Professor Effie MacLellan

Emeritus Professor


Personal statement

I am a Professor of Education, working at the interface of Psychology and Education. My teaching is concerned to make complex educational psychology theory accessible to teachers, to other professions (such as Nursing and Physiotherapy), to university academics and to people-focused voluntary agencies so that these various groups can use Educational and Psychological ideas to improve their own working practices.   

My research draws on deep understanding of psychological principles and approaches to investigate and analyse highly important, practical and applied educational issues in schools, in higher education and in wider society.   My work can be firmly placed within what OECD identified as the desired "Pasteur’s Quadrant", namely, research that both contributes to fundamental understanding of phenomena and at the same time has a high degree of practical relevance. I am excited by this use-inspired basic scholarship: combining the quest for fundamental understanding (what is normally thought of as basic research) with a concern for practical usefulness (what is normally thought of as applied research).

I joined the University in 1988 after a successful period of professional practice.  Before coming to Strathclyde, I worked for more than 20 years as a class teacher and a head teacher in mainstream Primary Education and in Special Education.  During my time at Strathclyde I have carried out a range of 'good citizen' roles including: Vice Convener of the University Ethics Committee; Vice-Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Education; University's representative on the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET). And my membership of Professional Bodies has included the British Educational Research Association, the Royal Society of Arts, the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, the Higher Education Academy, the British Psychological Society and the General Teaching Council (Scotland).



Has expertise in:

    • Psychology of Learning
    • Teaching Primary and Higher Education
    • Educational Assessment
    • Professional Development
    • Mathematical Pedagogy



Podcast #13 Mini lecture with Prof. Effie Maclellan
MacLellan Effie
Shaping agency through theorizing and practicing teaching in teacher education
MacLellan Effie
The SAGE Handbook of Research on Teacher Education (2017) (2017)
Agents pedagogical : bootstrapping reflexive practice through the psychological resources of self-agency
MacLellan Effie
Journal of Pedagogy Vol 7 (2016)
Updating understandings of 'teaching' : taking account of learners' and teachers' beliefs
MacLellan Effie
Teaching in Higher Education Vol 20, pp. 171-182 (2015)
Articulating 'understanding' : deploying mathematical metacognition
MacLellan Effie
Scottish Educational Review Vol 46, pp. 73-89 (2014)
How might teachers enable self-confidence? A review study
MacLellan Effie
Educational Review Vol 66, pp. 59-74 (2014)

More publications


  • Psychological Underpinnings of Learning and Teaching: Motivation; Social Cognition; Pedagogical Knowledge
  • Promoting Effective Learning and Assessment: Learning Theory;Peer-Learning; Student-Centred  Learning; Epistemological Knowledge; Paradigms and Issues of Assessment
  • Numerical Competence in Children: Developmental Progression in Numeracy;  Sophisticated/Naive Numerical  Competence; Learners'and Teachers' Beliefs  about Mathematics

Research interests

My current focus is in the conceptual analyses of 'big ideas' in Education such as

  • Pedagogical Knowledge
  • Critical Thinking
  • Self-Confidence
  • Teacher Agency

Professional activities

Elsevier Ltd (External organisation)
Elsevier Ltd (External organisation)
Sage Publishing (External organisation)
Educational Research Review (Journal)
Peer reviewer
VERSITA is a member of Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (External organisation)
Australian Research Council (Publisher)
Peer reviewer

More professional activities


Roberts Funding / Skills Training / RA4372
MacLellan, Effie (Co-investigator) Mitchell, June (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2008 - 31-Jan-2013

More projects