Sophie is the director of the Hungry Mind Lab, and a Professor of Psychology in Education at the University of York.
She studies the causes and consequences of individual differences in learning, integrating theories and methods across the disciplines psychology, education, sociology, epidemiology, and genomics. Her research addresses how family background, early life experiences, and education opportunities informs children’s cognitive development and their educational outcomes. It builds on secondary data analyses from population cohort studies and on digital assessment technologies for collecting repeated, in-depth, naturalistic observations.
One of Sophie’s current foci is to critically evaluate ‘personalized education’, an increasingly popular approach to responding to children’s differential learning needs that seeks to optimize the match between learner and instruction. However, ‘personalizing’ education necessarily requires selecting children into some and out of other learning environments, which stands against the principle of equal learning opportunities for all. Achieving equity in education while preserving the equality of educational opportunity is a challenge for education systems around the world.