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Dr Xiaofei Qi

Assistant Professor


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor in the School of EducationED234A 
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing  


Dr Xiaofei QI is an Assistant Professor at the School of Education, Durham University. Her current work focuses on early childhood education and development, digital parenting, assessment in education and includes studies of longitudinal and experimental designs. She teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate modules related to education generally and Early Years Education and Child Development as well as assessment in education in particular. She contributes to a range of academic and professional programmes at the School of Education and also supervises higher degree students. 

Xiaofei joined the School of Education in 2019 from the University of Cambridge where she was a Research Associate at the Education Reform and Innovation team within Faculty of Education. Prior to that, she worked at the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre heading up the centre’s project to develop a computerised adaptive entrance test for Eton College. Xiaofei obtained a PhD in Psychology from Birkbeck, University of London in 2015, with a thesis entitled "Does preschool experience matter?" Since then, Dr Qi's work has focussed on exploring the effects of school and home learning environment, particularly during the preschool and primary years, on children's intellectual, emotional and behaviour development as well as well-being more generally. Latest research projects include an EEF-funded RCT trial evaluating Maths Champions-a programme designed to develop maths teaching and children’s maths skills in nursery settings, and a longitudinal study exploring the digital features of home learning environment (HLE) and links to young children’s learning and development (social and emotional development in specific) in early years.

    Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

    Xiaofei would welcome postgraduate research proposals broadly in the areas of assessment and evaluation in education, early childhood education and child development, parenting and family studies, and digital technologies for EFL (English as a Foreign language) acquisition.

    For 2022/23 academic year docotral study enquiry, Xiaofei would welcome PhD research proposals in areas of assessment and evaluation in education, digital home learning environemnt and parenting support, and digital technologies for EFL (English as a Foreign language) acquisition.

    Teaching and supervisions

    Undergarduate modules 21/22

    EDUC2321 Leanring and Development in childhood (Module Convenor); EDUC2411 Assessing Education (Module Convenor)

    Postgraduate modules 21/22

    EDUC40130 Assessment (Module Convenor); EDUC40330 Psychological Perspectives (Lecturer)

    Undergarduate dissertation projects supervision 21/22 Yes

    Postgraduate dissertation projects supervision 21/22 Yes

    Research interests

    • Early childhood education and care (ECEC)
    • Parenting
    • Child ability assessment: verbal and non-verbal
    • Digital Home Learning Environment (HLE)
    • Educational assessment
    • Entrance test development
    • Computational modelling in second language acquisition (SLA)

    Esteem Indicators

    • 2020: Editor of Review of Education (BERA):


    Conference Proceeding

    • Yang, Juan, Qi, Xiaofei, Yan, Weiwei & Kuang, Xiaofang (2018). Attention allocation and transferring pattern mining in Chinese students invoking English. XIXth International CALL Research Conference, Bruges, University of Antwerpen.

    Doctoral Thesis

    • Qi, Xiaofei (2015). Does preschool experience matter? the relevance of preschool education and home activities for children's cognitive and social development at school entry in rural China. PhD.

    Journal Article


    • Robinson-Smith,Lyn, Whiteside, Katie, Torgerson, Carole, Qi, Xiaofei, Fairhurst, Caroline, Elliott, Louise Hewitt, Catherine, Joshi, Kalpita, Menzies, Victoria, Torgerson, David & Ainsworth, Hannah (2020). Independent evaluation of Maths Champions in nursery settings to develop children’s early numeracy: A two-armed cluster randomised controlled trial Evaluation Protocol. Education Endowment Foundation.
    • Tracey,Louise, Torgerson,Carole, Welch,Charlie, Fairhurst, Caroline, Gridley, Nicole & Qi, Xiaofei (2019). Efficacy of the ParentChild+ programme: trial evaluation protocol. Education Endowment Foundation.
    • Brownhill,S, Qi, X, McLaughlin,C, Warwick, J & Yardeni, A (2018). Kindergartens in China: a scoping study. Working report on the China Peking Early years Project. University of Cambridge.
    • Qi,Xiaofei & Stillwell, David (2017). New Eton List Test Psychometric Analyses. Working report on the Eton Project. University of Cambridge.

    Supervision students