Emeritus professor Irvine Gersch

Emeritus Professor Irvine Gersch

Emeritus Professor

Professor of Educational and Child Psychology

Irvine is a professor of educational and child psychology interested in the voice of the child and young person as well as mentorship and coaching (of adults and children) using spiritual and philosophical listening techniques.

Qualifications

  • BA (HONS)
  • PGCE
  • DIPEDPSYCH
  • PhD
  • CPSYCHOL
  • FBPS
  • FHEA
  • PCertCoaching

Areas Of Interest

  • Coaching
  • Philosophical Life Compass Coaching
  • Supervision
  • Educational Psychology
  • Special Needs
  • Listening to children
  • Parenting
  • SEN mediation
  • Little Box of Big Questions - using philosophical conversations with children.
On This Page

OVERVIEW

Irvine is currently an emeritus professor of educational and child psychology at UEL where he previously held the post of Director of a professional doctorate programme. He is a qualified coach and supervisor, providing services to psychologists and others. He has helped develop role-play training methods for psychologists using professional actors. Irvine graduated in Psychology from University College North Wales Bangor, before completing his training in educational psychology at Swansea University.

Summary

He has worked as a schoolteacher, university lecturer, educational psychologist, senior and principal educational psychologist, mentor, supervisor, and coach. His PhD was in the area of school leadership and pupil behaviour, and he has acted as a consultant to schools. He has worked as an educational psychologist for more than 25 years, before taking up his university post in 2000. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching at UEL.

He served as chairperson of the British Psychological Society Training Committee for educational psychology and was a member of a government working group on the future role and training of educational psychologists, and the audit commission working group on poorly performing schools, as well as an Adviser to the Home Office on the Lower Moor Enquiry into water pollution and special needs in Cornwall. He has co-edited or written five books, (on Behaviour, Mediation, Parent Coaching, Parenting and Drama-therapy) and published chapters in books and articles in the fields of listening to children and pupil involvement, behaviour management, school leadership, systems analysis, management, educational psychology training, conciliation and mediation in Special Needs, teacher stress and the future of educational psychology. In 2002, he received the British Psychological Society's annual award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology. In 2016, he received the BPS DECP Award for Distinguished Contribution to Educational and Child Psychology.

His current research interests include listening to children, spiritual listening, SEN mediation and the role of children, parenting and the future of the profession of educational psychology. His publications in 2012 and 2015 include the Little Box of Big Questions and the Little Box of Big Questions 2: Learning, Behaviour and My Future. In 2016, Little Box of Big Questions 3 - philosophical questions to help you think about your study choices and career plan, was published. These tools aim to facilitate meaningful and philosophical conversations with children and young people. They are the subject of national and international research and aim to empower and help children, and young people plan their lives through deep listening to their motivations.

Together with his grandchildren, Bertie (10) and Jesscia (7) in 2021 he published a children's story book and adult guidelines for helping parents manage childhood sleep difficulties, called "The Amazing World of the Little Sleep Doctors". (Small World, Big Imaginations Ltd. In 2021 he published, with colleagues, the Philosophical Life Compass: How to make great decisions - a coaching tool for adults. This is available on thelifecompass website.

His passion throughout his career, guiding all his work, has been and remains, pioneering and developing new methods of listening to, respecting and amplifying the innermost voice of the child, with a view to empowering children and young people, especially those who are vulnerable and whose views might be unheard. He is now extending this work with adults, through supervision, mentoring and coaching.

Awards

  • 2016 : Annual Award: BPS Division of Educational and Child Psychology: for Distinguished Contribution to Educational and Child Psychology (2016) . Accepted at Conference. Harrogate. January 2017
  • 2002 : Annual Award : British Psychological Society : for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology. (2002).

Accreditations

  • Chartered Educational Psychologist
  • Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the BPS’s Division of Educational and Child Psychology
  • Past member of the BPS working group on the future of training in educational psychology
  • Past Team Inspector (OFSTED)
  • Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

CURRENT RESEARCH

  • Listening to children and young people
  • Coaching and mentorship
  • Development of Little Boxes of Big Questions 3 and 4

PUBLICATIONS

Books

  • Gersch, I. S., Van Nieuwerburgh S., Lipscomb, A, and Gersch. E. (2021)
  • The Philosophical Life Compass : How to make great decisions. A User's Guide. 3rd Edition. Hertfordshire. First published 2019.  "2nd edition 2020. ISBN 9-781739-850906 The Philosophical Life Compass Website. (2022)
  • Gersch, I.S., Caplan, B and Caplan, J. (2021) The Amazing World of the Little Sleep Doctors. Northants. Small World Big Imaginations Ltd. ISBN 978 1 910966 2 5.
  • Herman, M and Gersch, I. S. (2018) Everyday Parenting for Everyday Parents. 2nd edition. London, SEED UK. ISBN 9 780995-782907
  • Gersch, I. S. and Gunetilleke, S. (2016) Little Box of Big Questions 3. Some philosophical questions to help you think about your study choices and career path. Northants. : Small World, Big Imaginations Ltd. ISB : 978-1-910966-26-6
  • Gersch, I. S. and Conolly, A (2016) Little Box of Big Questions 1 and 2 : A Workbook and Guide for Adults. Northants: Small World, Big Imaginations Ltd. ISBN : 9781909207943
  • Herman, M. and Gersch, I.S (2016) Everyday Parenting for Everyday Parents. London : SEED
  • Gersch, I. S., & Lipscomb, A. (2015). Little box of big questions 2: my learning, my behaviour and my future. Northants: Small World-Big Imaginations Ltd.
  • Golawski, A., Bamford, A., & Gersch, I.S. (2013). Swings and roundabouts: a self-coaching workbook for parents and those considering becoming parents. London: Karnac Press.
  • Gersch, I.S., & Lipscomb, A. (2012). A little box of big questions: cards to encourage meaningful and philosophical conversations with children and young people. Northants: Small World Publishing.

 

Edited books

  • Leigh, L., Gersch, I.S., Dix, A., & Haythorne, D. (Eds.). (2012). Dramatherapy with children, young people and schools: enabling creativity, sociability, communication and learning. London: Routledge.

Book chapters

  • Gersch, I. S., Lipscomb, A., Potton, A. I., & Publication, A. (2017). The history of research by educational psychologists into ascertaining the voice of the child and young person. In J. Hardy & C. Hobbs (Eds.), Using qualitative research to hear the voice of CYP: The work of British educational psychologists. Leicester, England: BPS Publications.
  • O'Donnell, G.M., & Gersch, I.S. (2015). Professional and ethical issues when working with children and adolescents: an educational psychology perspective. In R. Tribe & J. Morrissey (Eds.), Handbook of professional and ethical practice for psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists (2nd ed., pp. 184-196). Hove, England: Brunner-Routledge.
  • Gersch, I.S. (2013). Educational psychology. In R. Bayne & G. Jinks (Eds.), Applied psychology: research, training and practice (2nd ed., pp. 290-292). London: Sage.
  • Gersch, I.S. (2012). Educational psychology, listening to children and dramatherapy. In L. Leigh, I.S. Gersch, A. Dix & D. Haythorne (Eds.), Dramatherapy with children, young people and schools: enabling creativity, communication, emotional wellbeing and learning (pp. 218-226).

Referred articles

  • Gersch, I.S., Blok, B., Devey Smith, L., Gellett, R, Howard, Luddington. and Morgan, H. (2022). Listening to Children and Young People’s (CYP) Experience and Perceptions During the Period of COVID-19 and their Advice for Teachers and Schools. Educational Psychology Research and Practice. Volume 8. Issue 1. Jan 2022. Awaiting publication. A journal published by the school of Psychology, the University of East London. London: UEL.
  • Thorne, L., Berhili, A, and Gersch, I.S. with Ward, D. (2021) Exploring interventions using philosophical conversations as an intervention for young people with social, emotional and mental health needs: A case study approach. Submitted for Publication

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Gersch, I. S. ( 2018) It's not what you learn – it's how you learn! Book review of The Learning Power Approach: Teaching Learners to Teach Themselves by Guy Claxton. Crown House. The Psychologist, July 2018. July. p74
  • Robinson, N., Bunn, H., & Gersch. (2017). A preliminary study on using the "Little Box of Big Questions (2012)" for children with social, emotional, behavioural and moderate learning needs. Educational Psychology Research and Practice, 3(2), 2-18. Available online
  • Ramsay, J.M., Cowell, N. and Gersch, I. (2018) How School Staff Understand the Relationship between Problem Behaviours and Language Difficulties. Educational Psychology in Practice. DOI: 10.1080/02667363.2017.1367647.
  • Gunetilleke, S, Gersch, I.S. and Cahill, S ( 2017) Helping Young People Make Career and Subject Choices about the Future with the Little Box of Big Questions 1 & 2 and the Development of Little Box of Big Questions 3. In preparation.
  • Gersch, I. S., Lipscomb, A., Potton, A. I., & Publication, A. (2017). The history of research by educational psychologists into ascertaining the voice of the child and young person. In J. Hardy & C. Hobbs (Eds.), Using qualitative research to hear the voice of CYP: The work of British educational psychologists. Leicester, England: BPS Publications.
  • Florence, Ian (2016): Little Box, big questions. Ian Florence talks to educational psychologist Irvine Gersch, The Psychologist. 27 (7) 564-565.
  • Gersch, I. S., (2016) Book Review. Worth more than a thousand words! Review of books by Jones Eves : An Angry Mood, An Excited Mood, A Loving Mood. Axxiom 2014-5. The Psychologist. BPS. October 2016. Vol. 9.
  • Thorne, L. and Gersch, I. S. (2016) Empowering Children to Learn; An Exploratory Study Using a Philosophical Listening Tool (The Little Box of Big Questions). Educational Psychology Research and Practice. 2 (2) Dec 2016, 8-18. Published by the University of East London
  • Connolly, M. & Gersch, I. (2016). Experiences of parents whose children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are starting primary school. Educational Psychology In Practice, 1-17.
  • Gersch, I. S. (2016). Listening to children and young people and empowering them - some new techniques using philosophical and spiritual listening. An educational psychologist's story. BPS South West of England Branch: South West Review, 2016(Spring), 38-43.
  • Butcher, R.L., & Gersch, I.S. (2014). Parental experiences of the "Time Together" home visiting intervention: an attachment theory perspective. Educational Psychology in Practice, 30(1), 1–18. doi:10.1080/02667363.2013.867254
  • Gersch, I.S., Lipscomb, A., Stoyles, G., & Caputi, P. (2014). Using philosophical and spiritual conversations with children and young people: a method for psychological assessment, listening deeply and empowerment. Educational and Child Psychology, 31(1), 32-47.
  • Gersch, I.S., & Cowell, N. (2014). Future careers: a study of the future aspirations of recently qualified educational psychologists. DECP Debate, 152, 30-43.
  • Connolly, M., & Gersch, I.S. (2013). A support group for parents of children on a waiting list for an assessment for autism spectrum disorder. Educational Psychology in Practice, 29(3), 293-308. doi:10.1080/02667363.2013.841128
  • Gersch, I.S., & Lipscomb, A. (2013). Listening to children's views about life's 'big questions': Is there a role for spiritual and philosophical questioning within educational psychology practice? DECP Debate, 46, 15-23.
  • Gersch, I.S., Lipscomb, A., & Howarth, I. (2013). [Review of the book Resources for developing self-esteem and social emotional skills]. DECP Debate, 146, 32-33.
  • Gersch, I.S. (2012). Power to the pupils [Review of the book The learning powered school : pioneering 21st century education, by G. Claxton, M. Chambers, G. Powell and B. Lucas]. The Psychologist, 25(7), 530.
  • Lipscomb, A., & Gersch, I.S. (2012). Using a 'spiritual listening tool' to investigate how children describe spiritual and philosophical meaning in their lives. International Journal of Children's Spirituality, 17(1), 5-23. doi:10.1080/1364436X.2011.651713
  • Carelse, B., Gersch, I.S., Cameron, S., & Lloyd Bennett, P. (2010). Mindfulness and educational psychology: a review of two conferences. DECP Debate, 136, 21-30.
  • Lloyd Bennett, P., Cameron, S., Gersch, I.S., & Carelse, B. (2010). Spirituality in education: is it worthwhile? DECP Debate, 136, 31-35.
  • Bennett, P.L. (2009). Professor Irvine Gersch: reflections on his career. DECP Debate, 132(September), 12-17.
  • Bennett, P.L. (2009). An interview with Professor Irvine Gersch on the training of educational psychologists. DECP Debate, 132(September), 7-11.
  • Gersch, I.S. (2009). A positive future for educational psychology - if the profession gets it right. Educational Psychology in Practice, 25(1), 9-19. doi:10.1080/02667360802697555
  • Axup, T., & Gersch, I. S. (2008). The impact of challenging student behaviour upon teachers' lives in a secondary school: teachers' perceptions. British Journal of Special Education, 35(3), 144-151. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8578.2008.00388.x
  • Gersch, I.S., Dowling, F., Panagiotaki, G., & Potton, A. (2008). Listening to children's views of spiritual and metaphysical concepts: a new dimension to educational psychology practice. Educational Psychology in Practice, 24(3), 225-236. doi:10.1080/02667360802256782

TEACHING

Modules

  • Interpersonal and Professional Skills
  • The Practice and Future of Educational Psychology Research
  • Philosophy, Epistemology and the Profession of Educational Psychology
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Research
  • Coaching and Mentoring

PORTFOLIO