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I am Professor of Educational Evaluation in the Centre for Research on Education and Social Justice (CRESJ) and Chair of the Ethics Committee. I am also Honorary Professor at Durham University.
I began my academic career in 2001 as a Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of York, and then progressed to Senior Research Fellow and Reader in Evidence-based education. In 2010 I took up a Chair in Experimental Design at the University of Birmingham and between 2012 and 2020 I was Professor of Education at Durham University. I previously worked as a secondary school teacher of English and Music between 1981 and 2001. My undergraduate and masters degrees are in English and Related Literature (BA University of York) and Modern Poetry in English (MLitt University of Stirling). I undertook my doctorate (EdD) in design issues in experimental research at the University of Sheffield (2006).
I was Co-chair of the Campbell Collaboration Education Co-ordinating Group between 2006-9 and Principal member of the United States Institutes of Education Sciences (IES) Reading & Writing and Science & Mathematics review panels and a consultant methodologist to the IES on research design between 2006-13. I am the founder and co-organiser of the annual international Randomised Controlled Trials in the Social Sciences Conference, now in its fifteenth year.
My main methodological research interests are in the use of experimental design and research synthesis to evaluate education and social policy.
My research focuses on the evaluation of educational and social interventions using randomised controlled trial, quasi-experimental and systematic review designs.
My current research projects are being undertaken in collaboration with the York Trials Unit, Durham University and University College London and are funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation.
Three representative publications are:
Torgerson, C.; Brooks, G.; Gascoine, L. & Higgins, S. (2019). Phonics: reading policy and the evidence of effectiveness from a systematic ‘tertiary’ review. Research Papers in Education 34(2): 208-238.
Filges, T., Torgerson, C., Gascoine, L. & Dietrichson, J (2019). Effectiveness of continuing professional development training of welfare professionals on outcomes for children and young people: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews 15(4): e1060.
Styles, B. & Torgerson, C. (2018). Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in education research –methodological debates, questions, challenges. Educational Research 60(3): 255-264.
Three representative invited talks:
Three representative media publications: