Institute of Education


Q&A with Rob Savage

Rob Savage is Professor in Psychology and Human Development and Head of Department.

1  What attracted you to take up your position at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE)?
The opportunity to work in the worlds' leading education institution as a leader teacher and researcher, to undertake large scale research that contributes to basic science and positively impacts society through policy and action.

2  What is the focus of your research and what benefits do you hope your discoveries and/or insights will bring?
My work focuses on basic processes in reading development - essentially I am trying to understand why good readers become so and why some children struggle. My perspective is primarily one wherein basic cognitive and linguistic processes interact with learning experiences, particularly with teaching, in framing the patterns we see.

I also undertake large scale experimental reading intervention studies to test causal claims about these processes. To this end, I have a particular interest in evidence-based educational technologies. I evaluate other peoples' interventions in meta-analytic studies.

More broadly I am interested in effective teaching, inclusive schools and the interaction of socio-emotional processes, as well of course into how we can turn this into policy and value-added in teaching and teacher development.

3  What do you most enjoy about your position and why?
The unprecedented opportunities to work with other allied researchers in allied disciplines is a major advantage.

4  What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
I hope as I am just starting this journey (as Head of the Department of Psychology and Human Development) that I have at least set some of the foundations of deep analysis, firm principles, and strong relationships that will serve my department well into the future. 

5  Is there anything else you would like to add about your experiences at UCL?
I have been impressed by the diversity of staff students and community who share this university space, and the professional commitment, friendliness, and gently-stated pride all have taken in the work that they do.