Professor Guida de Abreu

Professor of Psychology

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Guida de Abreu is a Professor in Cultural Psychology. Her research focuses on learning and participation in sociocultural contexts as processes that involve the re-construction of self and identities.   Her research has been responsive to changes in society, and to the challenges that migration and globalisation pose to the understanding of learning and identity development and cover three main topics.  One topic focuses on culture and mathematical cognition, in particular on the relationships between home and school mathematical learning. A second topic focuses on experiences and representations of children and young people´s identity development and learning in contexts of socio-cultural diversity, cultural transitions (such as immigration), and socio-cultural changes, including the perspectives of parents and teachers. A third topic focuses on the impact of immigration on cultural identity development of adults.

Guida is interested in multi/ interdisciplinary research with real world impact. This is reflected in her current major research activities as a UK partner in the European Commission Horizon 2020 project New ABC - Networking the educational world: Across boundaries for community-building  and in her role as a steering committee member of the “Migration and Refugee Research Network”, newly established cross Faculty interdisciplinary research network at OBU.

Teaching and supervision


Past PhD students

  • Adil A. A AL Ghamdi “Acculturation Experiences and Identity Negotiations in Saudi Arabian International Students in the UK: From an Acculturation Perspective to a Dialogical Self Perspective”
  • John Hyslop “How Do Peer Networks Enable Service Users and Informal Carers to Obtain and Manage a Personal Budget? (MPhil)
  • Dan Butcher “Forming  personal, professional and academic identities among Beginning Student Nurses’
  • Sarah Gillespie “Giving students a voice: A novel holistic approach to understanding and resolving the issues of retention and persistence in the UK”
  • Albana Canollari. “Parents’ social representations of their children’s schooling: the case of Albanian emigrants, returned emigrants and non-emigrants”.
  • Richard Newton. “Children’s mathematical learning in primary schools: understanding parental involvement”.
  • Sandy Oldfield. “Coping and Psychological Adjustment of Parents of Children with a Chronic Illness”
  • Ria O’Sullivan-Lago. “The dialogical self in a cultural contact zone: The impact of cultural continuity”
  • Evangelia Prokopiou  "The development of pupils’ cultural and academic identities in supplementary and complementary schools’"
  • Akiko Watanable “Japanese children experiences with cancer”
  • Sarah O’Toole.  “Understanding the Educational World of the Child: exploring the ways in which parents’ and teachers’ representations mediate the child’s mathematical learning in multicultural contexts”

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Parmida Mohammadpour Home Numeracy Practices of Primary School Children: Parent Perspectives 2022


NEW ABC - Networking the educational world: Across boundaries for community-building. European Commission Horizon 2020  (2021-2024)

Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004640”.

Brief description: The NEW ABC project contributes to educational, cultural and social inclusion by taking a collaborative and participatory approach in the co-creation of nine innovation pilot actions aimed at enhancing the integration of immigrant children and young people in education through collaborative partnerships that foreground young person-led innovation activities. The pilot actions will be co-created with the specific aim of ensuring their adaptability, scalability, long-term sustainability and take-up of the results by the identified users. The project will be implemented in 9 EU countries with 14 partners.

The UK partners, Oxford Brookes University and The Open University, are collaborating in two innovative pilot actions:

  •  ‘Empowering young translators’ : The aim of this pilot action is to work with young people, who translate and interpret for peers, family and the local community to develop and design resources to improve the cultural, social, emotional and wellbeing elements of being a young translator.
  •  ‘The Adventures of the Little Prince in the World’:  In this pilot action, the UK team will take the innovation pilot action developed by the Cyprus partner and evaluate the usefulness of those resources in a school in the UK.  The aim is to increase the resilience of migrant young people by reshaping the narrative of their experiences, allowing them to become better integrated into daily school life through engagement with inclusive activities.

Research group membership

Migration and Refugees Research Network - Steering Committee Member (2021-2022)



Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Networking the Educational World: Across Boundaries for Community-building’ — ‘NEW ABC’ led by the University of Bologna. (01/01/2021 - 31/08/2024), funded by: European Commission, funding amount received by Brookes: £300,780


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