Institute of Education


Q&A with Louise Stoll

Louise Stoll is a Professor in Professional Learning, based at the Centre for Educational Leadership.

What is the focus of your research?
How schools, local and national systems create capacity for learning, with an emphasis on schools as learning organisations, professional learning communities and learning networks, creative leadership, leadership development and connecting research and practice.

What's the most important thing you've learned from your students?
That it is others who animate an academic’s knowledge, who bring it to life in their context. In the knowledge exchange process, students and others I work with (colleagues, leaders of schools and systems) enrich my knowledge as much as, I hope, I enrich theirs.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
Being awarded a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences, along with being described as a ‘pracademic’ – in my case an academic who is passionate about supporting practice – and being made a Life Member of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, after my presidency of the organisation.

Being described as a ‘pracademic’ – in my case an academic who is passionate about supporting practice."

What attracted you to take up your position at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
Working with world-class colleagues; its commitment to bridging research and practice by working closely with school and system leaders and schools; the opportunity to be part of building a national and international network of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. 

What do you most enjoy about your position?

  • Working with colleagues and partners to facilitate and/or study evidence-informed initiatives in order to help leaders develop their knowledge, understanding and practice and enhance teaching, learning and wellbeing.
  • Research and development projects with school and system leaders.
  • Designing evidence-informed materials for leaders, and the associated stimulating and challenging conversations.
  • Supporting colleagues with writing, research bids and development projects.
  • Analysing and synthesising research data with colleagues.
  • Conceptual and strategic thinking and writing.

What might it surprise people to know about you?
Music is very important to me, including jazz harmony singing.

What other subjects outside of your area of specialism interest you?
Anything that will support creating capacity for learning, so learning itself, futures thinking and its implications for education, teacher and school leader wellbeing, and more!