John Parkin

Senior Lecturer Practitioner

Faculty of Health, Education and Social Care
ARU Peterborough
Areas of Expertise:
Education and teaching
Research Supervision:
Courses taught:

John is an experienced primary teacher and school leader with 17 years of primary education experience. His research interests include masculinities in education and how technology can support informal professional development.


John is an experienced primary teacher and school leader who has been working in education for over 17 years. He has taught across a range of different primary year groups, but most of his experience has been teaching Reception-age children. John has taught in range of schools both in the UK and in Egypt. In addition to a breadth of teaching expertise, John is an experienced school leader and was an Assistant Head Teacher of an outstanding infant school in Surrey. As a school leader, John has experience of developing an innovative curriculum, supporting the professional development of primary staff and being a Designated Safeguarding Lead.  He has also led computing, sports, science and global links in schools.

Since joining ARU in 2018, John has enjoyed teaching a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules. He also established the Accelerated BA Primary Education Studies course at ARU Cambridge and is the course leader for the three-year BA Primary Education Studies degree at ARU-Peterborough. He is completing a professional doctorate exploring the lived experiences of men completing a Primary Education Studies degree. As well as researching masculinities in education, John has research interests in how the internet can support informal professional learning and the links between wellbeing and technology.

Research interests

  • Masculinities in education
  • Informal professional learning through the internet and technology
  • Technology and wellbeing


  • BA (Hons) Primary Education Studies


  • B.Sc. (Hons) Genetics, Newcastle University
  • PGCE Primary Education, Urban Learning Foundation
  • MA New Literacies, University of Sheffield
  • MBA, The Open University
  • PG Cert Learning and Teaching (Higher Education), Anglia Ruskin University
  • Raspberry Pi Certified Educator
  • Mental Health First Aider 

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member, British Educational Research Association
  • Member, Society for Research into Higher Education
  • Member, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
  • Member, Computing at Schools

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Trustee and Treasurer, Men who Talk
  • Community Governor, St Matthews Primary School, Cambridge
  • Member of steering committee of the National Centre for Computing Education Hub for Cambridgeshire, Bedford, Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, South Holland and Wellingborough
  • Facilitator for National Centre for Computing Education.
  • Reviewer, Chevening Reading Committee, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Consultancy on using Educational Research to improve practice, Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge (£10 000)
  • Reviewer for Athena Swan applications (Advance HE)
  • External Examiner, University of the West of England

Selected recent publications

  • Driscoll, R., Trott, M., Pardhan, S. and Parkin, J., 2022.  Risks of digital screen time and recommendations for mitigating adverse outcomes in children and adolescents, Journal of School Health.
  • Parkin, J. and Spear, S., 2021.  ‘Staying Connected: the informal learning of primary teachers during the Covid-19 lockdown’, Impact, 13.
  • Spear, S., Parkin, J., van Steen, T. and Goodall, J., 2021. ‘Fostering ‘parental engagement with schooling’: primary school teachers’ insights from the COVID-19 school closures’, Educational Review

Other publications:

  • Parkin, J., 2021. ‘Digital Footprints: “I wouldn’t want someone from school to see all my posts’, Hello World, 15, pp. 64 – 65.
  • Parkin, J., 2021. ‘Running a Digital Detox with younger children’, Hello World, 17, pp. 36 – 37.
  • Parkin, J., 2019. ‘Realising the Potential for Programming in a Primary School’, Hello World, July, pp.54 – 55.

Recent presentations and conferences

  • Parkin, J. and Caws, D., 2022.  It’s good to talk: developing professional learning through an interdisciplinary community of practice. Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Conference: Mapping Interdisciplinarity: Finding our way, 7 March, University of Birmingham.
  • Parkin, J., 2022.  Experiences of male students on a Primary Education Studies degree: tensions in researching with students I teach. Researching Gender & Sexuality in Educational Settings: An event for PGRs and ECRs, 11 March, British Educational Research Association, online.
  • Spear, S. and Parkin, J., 2021.  Primary teaching during the first and second COVID-19 school closures: how schools learnt from lockdown. British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, 13 – 16 September, online.
  • Parkin, J., 2020. You did what over the weekend?! A workshop to develop the digital awareness of primary education studies undergraduates. 21st Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, 22 June, Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Parkin, J., 2020. You did what over the weekend?! A project to develop the digital awareness of primary education studies undergraduates. UEL Learning and Teaching Symposium, 17 September, University of East London.
  • Parkin, J., 2019.  Code Club for Younger Kids: Helping to excite children about coding from the start of school. Scratch Conference Europe, 24 August, Cambridge.
  • Parkin, J., 2019.  Primary classroom active learning strategies that work in lectures. 20th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, 25 June, Anglia Ruskin University.