Dr Phil Kirkman

Principal Lecturer Partnerships Education (cross-site)

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Education and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Research Supervision:Yes

As well as his involvement with managing and teaching on our department courses, Phil carries out research through innovative qualitative, mixed-methods and digital methodologies. His areas of interest include educational technologies and the ways in which they mediate pedagogy (through leadership, curriculum, teacher and learner identity, interaction modalities, and through the different possible contexts of education).

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Before moving into academia, Phil was a teacher, pastoral manager and department leader in UK secondary schools.

Phil is committed to widening equality in and through education and to discovering how we can use new technologies to bring about opportunities for individual and cultural development (as opposed to using them as instruments of control). He regularly consults and provides training for educational professionals, internationally and in the UK.

Research interests

  • Educational Technologies 
  • Pedagogy for Leadership, Curriculum Design and Development Studies 
  • Technology-Mediated Learning and Multimodality 
  • The intersections of Dialogic Education and Formal, Informal and Non-formal Education 
  • Reflective Practitioner Research and Education 
  • Equality, Diversity and Ethical Educational Outreach 
  • Educational Development, Identity and Student and Teacher Voice 
  • Critical Pedagogy and Arts Perspectives within Cultural Semiotics and Sociocultural Theory 
  • Qualitative, Mixed-Methods and Digital Methodologies

Areas of research supervision

Phil would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral students with the following research interests/topics:

  • Educational Technologies
  • Educational Leadership
  • Pedagogy (particularly Critical and/or dialogic pedagogy)
  • Practitioner Research
  • Technology Mediated Learning and Multimodality
  • Formal, Informal and Non-formal Education

Recent and current doctoral supervision as first supervisor:

Supporting higher education music programmes in Kenya: towards a pedagogic framework to foster development through widening access to technology-mediated learning environments (current)


Phil teaches on our MBA Educational Leadership and Management and BA (Hons) Education and Childhood Studies. He also supervises graduates and undergraduates with their major projects, and provides tutorial support to students throughout their studies.


  • PhD Education, University of Cambridge 
  • MPhil Educational Research, University of Cambridge 
  • PGCE, University of Durham 
  • BA (Hons) Music, University of Durham

Memberships, editorial boards

  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • Member of the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL)
  • Member of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
  • Member of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE)
  • Member of the European Association for Music in Schools (EAS)
  • Cambridgeshire HUB Board Member
  • CREATE Trust Board Member
  • Journal Editorial Board Member: Dialogic Pedagogy

Journal reviewer:

  • Teacher Development
  • International Journal of Education, Science and Technology
  • Journal of Music, Technology and Education
  • Journal of Popular Music Education

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • 2016-20 Co-investigator with University of Oslo and University of Cambridge. Forskerprosjekt – FINNUT. Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum: design-based developing 21st century skills. £1.8 million
  • 2015-18 Principle Investigator. Trumpington Community College Digital Foundations: Building Capacity Through Lesson Study. £7000
  • 2015-18 International Collaboration: Cambridge co- PI. (Pilot). Using Mobile Technologies to reduce ‘Praxial Shock’ : smoothing the transition between ITE and the workplace (UMTS). £20,000
  • 2014-18 Co-Principle Investigator (CoE funded pilot). Developing reflective practice at CoE. £20,000
  • 2014-16 Youth Outreach Project. Project Partner with Romsey Mill (£36,000). Off the beat n’ track
  • 2014–16 Co- Principal Investigator. ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant. Interactive Digital Lesson Study System (iDiLSS): sustainable impact on teaching and learning in schools through effective professional development. University of Cambridge. £15,000
  • 2013–15 Erasmus collaboration with Georghe Dima Academy Cluj-Napoca Romania. Co- Principal Investigator. Teacher Professional development through Blended Learning. £6000
  • 2012-16 University of Cambridge, International Projects Consultant. (£50,000)
  • 2012–14 Principal Investigator (with the Britten-Pears Foundation). CamBritt: Connected composing and education. £5000
  • 2012 – 2013 Cambridge International Examinations. Digital technologies in education and teacher development project work
  • 2013 – 2015 Consultant to Cambridge Internationa. Teacher Education Worksjhop Leader, Curriculum Development. 
  • 2013 PONTIFICIA UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA DE CHILE Consultant for Review of Proposed Education National Standards (teacher standards: $3000). 
  • 2012 – 2013 Consultant to Cambridge International Examinations Digital technologies in education and teacher development project work (professional qualifications and training: £6000). 
  • 2013 Consultant to Cambridge International Examinations Development and review of diploma syllabus and learning materials (£2500). 
  • 2012 Consultant to Egyptian (Nile Schools) National Curriculum Development (£1200). 
  • 2009 – 2010   UCan.TV Contracted author for Roland UK. Writing on matters related to teaching and learning with creative technologies (£800). 
  • 2008 – 2010 NAME Regional Curriculum Subject Advisor and Trainer (£2500).
  • 2005 – 2010 Compositional development with computer-mediated environments PhD Research (ESRC 1+ 3 studentship: £64,000). 

Selected recent publications

Smith, G., Brennan, M., Kirkman, P., Moir, Z., & Rambarran, S. (Eds) 2017. Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Music Education. Farnham: Ashgate.  
Kirkman, P. 2017 Music technology and the realm of the hyper-real: comprehending, constructing and connecting realities. In King, A & Himonides, E. (Eds) Music, Technology & Education: Critical Perspectives. Ashgate Surrey.  
Kirkman, P 2014 Technology mediated Diagenesis: a pedagogic framework for managing the implementation of digital educational technologies. Pedagogical dialogue (3) Sept 2014.
Kirkman, P. & Wilson, E. 2014 Learning with digital technologies in Las Tecnologías Digitales en la Enseñanza Experimental de las Ciencias: Fundamentos Cognitivos y Procesos Didácticos. Mexico.
Kirkman, P. 2014 Technology mediated Diagenesis: beyond the formal-informal dichotomy in music education. TEHNOLOGIE Tehnologii Informatice şi de comunicaţie în domeniul muzical (ICT in Musical Field). 5:1 pp7-17  

Recent presentations and conferences

Kirkman, P. 2015 New Learning through Lesson Study. Keynote presentation to The Parkside Federation Annual Conference. Cambridge 3rd October 2015
Kirkman, P. 2015 Frameworks and Potential for Digital Learning Development. Keynote presentation to the inaugural conference for Trumpington Community College. Cambridge 27th March 2015. 
Kirkman, P. 2015 Researching Digital Technologies: New Methodologies. Paper presented to the Newton-Al-Farabi British Council Conference for international research. Astana 26th February 2015.
Kirkman, P. 2014 Active Learning: Lessons from the arts. Pedagogy for meaningful development. Paper presented to the Conference of The Cambridge International Schools. Cambridge. 5th September 2014.
Kirkman, P. 2014 Being Critically Reflective. Presentation to Cambridge Regional Mentors Conference Cambridge, UK. June 19th 2014
Kirkman, P. 2014 “Pedagogy for technology-mediated musical teaching and learning: a ‘Mobile Sound Playground”. Paper presented to the Conference of the European Association for Music in Schools ‘Democracy and inclusion in music education in the 21st century’. 23rd May 2014.  
Kirkman, P. 2014 Effective digital technology integration for learning within school classrooms: an empirical framework. Paper presented to The National Conference with International Participation: Art and Education. Gheorghe Dima, Cluj-Napoca Romania. 3rd April 2014. 

Kirkman, P. 2014 Diagenesis: teachers coaching learners. Paper presented to the Britten-Pears Foundation Symposium.  The Red House, Aldeburgh 1st Feb 2014. 
Kirkman, P. 2014 Diagenesis and popular music pedagogy. Paper presented to the HEA Edinburgh College of Art. 24th Jan 2014.
Kirkman, P. 2014 Mentoring together: enhancing subject-based support networks. Presentation to Cambridge Regional Mentors Conference Cambridge, UK. Jan 15th 2014.

Media experience

  • 2016: Look East Interview (Representing ARU on Education)
  • 2015: Cambridge Assessment Schools Bulletin: Interview on Educational Environments
  • 2010: Rising Stars Public Engagement Fellowship, University of Cambridge
  • 2008: Representative for OCC, BBC Radio Suffolk (November)