Dr Geraldine Davis

Director, Doctorate in Education,

Department of Education

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Department:School of Education & Social Care

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Geraldine is a Principal Lecturer, actively involved in research projects which focus on professional practice in education. She supervises doctoral students and leads the Doctorate in Education.

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Geraldine has wide experience of both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, learning and project supervision. Her experience includes teaching child development, biosciences, research methods, and leadership of professional practice. She has experience within education and health sectors, including early childhood education, higher, further and secondary education, and health professional education.

She plays an active role in the Faculty's research, leading research projects, leading the Doctorate in Education, delivering research training and supervising doctoral candidates. She has experience of examining doctoral theses both internally and externally across the UK.

Research interests

Dr Geraldine's main research focus is professionalising the workforce to improve professional practice. This includes a number of strands:

Leadership and management for professional practice. Geraldine led a three year impact study from 2010 – 2013 which considered leadership and management within the early childhood graduate workforce and the impact on outcomes for children. Her publications reflect the relevance of this research to the workforce.

Education for professional practice. This includes both formal and informal educational practice, pre-qualifying and as continuous professional development. The use of reflection and action research to improve practice is evident in research projects, for example the one year Creative Writing through the Arts research project (2014-2015) with primary school teachers in Essex.

Geraldine has particular expertise in the use of case study methodology and the use of documentary analysis. She collects and analyses both quantitative and qualitative data.

Areas of research supervision

Recent doctoral completions:

  • The use and effect of continuing professional development in developing leadership for early years professionals. A case study. (First supervisor, EdD, 2014)
  • The development of ethical knowledge in higher education health lecturers. A grounded theory study. (First supervisor, EdD, 2013).

Current supervision includes doctoral (PhD and EdD) candidates with the following projects:

  • The use of inquiry based learning in developing professional knowledge for nursing students in pre-qualifying programmes.  A case study.
  • The value of education in challenging student midwives’ perceptions of women who misuse substances.
  • The missing link in Zimbabwe’s rural development: an enquiry into the role of vocational training in Zimbabwe’s social and economic development.
  • Further education teachers as agents of change in developing professionalism in students of teaching.


  • Deliver workshops for doctoral candidates: reviewing literature; research methodology; case study research design; data collection and analysis; trustworthiness in research
  • Module leader postgraduate modules (Research, Leadership and management)


  • BSc (Hons) Life Sciences
  • MA (Ed) (Open)
  • Doctor of Education (Leicester)
  • QTS

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the British Educational Research Association
  • Special interest group member, Early Childhood Education, BERA
  • Special interest group member, Leadership and Management, BERA
  • Member of the European Early Childhood Education Research Association

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Creative Writing through the Arts, Evaluation of Action Research Projects. Funded 2014-15. Academic lead (coordinator, overall evaluation of project), with Royal Opera House Bridge and Billericay Teaching School Alliance
  • Development of graduate early childhood workforce. Funded 2010-2014, Essex CC.
  • Early Years Professional Status Impact Study. Funded 2010-2013, Essex CC.
  • Student views on incorporating sexual health into an undergraduate midwifery curriculum. Funded project (2011-2012), ARU.

Selected recent publications

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Frame, I. & Davis, G. (2015) The Professional Doctorate at Anglia Ruskin University: A model of successful practice. Published in Conference proceedings, UCF International Conference on Doctoral Education, College of Education and Human Performance, University of Central Florida.  Available at: http://education.ucf.edu/reg/docs/ICDE2015-PaperPresentationAbstracts.pdf 

Engward, H. & Davis, G. (2015) Being reflexive in qualitative grounded theory: discussion and application of a model of reflexivity.  Journal of Advanced Nursing. Available online from March 2015 at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jan.12653/full

Phair, H. & Davis, G. (2015) Early childhood settings and funded two-year-old children: experiences from four settings in England.  Early Child Development and Care   Available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03004430.2014.1003553

Davis, G. (2014) Graduate leaders in early childhood education and care settings, the practitioner perspective. Management in Education – Special Edition, Participation in Policy and Practice, 28, pp.156 – 160.

Walker, S. & Davis, G. (2014) Knowledge and reported confidence of final year midwifery students regarding giving advice on contraception and sexual health. Midwifery 30, pp.169-176 available on line at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2014.02.002

Davis, G. (2014) Leadership and management in early years settings. In T. Waller & G. Davis (Eds) An Introduction to Early Childhood, London: Sage.

Waller, T. & Davis, G. (Eds) (2014) An Introduction to Early Childhood 3rd ed., London: Sage. https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/an-introduction-to-early-childhood/book239127#walleranddavis3e

Davis, G. (2014) Continuing professional development for leading change in early years settings: evaluation of a Masters module in leadershiop. Childhood Remixed Journal, Conference edition, February 2014, pp.43 – 51.

Davis, G. & Barry, A. (2013) Positive outcomes for children: Early Years Professionals effecting change. Early Child Development and Care 183 (1) pp.37-48

Davis, G. & Walker, S. (2013) Learning at work and university: Midwifery students and sexual health advice, Practitioner Research in Higher Education Journal, 7(1), October. Available at:

Davis G. and Capes P. (2013) Early Years Professional Status Impact Study. Final Report: Achieving outcomes in Essex. Report for Essex County Council. Anglia Ruskin University. Accessible at: http://hdl.handle.net/10540/295428

Davis, G. (2012) A documentary analysis of the use of leadership and change theory in changing practice in early years settings. Early Years, an International Journal of Research and Development. 32 (3) pp. 266 – 276

Recent presentations and conferences

Frame, I. & Davis, G. (2015) The Professional Doctorate at Anglia Ruskin University:  A model of successful practice. UCF International Conference on Doctoral Education, College of Education and Human Performance, University of Central Florida.

Davis, G. (2014) Professional development for the post-doctoral academic, an action research project. Conference paper BERA international conference, Institute of Education, London, September 2014.

Davis, G. & Luff, P. (2014) Personal and professional benefits of professional enquiry, a case study. Conference paper, EECERA international conference, Hersonissos, Crete. September 2014.

Davis, G. (2014) Conference paper, BECERA conference, Birmingham, UK, 19-20 Feb 2014. Using documentary analysis in early childhood research.

Luff, P., Davis, G., Kanyal, M., Wright, H., Such, C. and Waller, T. (2014) Early Childhood Education for Sustainability: Developing Co-operation and Communication. January 2014. 3rd Annual Research Conference, Anglia Ruskin University.

Davis, G. (2013) Conference paper, EECERA international conference, Tallinn, Estonia, August 28-31st 2013. Graduate leader plus. Making a difference beyond graduation.