Dr Bethan Garrett



Name: Dr Bethan Garrett
Department: Children, Education and Communities
Current position: Lecturer
Email: bethan.garrett@edgehill.ac.uk
Location: Ormskirk Main Campus, Faculty of Education
Social Media: @bethan_garrett


Beth is one of the founder members of the new BA(Hons) Education degree, leading on the psychology strand of this and taking a substantial role in the writing and validation of the degree. She currently leads modules focused on problem-based learning and educational psychology, as well as assuming the role of personal and academic tutor.

Within the Department for Children, Education and Communities, Beth’s teaching is in the field of primary mathematics. She leads the PGCE Mathematics Specialist route, organising the additional training for this group of students. She also leads the Level 6 core mathematics module, which is focused on creative and innovative approaches.

Further teaching includes the Academic and Professional Development module for the PGCE students, Evidence Based Research and Leadership for the Mathematics Specialist and a recently revised Reflective Practitioner module for the part-time route.


  • 2017: Edge Hill University: PGCert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • 2014 Lancaster University: PhD in Educational Research
  • 2010 Cambridge University: MPhil in Educational Research Methods
  • 2009 Leeds University: MA in Teaching
  • 2007 Open University: Psychology
  • 2005 Leeds University: PGCE in Primary Education
  • 2003 University of Sheffield: BA(Hons) English and Music


Motivation theory: I am particularly interested in teachers’ motivation and how this is constructed through individual and social processes. My focus for this has been within primary school settings, looking at teachers’ engagement with subjects which are either on the periphery of the curriculum and/or are deemed challenging to one’s sense of self. My main contribution has explored how personal and social factors interact with one another to impact upon motivation and engagement.

Music education: My PhD research and beyond has explored music education in the primary school, looking at how whole school approaches can enhance the motivation of individual practitioners.

Community education: My current research is focused upon the concept of community education and learning. I am interested in understanding the complex dimensions of this, in relation to policy, practice and the motivation of participants.

Mathematics education: I have conducted research alongside the mathematics specialist students, looking at the identities, challenges and values associated with the specialist routes.  I have also worked alongside a school who have been implementing a mastery approach.

Research Groups

Beth currently leads the Faculty’s Educational Research Academic Study group (ERAS). As part of her role, she has organised lunchtime research cafes, in conjunction with Learning Services, inviting speakers from across the Faculty and beyond. Additionally, she has teamed up with Claire Moscrop from the Centre for Teaching and Learning to arrange regular writing sessions; these have proved invaluable for enabling colleagues to block off time for focused writing in a supportive environment.

Beth is a member of the Narrative Research Group and has taken on the role of research mentor for colleagues. She is very keen to support the research ethos of the Faculty.


Current work under review:

Complex levels of teacher motivation: Using qualitative methods to unravel the personal and social influences on practitioner engagement with marginalised subjects

Frustrations, dissonances and restrictive beliefs: An exploration of the personal and situated challenges experienced by primary mathematics specialist trainee teachers. 

Published work:

Garrett, B. 2018. Confronting the challenge: An examination of how a whole school approach to music can increase generalist teachers’ motivation and engagement. RSiME [In press]

Garrett, B. 2017. Touching the infinite: Inspiring individuality in a conservatoire environment. In Cain, T. and Cursley, J. 2017 Teaching Music Differently. Oxon: Routledge

Garrett, B. 2016 Review: Activating diverse musical creativities: teaching and learning in higher education. Journal of Education for Teaching, 42(2), 267-269.

Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise

  • ‘The value of advanced subject knowledge in the teaching of primary mathematics: Exploring the experiences of specialist trainees’. ACRE conference, Edge Hill University: July 2017
  • ‘Correcting, condemning or celebrating? Valuing individual differences in a UK conservatoire.’ Values in Education. Edge Hill University: July 2016
  • ‘Primary school teachers’ competence beliefs in music: The impact of school context on the formation of positive self-efficacy judgements.’ The role of competence beliefs in teaching and learning. British Psychological Society Conference: Psychology of Education Section: October 2015
  • ‘Creative dilemmas: Factors influencing the avoidance of performance-based subjects in the primary school.’ Annual Conference for Research in Education, Edge Hill University, July 2015
  • ‘Maximising motivation for music: An investigation into personal and social factors.’ Early Career Researcher conference, Edge Hill University, June 2015
  • ‘From motivational theory to classroom practice: Exploring primary teachers’ engagement with music.’ Kaleidoscope Conference 2014, University of Cambridge, May 2014
  • ‘Music for all? Reflections and perceptions of generalist teachers on the place of music in the primary school curriculum.’ Subjects and Subjectivities Conference , Edge Hill University, July 2013
  • ‘From theory to practice: Using motivational theories to heighten primary school teachers’ engagement with music.’ SPARC Conference, University of Salford, June 2013
  • ‘Primary school teachers’ motivation to engage with music: Exploring the dimensions and interactions of individual and contextual factors.’ Research in Music Education International Conference, University of Exeter, April 2013
  • ‘Exploring primary school teachers’ motivation for music: The journey from quantitative surveys to qualitative interviews.’ PGR Methods Conference, University of Manchester, August 2012
  • ‘Motivation, music and methodology: Reflections on a mixed methods approach to teacher engagement.’ Work in Progress Conference, University of Lancaster, July 2012
  • ‘Primary school teachers’ motivation for music: Exploring individual and social factors.’ Lancaster Sociology Conference and Intellectual Party, University of Lancaster, July 2012
  • ‘Primary school teachers and their motivation to engage with music: Bridging the cognitive-situative divide.’ Kaleidoscope Conference, University of Cambridge, Presentation, June 2012
  • Poster presentation: ‘The use of narrative in motivation research.’ North West Doctoral Centre Opening Event, April 2012


Beth’s career in education began as a primary school teacher and music coordinator in Manchester. Whilst teaching, she completed a part-time Master’s degree focused on the teaching and learning process, which inspired her to continue to pursue her interests in educational research.

Following a further research-focused Master’s at Cambridge, Beth completed an ESRC-funded PhD at Lancaster, supervised by Professor Colin Rogers. During this time she taught undergraduates across the Psychology in Education degree, as well as being involved in organising student conferences and regular PGR events. She regularly attended writing days and participated in an informal project looking at assessment practices in the Department.

She began working at Edge Hill as an associate tutor, whilst writing up her PhD, and gained a permanent lecturer’s position in 2015.


In 2017 Beth led a successful RIF bid, securing funding for a collaborative project.

In 2015 her poster won a prize at the Edge Hill Early Career Researcher Conference, securing the funding to attend two international conferences.

She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Faculty Research Steering Group and the Faculty’s representative on the Graduate School Board of Studies.

Professional Development and Enhancement

Beth has attended a number of Vitae training courses, including:

  • Leadership in action
  • PhD Grad School Residential
  • Researcher Development for Non-Linear Career Paths

In 2016, she participated in a Mathematics Mastery course at the National STEM Centre in York and has since attended regular events at the North West Mathematics Hub.