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Research Profile

Ms Gabi Jerzembek 

Position:PhD Student
School:Social Sciences

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 74160
contact info:

Address:Room 1.13, 1-3 Museum Place


I am currently completing my PhD on a part-time basis whilst working as Research Project Manager within the Work & Organisational Psychology Group at Aston Business School in Birmingham.  

So far I gained the following relevant qualifications:

  • MSc Research Methods in Psychology, Swansea University 2006 – 2007, Distinction.
  • BSc Honours degree in Psychology; Class 1; Swansea University 2003 – 2006; Departmental prize for ‘Best Research Project’.

Before studying for my PhD in Cardiff I worked as Research Associate at the Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics (CISHE), supporting the Public Health Improvement Research Network (PHIRN).  As Principal Investigator I supported an evaluation of Cardiff’s Flying Start Parents Plus service, which was completed in March 2009.  Before moving to Cardiff I worked as Research Officer at the Qualitative Research Unit (QUARU) in the School of Medicine, Swansea University.

Research Interests

I am interested in the implementation of culture change in organisations to improve people’s health-related quality of life and wellbeing. My current work focuses on these two questions:

1) How can secondary schools implement sustainable culture changes to tailor the pedagogy during lessons towards supporting young peoples’ personal skill development relevant to health?

2) How can health service organisations implement sustainable culture changes to improve the quality of care provided by their frontline staff?

PhD Topic/ Area

Pedagogic approaches to promoting self-regulation in Personal and Social Education (PSE) in secondary schools in Wales: an exploratory study.

Personal and Social Education (PSE) aims to prepare learners for life and support their well-being through empowerment and the promotion of health behaviours. However, PSE does not sit easily within the overall secondary school curriculum. Health education lessons are often dominated by information provision, placing learners into the role of a passive recipient. It is evident from evaluations of previous school-based health promotion interventions that an increase in health-related knowledge is not necessarily linked to health behaviour change. Self-regulatory strategies such as goal setting, planning and self-monitoring were found to increase health behaviours and improve academic performance. Pedagogic practice facilitating pupils’ active contribution and the development of self-regulatory strategies was suggested to support school-based health promotion outcomes.

This case study explored how PSE is taught in four Welsh schools, and what the facilitators and barriers are to adopting pedagogic practice that provides opportunities for pupils to become actively involved in their learning and develop self-regulatory skills. Lesson observations in the four case study schools have shown that only a small proportion of the classroom talk explicitly encouraged pupils’ active involvement. Interview data identified facilitators and barriers to changing pedagogic approaches across three levels: a) policy initiatives and their interpretation by stakeholders, b) ethos and power structures within schools and c) schemata held by teachers about their professional ‘comfort zones’ describing the repertoire of topics and pedagogic approaches that is acceptable to them.


Dr Simon Murphy

Dr Eva Elliott

Dr Gabrielle Ivinson acts as an advisor and much of her work informs the research approach my PhD project uses.