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Donald Simpson

01642 384483
Job title:
Senior Lecturer in Education
School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
Social Sciences, Humanities & Law research

About Donald Simpson

Dr Donald Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Teesside. His teaching and research interests lie in the areas of early childhood, education and youth studies.  He was formerly a primary school teacher and obtained an MA (University of London Institute of Education) before completing a full-time PhD (Open University).  He then worked as a contract researcher before taking up his current post.   Donald is module leader on several undergraduate modules within the Education Section at Teesside. He is also a supervisor of EdD and PhD students. He has published individually and as co-author in a range of international peer reviewed journals - please see details via Tees Rep.

Research interests

When a contract researcher Donald worked on projects focusing upon various aspects of childhood, education and youth.   Currently Donald is leading research considering pre-school practitioners’ perspectives on child poverty and how they work with poverty.  He is collaborating with colleagues across England and the USA on this project. The research has been supported by grants awarded to Donald from the British Academy and The Society for Educational Studies and connects up his interests in pre-school education (his teaching career began with reception children over 25 years ago) and poverty, disadvantage and social justice.   See:

Currently Donald is also completing an additional strand of research across Teesside for the High Achieving White Working Class Boys Project via collaboration with colleagues at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) in Birmingham. Details can be found at: 


Recent Journal Articles and Books:
Simpson, D., Lumsden, E. & McDowall Clark, R. (2015) ‘Pre-school practitioners, child poverty and social justice’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 35, 5/6, pp.325 – 339. 
Simpson, D., Lumsden, E. & McDowall Clark, R. (2015) ‘Neoliberalism, global poverty policy and early childhood education and care – a critique of local uptake in England’, Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development, 35(1), pp. 96-109.
Cieslik, M. & Simpson, D. (2015) ‘Basic Skills, Literacy Practices and the ‘Hidden Injuries’ of Class’, Sociological Research Online, 20(1), 7.

Simpson, D. & Envy, R. (2015) ‘Subsidizing early childhood education and care for parents on low income: moving beyond the individualized economic rationale of Neoliberalism’. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 16(2), pp 166-178.

Cieslik, M. & Simpson, D. (2016) ‘The Influence of Basic Skills and Literacy Practices on Youth Transitions and Identities’. In: Furlong, A. (ed.) Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood [2nd ed.]. Abingdon: Routledge

Simpson, D., Loughran, S., Lumsden, E., Mazzocco,P., McDowall Clark, R. & Winterbottom C. (2017): '‘Seen but not heard’. Practitioners work with poverty and the organising out of disadvantaged children’s voices and participation in the early years', European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, DOI: 10.1080/1350293X.2017.1288014
Recent Conference Presentations:
April 2016 Public Policy Exchange – Symposium titled, Child and Adolescent Health and Well-being: The Next Steps Towards Tackling Child Poverty In Our Communities. Presenter and panel member.

May 2016 Organization Mundiale Pour l 'Education Prescolaire (World Organization for Early Childhood Education) European Conference at Canterbury Christchurch University, Kent, UK. Seen but not heard’? Working with poverty and the organising out of disadvantaged children’s voices and participation in the early years.
Sept 2016 EECERA (European Early Childhood Education Research Association) Annual Conference, Dublin City University, Ireland ‘Quality ECEC’ for children in poverty: routine supportive human technology or detrimental site for constraint?

Sept 2016 Leeds Centre for Interdisciplinary Childhood and Youth Research Conference Child and Youth Poverty: Concepts, Contexts and Consequences, Devonshire Hall, Leeds. “‘Quality ECEC’ for children in poverty: routine supportive human technology or detrimental site for division?”

View Donald Simpson's Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • Nursery management: poverty - destined for failure?
    Nursery World, online, 21/09/2015
    Dr Donald Simpson, from Teesside University, has led a two-year study into practitioners' perceptions of poverty.

  • Donald Simpson, senior lecturer in education, Teesside University
    NurseryWorld [online] 30/06/14; NurseryWorld, 30/06/14, P.7
    Dr Simpson has led a two-year study, supported by a British Academy research grant, exploring early years practitioners' beliefs about child poverty to determine how they relate to their work with chi