Dr Victoria Devonshire
I graduated from Middlesex University in 1992 with a BEd (Hons). Following this I taught full time in a Primary school for eight years. During this time I became IT and English coordinator for Key Stage 1. I developed a keen interest in children's language and literacy acquisition, which I had the opportunity to develop further at the University of Portsmouth. I graduated in 2003 with a first class honours degree in Psychology. After finishing an MSc in Psychological Research Methods, I was awarded an ESRC PhD studentship in 2006. I was awarded her PhD in 2009; my thesis was entitled “Structure, logic and meaning; a route to reading and spelling”.
My PhD comprised four intervention studies involving over 400 primary school children. It compared the results of teaching children explicitly about morphology, etymology, phonology, and rules about form, with traditional phonic-based methods. The interventions were shown to be effective; it was found that children, even as young as five years, are able to appreciate the complex nature of their own writing system and that this understanding leads to improved reading and spelling.
In addition to continuing research on children’s reading and spelling, I am also a Research Fellow on the ‘Changing Mindsets’ project: Hoskins, S. & Devonshire, V. (2012) Changing Mindsets £368,460- funded by Education Endowment Fund.