Peps Mccrea

Senior Associate Dean
Speaking at


Influential Teaching: catalysing motivation and independence in the classroom

What pupils attend to dictates what they learn. But how do they decide what to attend to? To what extent is this decision conscious? Why do some pupils care more about some subjects that others? What influence do peers have on pupil interests and behaviours? Or pop idols? Or the structure of the school environment? As teachers, can we influence pupil motivation? If so, how? And should we?
For over a year, Peps has been digging into the best available evidence – from evolutionary psychology, behavioural science, and software design – in an attempt to shine some light on these slippery questions. He is currently endeavouring to weave these insights into a coherent, actionable framework that teachers can use to catalyse motivation and independence in the classroom. Come along, find out where he’s up to, and go away with greater influencing skills for the classroom.


Peps is an Associate Dean at the Institute for Teaching, working with some incredibly smart folks on the design of a world-class Masters in Expert Teaching programme. He’s also a co-founder at Numeracy Ready, and author of Memorable Teaching and Lean Lesson Planning. Peps lives in Brighton with a couple of lovely little kids and an incredible wife who’s currently trying to convince him to build a hot tub in the garden. He dances like no one is watching, which is probably for the best.


Expert teaching: what is it and how do we build it?

What is expert teaching? What does it look like? Do expert teachers even exist? If so, how can we identify them? What do expert teachers know? What do they think, what do they see, what do they feel? Is it possible to be an expert in ‘teaching’, or only in ‘teaching maths to KS4 on a Friday afternoon’? Do you still retain your expertise if you move to a different school? Or classroom? Is it even possible to make teachers more expert? If so, how? Which activities build expertise the fastest? What role might deliberate practice play? How do other sectors do it?

Over the last 9 months Peps has been reading, thinking and talking to teachers, leaders and experts in education to get to the bottom of these vexing questions, as part of the design of a new Masters in Expert Teaching programme. Come along and find out what he’s learnt.