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Professor Rob Klassen



I am Professor and Chair of the Psychology in Education Research Centre at the University of York. Since 2014 I have served as the Director of Research for the Department of Education.

I began my academic career as an Assistant Professor in 2004 in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Alberta in Canada and came to York in 2012. I previously worked as a teacher (1988-1992) and school psychologist (1992-2004) in Vancouver, Canada, with one-year stints in England (1998-99) and Australia (2003). My first two degrees (B.Ed. and M.A., Educational Psychology) are from the University of British Columbia, and my PhD (Educational Psychology) is from Simon Fraser University (2003). I am a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) in the UK.

I am keen to communicate with international academic colleagues and potential PhD students interested in research investigating motivation and emotions in education settings. In particular, please contact me if you would like to discuss the following projects:

  • Designing and testing teacher selection procedures
  • Adolescent motivation and engagement
  • Investigating teachers' engagement, relatedness, and emotion regulation
  • Cross-cultural studies of adolescent and teacher motivation



My work explores human motivation and emotions in diverse contexts. My current work combines educational and organisational psychological approaches to the problem of teacher selection (see

My research is funded by a European Research Council Consolidator Grant (2015-2020, €1.4 million). I am a collaborator on additional grants from Canada (SSHRC).

Three recent representative publications are:

  • Klassen, R. M., Durksen, T. L., Kim, L. E., Patterson, F., Rowett, E., Warwick, J., Warwick, P., & Wolpert, M. A. (2017). Developing a proof-of-concept selection test for entry into primary teacher education programs. International Journal of Assessment Tools in Education, 4, 96-114.
  • Klassen, R. M., & Kim, L. E. (in press). Assessing critical attributes of prospective teachers: Implications for selection into initial teacher education programs. In D. W. Putwain, & K. Smart (Eds.), British Journal of Educational Psychology Monograph Series II: Psychological Aspects of Education. Oxford: Wiley.
  • Klassen, R. M., Durksen, T. L., Patterson, F., & Rowett, E. (2017). Filtering functions of assessment for selection into initial teacher education programs. In D. J. Clandinin & J. Husu (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 893-909). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

External activities


I am a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), and on the Executive Committee of APA Div. 15 (Educational Psychology). I am also a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS), and the European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). I am a Chartered Psychologist in the UK.

International Links

My current research involves collaborators in Australia, Canada, Finland, Malawi, Oman, and the United Kingdom.

Associate Editorships

  • British Journal of Educational Psychology

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324396