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Dr Paul Tarpey

Senior Lecturer - Education Studies

Dr Paul Tarpey

About Research

Tel: 020 8240 4125


Paul’s background is in secondary teaching. He worked as an English teacher, deputy and head of department in West London schools for ten years. Paul then moved to teach A-Level at a West London FE college where he taught English language, literature, drama and communication studies.

Paul’s first degree is in English Studies and he holds a PGCE in Secondary English. He completed an MA in English Studies in Education and his PhD thesis explored the ‘Professional Memory’ of English teachers. Paul has a range of experience that allows him to teach over a number of subject areas on the Education and Social Science undergraduate course.

Academic responsibilities

  • Year 2 tutor
  • Academic tutor
  • Ethics Committee representative


  • Learning and Teaching
  • Communication and Academic Literacy 
  • History of Education
  • Values in Education
  • English Studies in Education
  • Research Methods
  • Planning and Assessment for Learning
  • Representations of Education in Popular Culture
  • Dissertation
  • Education in Popular Culture
  • Literacy, Class and Culture


Research profile

Paul’s present research interests lie in English in Education. He is currently writing up PhD research on ‘Professional Memory’ in English teaching from 1965 to 1975. This work combines Life History research and Collective Memory studies in order to create a collective, oral account of English teaching at a time of great change and radical innovation.

Paul suggests that by placing oral testimonies from teachers alongside existing histories of English teaching, it is possible to create a clearer sense of events and changes at a particular conjuncture. Also, that accounts of English drawn from Professional Memory have the potential to provide alternative ways of seeing the subject in order to provoke critical discussion among teachers about present and future responsibilities.

Find out more about Paul's research specialisms...


  • Tarpey, P (2020). ‘Exploring Professional Memory’, In Storying the Public Intellectual: Commentaries on the Influence and Impact of the Work of Ivor Goodson. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • Tarpey, P (2018) Developing Professional Memory: a case study of London English teaching 1965-1975. Rotterdam/Boston Brill/Sense.

  • Tarpey, P (2017) ‘Disrupting Continuities – re-thinking conceptions of ‘growth’ in English teaching.’ English in Education, vol 51, no 2.

  • Tarpey, P (2017) ‘We not I’ not ‘I me mine’ – learning from Professional Memory about Collectivist English teaching. Changing English, vol 24, no1.

  • Tarpey, P (2016) ‘Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble’ – what are the conjunctural effects on English teacher Professional Memories, identities and narratives? Changing English, vol 23, no 1.

  • Tarpey, P (2015) ‘Professional Memory in Context – can it help counter the ‘counter-revolution’?’ Changing English, vol 22, no 4.

  • Tarpey, P (2009) ‘Professional Memory and English Teaching’. English Teaching Practice and Critique, volume 8, Number 1, pp 52-63

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