Dr Emma Dobson
Postdoctoral Research Associate
BA (Hons) MA, PhD, Associate Fellow of the HEA
|Postdoctoral Research Associate in the School of Education||ED226|
Dr Emma Dobson is a Research Associate at Durham University’s School of Education. Working as part of the team that maintains and develops the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Toolkit, Emma’s work focuses on evidence synthesis of educational interventions, including systematic reviews and meta-analysis of existing randomised and non-randomised studies.
Her research interests include the use of evidence from research to support policy and practice decisions in education, with a particular interest in Realist Evaluation and the development of programme theory to support intervention implementation and identify essential mechanisms/contexts that moderate intervention effects. To this end, she is currently collaborating with eBase on a CEDIL and UKAID funded project to contextualise the Toolkit for the Chad Basin.
In addition to her work with the EEF, Emma is interested in sex education research; particularly studies that explore Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) as practiced in UK-based schools. Her previous work has focussed on peer education and how this approach is used to deliver adolescent health interventions.
After achieving a first-class degree in Education from Durham University, Emma was awarded a scholarship by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to complete an MA in Research Methods and PHd. Her PhD thesis investigated the communicative process between adolescents within the context of peer-led Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and whether the use of peers as educators in the SRE classroom can encourage the adoption of positive attitudes towards sexual health and contraception.
Emma is passionate about engaging youth in research and using young people's experiences and perspectives to influence policy and practice. As a result, she has experience of working closely with a number of youth advisory groups. She currently teaches across a number of modules at Durham University with undergraduate, MA and PGCE students.
- Sex education
- Evidence-informed education
- Participatory education/practice (youth-led)
- Literature reviews
- Peer Education
- Social Learning
- Health education/ promotion
- Sexual attitudes and behaviour of young people
- Development of the Teaching and Learning Toolkit , the EEF Database and NPD Analysis and Data Archive 2018-2021
Chapter in book
- Kay, Jonathan, Higgins, Steve E. Aguilera, Alaidde Berenice Villanueva, Dobson, Emma Sian, Gascoine, Louise, Katsipataki, Maria, Rajab, Taha, Zaman, Mohammad, Ellis-Thompson, Amy, Madgwick, Harry, Patel, Rupal & Blausten, Hannah (2022). The extent to which education interventions have been studied and the range of effects typically observed. In Reimagining Education: The International Science and Evidence based Education Assessment. Vickers, E.A., Pugh, K. & Gupta, L. UNESCO MGIEP.
- Kay, J., Higgins, S.E., Villanueva Aguilera, A.B., Dobson, E.S., Gascoine, L., Katsipataki, M., Rajab, T., Zaman, M., Ellis-Thompson, A., Madgwick, H., Patel, R. & Blausten, H. (2022). The extent to which education interventions have been studied and the range of effects typically observed. In Data and Evidence in Reimagining Education: The International Science and Evidence based Education Assessment. Mercier, J. New Delhi: UNESCO MGIEP.
- Dobson, Emma (2019), A theory-driven thesis: Utilising theory-driven evaluation to guide the conduct and content of a PhD thesis examining peer-led Sex and Relationships Education, in Shao, Xin & Dobson, Emma eds, Imagining Better Education. Durham, England, Durham University, School of Education, Durham, England, 53-69.
- Dobson, E.S. (2018), Participatory Peer Education: An Empowering Process for the Individual, Organization and Community, Conference: European Conference on Education 2018 Official Conference Proceedings.
- Shao, Xin & Dobson, Emma (2019). Imagining Better Education: Conference Proceedings 2018. Imagining Better Education, Durham, England, Durham University, School of Education.
- Setty, Emily & Dobson, Emma (2022). Department for Education Statutory Guidance for Relationships and Sex Education in England: A Rights-Based Approach? Archives of Sexual Behavior 52(1): 79.
- Setty, Emily & Dobson, Emma (2022). Children and Society Policy Review—A review of government consultation processes when engaging with children and young people about the statutory guidance for Relationships and Sex Education in schools in England. Children & Society
- Higgins, S., Katsipataki, M., Villanueva Aguilera, A., Alaidde, B., Dobson, E., Gascoine, L., Rajab, T., Reardon, J., Stafford, J. & Uwimpuhwe, G. (2022). The Teaching and Learning Toolkit: Communicating research evidence to inform decision‐making for policy and practice in education. Review of Education 10(1): e3327.
- Dobson, E.S. (2019). Labelling the labia - a lesson in how to terrify teachers: Pedagogical obstacles to the introduction of compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Education and Health 37(2): 54-60.
- Dobson, E., Beckmann, N. & Forrest, S. (2017). Educator–student communication in sex & relationship education: a comparison of teacher and peer-led interventions. Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development 35(4): 267-283.
- Dobson, E. (2016). For successful Sex and Relationship Education, effective communication is key: but with whom? Education & Health 34(4): 91-94.