph
Senior Lecturer in Education / PGCE Secondary Programme Director / PGCE Secondary Mathematics Subject Lead
+44 (0) 1392 724762
Baring Court BC117
Baring Court, University of Exeter St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
I am the Programme Director for the Secondary PGCE course and lead the Secondary Mathematics PGCE. I also teach on the MSc and MA programmes as well as supervising dissertation and PhD students.
My research interests focus on resistant students in school, how they make use of space to make school the kind of place they want to be and how they make their voices heard. I am also interested in the effects of this on mathematics education.
Prior to working at Exeter, I spent 11 years teaching in various schools in London and Dorset. I also worked as a consultant at SMILE Maths developing educational software. Most recently I was a head of department in a school which specialised in Mathematics.
PhD Education, University of Exeter. 2016
MSc Educational Research, University of Exeter; Distinction. 2010
MEd Education, University of Exeter; Distinction. 2008
PGCE Secondary Mathematics, Kings College. 1998
BSc & ARCS Mathematics. Imperial College. 1997
Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy
National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics Accredited Professional Development Lead
2019 - Present, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Exeter.
2014 - 2019, Lecturer in Education, University of Exeter.
2009 - 2014, Teacher Education Research Fellow, University of Exeter.
2006-2009, Head of Maths. Rossmore Community College.
1998-2006, Teacher of Maths in various schools in London and Dorset.
Research group links
My research interests focus on resistant students in school, how they make use of space to make school the kind of place they want to be and how they make their voices heard. My PhD research focussed on these matters and how they affected a specific group of disenfranchised pupils attending a sponsored academy which was in the process of being rebuilt.
I am also interested in the effects of these issues on mathematics education as well as maintaining an interest in initial teacher education.
- 2016 European Union
- 2012 EPSRC
Empowering Partnerships, Enabling Engagement
Publications by category
Publications by year
External Engagement and Impact
External Examiner Positions
External Examiner, Secondary PGCE, University of Oxford, 2020 to date.
External Examiner, Secondary Mathematics PGCE, Reading University, 2017 to 2020.
Research-based contributions to practitioner and academic conferences
ECER Hamburg, 2019, ‘It’s Just a You Thing’: Movement and Resistance in School
Physmaths Conference, Exeter Mathematics School, 2019, Using Student Voice to Improve Teaching and Learning in Mathematics
ECER Bolzano, 2018, Disaffected Students’ Uses of Space in a UK Secondary School
ECER Bolzano, 2018, Disorientation as a Strategy for Endogenous Understanding
ECER Copenhagen, 2017, Resistance, Imagined Futures, Cruel Optimism and a Compartmentalised Experience of School
Physmaths Conference, Exeter Mathematics School, 2017 & 2018, Every Pupil Can Succeed at Maths
ECER, Dublin, 2016, Non-Compliance as a Substitute for Voice
Future Teaching Scholars Annual Conference, 2016 & 2017, Every Pupil Can Succeed at Maths
ECER, Budapest, 2015, Cultures of Resistance
ECER, Cadiz, 2012, Home Culture, School Ethos and Engagement
I am currently the Programme Director for the Secondary PGCE course as well as being the module lead on the PGCE Secondary Mathematics course.
I also teach on the Scientific Methodologies module, part of the MSc Educational Research, as well as the Debating the Big Questions in Education and Independent Study modules, part of the MA Education. I supervise both masters dissertation and PhD students.