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Dr Helen Glasspoole-Bird

Profile summary

Professional biography

Helen joined the Centre for Police Research and Learning in January 2023 as a Research Fellow. In collaboration with other universities and agencies, she is working on a Government funded evaluation of police-led drug diversion schemes in three specific forces (Thames Valley Police, West Midlands and Durham).

Prior to joining the OU, Helen worked as a researcher based at UCL and the University of York working on projects focused on Police learning (blended learning for CPD) and classroom pedagogy respectively.

Having first worked as a primary school teacher, Helen was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education at Oxford Brookes University (2002-2013) and York St John University (2013-2020). As Programme Lead, she co-designed undergraduate and postgraduate professional courses linking theory and practice between university-based and school-based elements of the programme. During this time, she spent a year working with teachers and education projects in Uganda.

Research interests

With a BSc in Psychology and an MA focused on reflective practice in developing teachers, Helen’s research interests focus on the initial formation and the early development of professionals. This includes how an individual’s personal narrative and the professional expectations on them are integrated into a cohesive sense of self as they become part of a community of practice. Helen is interested in how reflective practice can become a meaningful tool for professionals working on the front line including how knowledge and experience are processed both cognitively and emotionally. She pursued her interest in the emotional dimension of teaching, policing and nursing for her PhD (UCL) by analysing the ways in which individuals manage anxiety and how they understand their changing sense of self whilst becoming a teacher, police officer or nurse.

Teaching interests

Helen has taught on a range of modules focused on developing pedagogies, key issues in professional development, the use of reflective practice, assessment of learning and how evidence-based research is used to question and shape professional practice. She has supervised undergraduate and postgraduate students’ research projects.