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Tim Jay

Professor Tim Jay BSc, PGCE, PhD

Professor of Psychology of Education


Tim Jay is Professor of Psychology of Education in the Sheffield Institute of Education. He came to Sheffield Hallam in 2014, after six years as lecturer and then senior lecturer in psychology of education at the University of Bristol.

Tim has a background in psychology and in mathematics teaching. His main research interests are focused on individual differences in the ways that young children learn about number and mathematics.

  • About

    Tim’s recent work has looked at children’s out-of-school mathematics learning. Part of this research, a 2-year project funded by the Leverhulme Trust, involved work with primary school children to document and then ‘find the maths’ in their out-of-school lives. This led to a second 2-year project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, working with parents to design and evaluation a series of workshops designed to empower parents to support their children’s mathematics learning through the sharing of mathematics in everyday life.

    Tim has a particular interest in interdisciplinary theory and method in Education. He is currently leading a project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, developing video games to promote young children’s symbolic number sense. He is also interested in ways that social and cognitive factors interact in children’s learning.

    • Early years
    • mathematics learning
    • interdisciplinary research
    • out-of-school learning
    • family learning

  • Teaching

    Department of Teacher Education

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    My research centres on children's mathematics learning. More specifically, I am interested in the ways that individual differences in cognitive and social factors affect children's experience of the mathematics classroom.

    I have led projects funded by Sustrans, QCA, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Nuffield Foundation, and have been involved in a number of other research projects led by colleagues, with funding from the EEF and the Royal Society.

    Lead on regulated funding strategy in SIOE

    White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership pathway director for Education, Childhood and Youth

    Convenor for the Research Methodology in Education SIG for the British Educational Research Association

  • Research

    RAIDING: Researching adaptivity to individual differences in number games. November 2016 -November 2018, £130,000, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Tim Jay (PI), Jake Habgood (Computer Science, SHU), Paul Howard-Jones (Education, Bristol).

    The Everyday Maths Project. October 2013 – January 2016, £130,000, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

    Exploring the mathematics in children’s out-of-school economic activity. October 2011 – October 2013, £90,000, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

    • Royal Society
    • ESRC
    • Leverhulme Trust
    • Nuffield Foundation

  • Publications

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