Dr Maggie Pitfield

Staff details

Dr Maggie Pitfield


Visiting Research Fellow


Educational Studies


m.pitfield (@gold.ac.uk)

Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Maggie’s schools-based research focuses on the contribution of educational drama practices to learning in English.

Dr Maggie Pitfield is a Senior Lecturer and former Head of the Department of Educational Studies. She teaches across Initial Teacher Education, Undergraduate and Masters programmes. Maggie’s passion for utilising drama methodology as an integral part of her teaching dates back to her own education as a beginning teacher and has been a feature of her practice throughout a career spanning 24 years in London comprehensive schools and 18 years in Higher Education. Her doctoral studies with the University of Nottingham focused on the contribution that educational drama practices make to the reading of literature texts in the secondary English classroom. Maggie’s research situates practice within the broader ideological context of schooling at institutional level and educational policy at a macro level.
In recent years Maggie has collaborated with Theo Bryer (UCL/IoE) in leading workshops for teachers on reading ‘classic’ stories and myths through drama.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, University of Nottingham - Reading through Drama: The Contribution that Drama Makes to Teaching and Learning in English. 2020
  • MA Drama and Theatre Studies (with distinction), Royal Holloway, University of London. 1993
  • Bachelor of Education, English and Drama (Joint Honours), University of Sheffield, Class 2.1. 1978
  • Certificate in Education with QTS: University of Sheffield Institute of Education (at Doncaster Metropolitan Institute of Higher Education). 1977

Teaching and supervision

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Pitfield, Maggie. 2015. A Pedagogy of Possibilities: Drama as Reading Practice. In: Anna Hickey Moody and Tara Page, eds. Arts, Pedagogy and Cultural Resistance: New Materialisms. London: Rowman and Littlefield International, pp. 95-111. ISBN 9781783484867


Pitfield, Maggie; Gilbert, Francis; Asamoah Boateng, Claudia and Stanger, Camilla. 2023. Selective amnesia and the political act of remembering English teaching. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 31(5), pp. 1059-1077. ISSN 1468-1366

Gilbert, Francis and Pitfield, Maggie. 2019. Teaching 1984 in the surveillance culture of schools. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 18(1), pp. 85-99. ISSN 1175-8708

Pitfield, Maggie. 2013. The impact of curriculum hierarchies on the development of professional self in teaching: student-teachers of drama negotiating issues of subject status at the interface between drama and English. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 21(3), pp. 401-426. ISSN 1468-1366

Conference or Workshop Item

Johnston, John; Pitfield, Maggie; Macleroy Obied, Vicky and Page, Tara. 2011. 'Explore The Big Draw'. In: Explore The Big Draw. Goldsmiths, London, United Kingdom.

Page, Tara; Pitfield, Maggie; Johnston, John and Macleroy Obied, Vicky. 2010. 'Blurring'. In: Blurring. Goldsmiths, London, United Kingdom.

Professional projects

I am a member of the London English Research Group. I am also a Trustee (learning and curriculum) of The Complete Works (TCW), an alternative provision school for young people permanently excluded from mainstream education.

Workshops for teachers (with Theo Bryer):
‘Old stories, new readings: using drama to bring new life to an ancient story’, at New Ways to Promote Reading for Pleasure, with Michael Rosen and special guests. Goldsmiths, University of London, 18th May 2019.

‘Reading as a fully interpretive, interactive and embodied experience - the role of drama’, at Michael Rosen’s Reading Revolution Conference. Goldsmiths, University of London, 23rd September 2017.

Workshop at the London Drama Annual Conference, Drama Now! ~ and the Way Ahead.
7th April 2017.

Conferences and talks

2018: ‘Active Approaches to Teaching Text’
Keynote speech at the London Association for the Teaching of English (LATE) spring conference, UCL/Institute of Education

2017: ‘Opening remarks: setting the context’
Writers and Teachers’ Conference, Goldsmiths, University of London

2016: ‘Teaching George Orwell in the Contemporary Surveillance Culture of English Secondary Schools’, (with Dr Francis Gilbert)
Annual Conference of the George Orwell Society. Goldsmiths, University of London

2015: ‘Defend Education, Defend Teacher Education’
From Cradle to Grave, the UCU Post-16 Education Conference, London.

2013: ‘Shaping teachers of Shakespeare: transformative moments in beginning teachers’ creative practice’, (with Dr Jane Coles)
The National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) Conference in Stratford upon Avon