Professor Debra Myhill
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean

Research

Research interests

My research interests are principally in the field of language and literacy, with a particular focus upon the teaching of writing; gender and literacy; and talk. My research is conducted collaboratively with colleagues in the Centre for Research in Writing. Our most recent research has looked at the role of grammar in the teaching and learning of writing, with a focus on functionally-oriented grammar making links between language and meaning, and children's metalinguistic understanding of writing. We are also very interested in composing processes in writing, and have explored both children, young people and adults' understanding and management of the writing process.

Research projects

I have been involved in a large number of research projects, along with colleagues in the Centre for Research in Writing - all investigating writing and the teaching of writing. Please see below for a full list of all these research projects. The Arts Council-funded exetreme imagination is a partnership of Arts organisations in Exeter, led by the University of Exeter. It is a biennial Festival, celebrating writing for children and writing by children, and brings children's authors to Exeter, and incorporate a wide range of creative and artistic events, taking writing as the springboard, as well as many workshops focusing on writing as a creative output.

Research grants

  • 2012 Arts Council
    exetreme imagination 2013: festival of writing for children and by children
  • 2012 Pearson Education
    Struggling Writers
  • 2012 ESRC
    Development in Metalinguistic Understanding in Writing
  • 2012 Education Endowment Fund
    Choice and Control: supporting writing in year 6
  • 2012 EPSRC
    Empowering Partnerships, Enabling Engagement
  • 2011 ESRC
    Grammar for Writing: Follow on Funding
  • 2010 Arts Council
    A Festival of Literature for Children and Young People, celebrating writing for children and writing by children.
  • 2009 DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families
    National Evaluation of 'Every Child a Writer'
  • 2007 DCSF Department for Children, Schools and Families
    Complex Expression in Secondary Writing: a Review of the Literature.
  • 2007 ESRC
    Grammar for Writing?
  • 2007 Economic and Social Research Council
    ESRC Grammar For Writing? Project studentship
  • 2004 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
    From Talk to Text: Using Talk to Support Writing
  • 2004 OFSTED
    Research in English Teaching: A literature review
  • 2003 Economic and Social Research Council
    Children's Linguistic and Compositional Processes in Writing
  • 2003 DfEE
    Best Practice Research Scholarships 2003: 9 successful scholarships gained, of which
  • 2003 Torbay LEA
    ESRC Research Seminar Competition 2003: International Series of Seminars 'Reconceptualising Writing 5-16', in collaboration with Leeds University and London Institute of Education.
  • 2003 Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
    Technical Accuracy in A level examinations
  • 2002 DfEE
    Best Practice Research Scholarships 2002: 12 successful scholarships gained, with funding
  • 2001 DfEE
    Best Practice Research Scholarships 2001: 15 successful scholarships gained, with funding of £37,500, of which £12,750 comes to the School of Education
  • 1999 Economic and Social Research Council
    The Use of Talk to Scaffold Learning in Whole Class Teaching. Co-applicant Professor Neville Bennett Nov 2000-May 2003

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