Steve Rayner


Professor Steve Rayner is recently retired from the position of Dean: Faculty of Education, Newman University, UK. He is now an Educational Consultant drawing upon his experience as an educational leader and manager both in school and at university and internationally recognised scholarship in the field of individual differences in learning, educational leadership and human performance. Steve’s leadership roles have included serving in schools as (1) a Senior, Deputy and Head Teacher, (2) School Governor/Trust Director for 2 schools and then an RC Academy Trust over a 15 year period, and (3) a Director for various academic groups in Higher Education including Continuing Professional Development, Research and Postgraduate Research Programmes of Study. He received the honorary award of an Adjunct Professorship from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2012 and Professor Emeritus, from Newman University, Birmingham UK in 2018.

He co-founded in 1995 and led an international research group, the European Learning Styles Information Network (ELSIN) whilst also serving for more than 8 years as the national Research Coordinator for the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS). He also during a twenty year period, led two CPD accredited courses; two EdD programmes of study; and, two Centres for education research (ACRE & NILE). He is experienced in the use of mixed method research methodology and CPD across a range of activity, e.g., institutional review, professional learning, organisational psychology, and human relations. Steve’s work has largely centred on the study of individual differences psychology in teaching, learning and leadership as well as the management of inclusion, special and higher education. This involved taking a lead role in projects such as: “Evaluation of the DfES Transforming School Workforce Pathfinder Project (2002-2005)”; “Fostering Inclusion in Dudley LEA (2002-2003)”; and,
consultant evaluation of the EU funded ‘Children as Learning Citizens’ – SOCRATES Comenius Project (1999-2003). More recent research projects (2005-15) include the following: researching international knowledge creation/exchange in styles research and lead roles in developing networking communities of practice (ELSIN and BELMAS); the construction and use of personalizing pedagogies associated with web-based learning; developing curricula/impact case studies in educationists’ professional learning at doctoral level; a funded Leadership foundation in Higher Education Research Project investigating academic leadership in the role of the professoriate in the ‘UK University’; and, the recent establishment (2015) of the Newman
Institute for Educational Leadership in Education (NILE). More recent collaboration with colleagues at Monash University also resulted in, “A Guide to Promoting a Positive Classroom Environment” winning academic/professional recognition for a CPD text with the presentation of the 2016 Exceptionality Education International Book Prize Award.

Other Activities

Selected Publications (from a comprehensive portfolio)

Peer Reviewed Articles

Rayner, S. G. (2015) Cognitive Styles and Learning Styles. In, J. D. Wright, (Ed.). International Encyclopedia of Social
and Behavioral Sciences (2nd edition), Vol 4, pp. 110–117. Oxford: Elsevier.

Browne, L., & Rayner, S., (2015) Managing leadership in university reform: Data-led decision-making, the cost of
learning and déjà vu? Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 43(2), 290-307.

Rayner, S. G. (2013). Problematizing style differences theory and professional learning in educational psychology. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 30(1), 13-35.

Evans, L., Homer, M., & Rayner, S. (2013) Professors as Academic Leaders: The Perspectives of ‘the Led’. Educational Management and Leadership, 41(5), 674–689.

Rayner, S. (2011). Researching style: epistemology, paradigm shifts and research interest groups. Learning and
Individual Differences. 21 (2), 255–262.

Morgan, A., & Rayner, S. (2011). Human resource development of non-commissioned officers in the army; a cognitive style perspective? Human Resource Development International, 14 (3), 305–320.

Peterson. E., Rayner, S., & Armstrong, S. (2009) Researching the psychology of cognitive style and
learning style: Is there really a future? Learning and Individual Differences, 19, 4, 518–523.

Rayner, S. (2008). Complexity, diversity and management: some reflections on folklore and learning leadership in
education. Management in Education, 19, 5, 22-28.

Gunter, H., and Rayner, S. (2007) The researcher, research and policy in education. International Studies in
Educational Administration, 34, 3, 37-50.

Gunter, H., and Rayner, S. (2007) Modernising the school workforce in England: challenging transformation and
leadership? Leadership, 3, 1, 47-64.

Rayner, S. G. (2007) A teaching elixir, learning chimera or just fool’s gold? Do learning styles matter? Support for
Learning, 22, 1, 24-31.

Books and Chapters

Sharma, U., Roodenburg, J., & Rayner, S. (2015) A Guide to Promoting a Positive Classroom Environment. Rotterdam, Netherlands: SENSE Pubs.

White, B., & Rayner, S. (2014). Dissertation Skills. Andover: Cengage Pubs.

Taysum, A., & Rayner, S. (Eds.). (2014) Investing in Our Education? Leading, Learning, Researching and the
Doctorate. Scarborough: Emerald Press.

Zhang, LF., Sternberg, R.J., & Rayner, S.G. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of Intellectual Styles. NY: Springer Pubs.

Rayner, S., & Cools, E. (Eds.). (2011). Style Differences in Cognition, Learning, and Management: Theory, Research
and Practice. New York: Routledge.

Rayner, S. (2009) Managing Inclusive Leadership: promoting professional praxis in the learning community. In, R.
Alenkær (Ed) The inclusive school in a management perspective. Copenhagen, Dk: Frydenlund A/S.

Rayner, S. (2009) Personalizing Style in Learning: activating a differential pedagogy. In, Dr. Constantinos Mourlas,
Nikos Tsianos and Panagiotis Germanakos (Eds). Cognitive and Emotional Processes in Web-based Education:
Integrating Human Factors and Personalization. Hershey, Pa: IGI Global Pub.

Rayner, S. (2007) Managing Special and Inclusive Education. London: Sage.

Rayner, S. (2007) What next? Developing global research and applied practice in the field of cognitive and learning
styles. In, Lassen, L., Bostrom, L. & Knoop, H. K. (Eds) Laering og Laeringsstile. Om unikke of faelles veje I
paedagogikken (pp 165 – 183). Virum, Denmark: Dansk Psykologisk Forlag.

Rayner, S. and Gunter, H. (2007) Remodelling leadership: moving beyond modernising reform. In, Butt, G., Gunter, H., and Thomas, H. (Eds) Modernising schools: people, learning and organisations. London: Continuum.

Rayner, S.G., & Ribbins, P. (1999). Headteachers and Leadership in Special Education. London: Cassell.

Riding, R.J., & Rayner, S.G. (1998). Cognitive Styles and Learning Strategies. London: David Fulton.