Professor Mark Pike PhD

Professor Mark Pike PhD


I am Emeritus Professor of Education and I am the Principal Investigator of the Narnian Virtues character education curriculum research project funded by a £1.2m grant from the Templeton Foundation. I served as Head of School of Education until 2017 and since then I have served as CEO of a Multi-Academy Trust providing full-time education for over 7,000 students aged 4-18.

My most recent books are: Mere Education: C.S. Lewis as Teacher for our Time (Lutterworth, 2013) which has been translated into Dutch as Onversneden Onderwijs (2015) and Ethical English – Teaching and Learning in English as Spiritual, Moral and Religious Education (Bloomsbury, 2015). My articles have been published in journals such as the Oxford Review of Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Journal of Character Education and  Journal of Beliefs and Values – studies in religion and education. I also serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Moral Education.

After a first degree at the University of Leeds (where I met my wife who was an international exchange student), a decade of school teaching, leadership and management and an ESRC-sponsored PhD at Southampton University, I returned to Leeds. Since then I have led ESRC, AHRC, QCA and Templeton research projects, taught on BA, MA, PGCE, EdD and PhD programmes and provided consultancy to government and schools.


  • Principal Investigator of the Narnian Virtues Character Education Research Project

Research interests

My research areas of specialism include the following:

  • Character and moral education
  • Educational leadership of schooling
  • Christian-ethos schooling and Christian education
  • Values and virtues in schooling and society
  • English and the humanities in schooling
  • C.S. Lewis as an author and educator

Previous Research Projects

I was the Director (Principal Investigator) of the Narnian Virtues Character Education research project which was generously funded by a research grant of £1.1M from the Sir John Templeton Foundation (2014 - 2019). Professor Thomas Lickona, Director of the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs at the State University of New York was the project Co-Investigator. The project investigated how young people can learn the virtues of wisdom, love, justice, integrity, self-control and fortitude as they read and respond to three of the Narnia novels by C.S. Lewis. The project was informed by findings from the Knightly Virtues character education project based at the Jubilee Centre at Birmingham University. Some of the results from the first year pilot project are published in the booklet excellence & ethics (Spring 2016), and further information about the project is available here.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (ESRC Studentship) 2000, Southampton University
  • PGCE (teacher's certificate to teach English and RE to 11-18-year-olds, Nottingham University
  • BA (Hons) University of Leeds

Student education

I teach on BA, MA, EdD and PhD courses with special reference ethics, values and character (of everything from teaching and learning to school leadership).

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>