paulet brown-wilsher profile

Dr Paulet Brown-Wilsher

Senior Lecturer

Department of Early Childhood & Education , School of Education and Communities

Subject area Lead - Education and Communities (EDUCOMM)

Programme Leader - Foundation Year for Early Childhood, Education and Special Needs Education and Communities

SMILES (Student Mentoring and Independent Learning Experiences) mentoring Project Lead

CMI Level 7 accredited Management Coach and Mentor

Areas Of Interest

  • Transition from primary to secondary school
  • Student engagement and progression
  • Active Community of Learning Environment (ACLE)
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Paulet has worked in higher education and has dedicated her life to student success. She believes that education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. As an academic, it is our job to provide the tools necessary for students to build their future and prepare them for every tomorrow to come.


Paulet has completed her PhD at University College London (UCL). Her study explores a school-based initiative that aimed to raise standards of literacy through the introduction of an adapted curriculum. It not only reflects on the School's concerns but also those relating to standards of literacy nationally. It forms part of a case study on the evaluation of the impact of A Literacy Support Initiative (LSI), a project which targeted a sample of secondary aged pupils whose attainment on entry to year seven was significantly below that of pupils of their age and well below the nationally expected level four. As such these pupils were at risk of academic failure. An illuminative evaluation and a phenomenographic approach will be used to describe, analyse and understand the ways in which the participants experience aspects of the LSI.

Paulet's current research now focuses on Student engagement, progression and retention in Higher Education. She is also exploring the need to create a community of learners in an active learning environment to support students as we emerge from the pandemic. Both of these areas emerged from her PhD studies that underpin students transitioning to Higher Education and the additional support needed to support students as they navigate through their new environment.

SMILEs Peer to Peer Student Mentoring Project

Paulet leads the SMILES project in the School of  Education: Collaborative Learning and Development, with students as partners - co-constructing and supporting the learner experience using peer-led mentoring. The project provides peer to peer support for Level 3,4, 5 and 6 learners in the School of Education and Communities to address the degree gap and student attrition issues faced especially in the first year when students join the university at level 4.

The student-centred project aims to build on the success of SMILES, a previous OFS (Office for Students) administered, and Access and Participation funded project, aiming to consider the outcomes, assessment, collation, and evaluation of all the various impact factors, that contribute, and impact on student attainment and outcomes, for example, attendance, access, engagement, and continuous progress and learning outcomes, as well as employability. In addition, the project builds on and aligns with the University's Vision 2028 Mental Wealth and Professional Fitness Programme by ensuring mentees and mentors are ready for the graduate workplace and enhance their employability.


  • Brown-Wilsher P. (2022) Transitioning to online teaching and learning: a discussion of barriers faced by educators and students in higher education during a global pandemic. RITE Journal
  • Brown, P. (2006) "Improving literacy Skills of at Risk students one year after transfer to secondary school.'' In John Richards (Eds.), International Perspectives of Educational and Training. Athens Institute for Education and Research: 301-311
  • Brown, P., Kingsford, J., Lall, M., Maw, N., Wellcome, W., (2003) Learning to use ICT in classrooms: Teachers; and trainers perspectives. London, Mirandanet

Conference Papers

  • 2007, At risk of failure: a phenomenographic approach in evaluating a Literacy
  • Brown, P.  (2007), Support Initiative (LSI) BERA, London At risk of failure: Pupils perceptions of the transition, ECER, Ghent Belgium
  • Brown, P. (2005), Curriculum and delivery changes to curriculum and improving literacy of "at risk".
  • Brown, P.  (2003), Students after transfer to secondary school, ATINER Athens, Greece Building a literate Bahamas, College of The Bahamas, Educational Forum
  • Brown, P.  (2003), Literacy: Making the transfer and transition, IOE Doctoral School Summer
  • Brown, P.  (2001), Conference Mid-Atlantic Region conference for Language Arts Teachers Chautauqua, New York
  • Brown, P.  (1999), Interactive learning of Young Writers’, Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English Language Arts
  • Brown, P. (1999) Writing a curriculum for students with reading difficulties, Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English Language Arts, Somerset, Pennsylvania
  • Brown, P. (2003) Building a literate Bahamas', College of The Bahamas 2003 Educational Forum

Currently working on paper: At risk of failure: a phenomenographic view of a Literacy Support Initiative.

Research Reports

  • Brown, P., Kingsford, J., Lall, M., Maw, N., Wellcome, W., (2003) Learning to use ICT in classrooms: Teachers; and trainers' perspectives. London, Mirandanet


  • ED 1023 Children's Literature
  • ED 2000 Research Methods
  • ED 2013 Issues in Child Development
  • ED 2018 Planning and Learning in the Early Years
  • ED 2022 Learning and Monitoring in Nursery and Primary Classrooms
  • ED3000 Research Methods
  • ED3400 Becoming and Early Childhood and Education student 
  • ED3401 Key Concept in Early Childhood and Education Studies
  • ED3402 Rethinking children's behaviour

Scholarly activities

  • Project evaluation of a 'Year 7 Project' in East London

External roles

  • External Examiner WHEN - Women in Higher Education Network Participant in 100 Black Women Professor


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Start a career working with and for children and their families, get an excellent foundation in early childhood studies.

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