Dr Wendy Symes

Dr Wendy Symes

School of Education
Lecturer

Contact details

Address
School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Wendy Symes is interested in psychological predictors of achievement, such as motivation, interest, self-concept and anxiety. She has worked on a number of research projects in the area with researchers from the UK, China and Germany.  She is also interested in the inclusion of students with autism. In particular, she is interested in how schools can support the social experiences of such learners.

Feedback and office hours

  • Wednesday - 09.30 - 13:30
  • Thursday – 09:00 – 10:00

Qualifications

  • 2016 PhD in Education, University of Manchester, UK
  • 2010 MSc in Educational Research, University of Manchester, UK
  • 2006 BSc in Psychology, University of Surrey, UK

Biography

After completing her psychology degree in 2006, Wendy Symes began working at the University of Manchester as a Trial Manager for a childhood-anxiety intervention. In 2009 she began work on a large-scale ESRC funded studied examining the experiences and outcomes of included students with autism. In 2011, she was invited to teach at East China Normal University, Shanghai, where she also undertook research examining policies and practices to teach creativity in schools. Upon returning from China, she began her PhD studies. For her PhD, she designed an intervention focused on improving the social inclusion of secondary school students with autism. Alongside this work, Wendy has designed and conducted numerous studies examining the impact of high-stakes testing on student outcomes and teacher practices. In particular, she has been involved in developing theory to explain how students interpret value-promoting messages from their teachers about their exams. She continued this work whilst working at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and has presented on the topic at numerous national and international conferences. She is currently involved in a research project investigating the effects of test anxiety on student attention

Teaching

Wendy currently teaches on the psychology modules of the BA Education Studies programme.

Year 1 – Introduction to Psychology and Child Development (Module leader)

Year 2 – Child Development: Psychological approaches (Module Leader)

Year 3 – Cultural Psychology 

Research

Wendy’s research focuses on psychological predictors of achievement such as motivation, self-efficacy and emotion.  Her specialism is the impact of high-stakes testing on teacher and student behaviour.

Publications

Putwain, D., Becker, S., Symes, W. & Pekrun, R. (2018). Reciprocal relations between students’ academic enjoyment, boredom, and achievement over time. Learning and Instruction, 54, 73-81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.08.004

Putwain, D., Symes, W. & McCaldin, T. (2017). Teacher use of loss-focused, utility value messages, prior to high-stakes examinations, and their appraisal by students. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282917724905

Putwain, D., Symes, W. & Wilkinson, H. (2017). Fear appeals, engagement, an examination performance: The role of challenge and threat appraisals. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(1), 16-31. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12132

Putwain, D. & Symes, W. (2016). Expectancy of success, subjective task-value, and message frame in the appraisal of value-promoting messages made prior to a high-stakes examination. Social Psychology of Education, 19(2), 325- 343

Symes, W. & Putwain, D. (2016). The role of attainment value, academic self-efficacy and message frame in the appraisal of value-promoting messages. British Journal of Educational Psychology

Bond, C., Symes, W., Hebron, J., Humphrey, N., Morewood, G. & Woods, K. (2016). Educational Interventions for children with ASD: A systematic literature review 2008-2013. School Psychology International, doi: 10.1177/0143034316639638

Symes, W., Putwain, D. & Remedios, R.(2015). The enabling and protective role of academic buoyancy in the appraisal of fear appeals used prior to high stakes examinations. School Psychology International, 36 (6), 605-619

Putwain, D., Remedios, R. & Symes, W. (2015). Experiencing fear appeals as a challenge or a threat influences attainment value and academic self-efficacy. Learning and Instruction, 40, 21-28

Putwain, D., Remedios, R. & Symes, W. (2014). The appraisal of fear appeals as threatening or challenging: frequency of use, academic self-efficacy and subjective value. Educational Psychology, doi: 10.1080/01443410.2014.963028

Putwain, D. W. & Symes, W. (2014). The perceived value of maths and academic self-efficacy in the appraisal of fear appeals used prior to high-stakes tests as threatening or challenging. Social Psychology of Education, 17(2), 229-248

Bond, C., Woods, K., Humphrey, N., Symes, W. & Green, L. (2013). Practitioner review: The effectiveness of solution focused brief therapy with children and families: a systematic and critical evaluation of the literature. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54 (7), 707-723

Putwain, D.W. Kearsley, R. & Symes, W. (2012). Do creativity self-beliefs predict literacy achievement and motivation? Learning and Individual Differences, 22 (3), 370-374

Putwain, D. & Symes, W. (2012). Achievement goals as mediators of the relationship between competence beliefs and test anxiety. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(2), 207-224

Symes, W. & Humphrey, N. (2012). Including pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in the classroom: the role of teaching assistants. European Journal of Special Education, 27 (4), 517-532

Symes, W. & Humphrey, N. (2011). The deployment, training and teacher relationships of teaching assistants supporting pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in mainstream secondary schools. British Journal of Special Education, 38 (2), 57-64.

  

Symes, W., & Humphrey, N. (2011). School factors that facilitate or hinder the ability of teaching assistants to effectively support pupils with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in mainstream secondary schools. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 11 (3), 153 -161.

Humphrey, N., & Symes, W. (2011). Inclusive education for pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in secondary mainstream schools: teacher attitudes, experience and knowledge. International Journal of Inclusive Education, (November 2011), 1-15.

Humphrey, N., & Symes, W. (2011). Peer interaction patterns among adolescents with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in mainstream school settings. Autism, 15 (4), 397-419

Morewood, G. D., Humphrey, N., & Symes, W. (2011). Mainstreaming autism : making it work. Good Autism Practice, 12 (2), 62-68

Putwain, D.W., & Symes, W. (2011). Perceived fear appeals and examination performance: Facilitating or debilitating outcomes? Learning and Individual Differences, 21 (2), 227-232

Putwain, D. W., Connors, L., Symes, W., & Douglas-Osborn, E. (2011). Is academic buoyancy anything more than adaptive coping? Anxiety, Stress, & Coping,

Putwain, D.W. & Symes, W. (2011). Achievement goals as mediators of the relationship between competence beliefs and test anxiety. British Journal of Educational Psychology,

Putwain, D.W. & Symes, W. (2011) Teachers’ use of fear appeals in the Mathematics classroom: worrying or motivating students? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81 (3), 456-457.

Woods, K., Bond, C., Humphrey, N., Symes, W. & Green, L. (2011). Systematic review of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) with children and families. London: Department for Education.

Lobban, F., Solis-Trapala, I., Symes, W., & Morriss, R. (2011). Early warning signs checklists for relapse in bipolar depression and mania: Utility, reliability and validity. Journal of Affective Disorders, 133 (3), 413-422

Symes, W. & Humphrey, N. (2010). Peer group indicators of inclusion for pupils on the autistic spectrum: a comparative study. School Psychology International, 30 (5), 473-494

Humphrey, N. & Symes, W. (2010). Perceptions of social support and experience of bullying among pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in mainstream schools. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25 (1), 77-91

Humphrey, N. & Symes, W. (2010). Responses to bullying and use of social support among pupils with autistic spectrum disorders in mainstream secondary schools: a qualitative study. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 10 (2), 82-90.

Putwain, D., Woods, K. & Symes, W. (2010). Personal and situational predictors of test anxiety in post-compulsory education. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 80 (1), 137-160.

Putwain, D.W., Connors, L. & Symes, W. (2010) Do cognitive distortions mediate the test anxiety-examination performance relationships? Educational Psychology, 30 (1), 11 -26.

View all publications in research portal