Dr. Edward McNamara B.Sc, DEP (CG), M.Sc, Ph.D, FBPS

meet dr edward mcnamara

Meet Dr Ed

Eddie entered the teaching profession in 1967. He taught in a Special School for children evidencing moderate learning difficulties. After a short but successful teaching career – “..who found him to be both an inspired and kind teacher and colleague,” (Unsolicited EPNET posting) - Eddie trained as an Educational Psychologist, obtaining a qualification in both Educational Psychology and Child Guidance.

Eddie’s initial and continuing interest was/is in the areas of pupil behaviour and adjustment. At the time Eddie entered the profession the American developments with regard to the applications of behaviour modification and applied behaviour analysis in educational settings were beginning to appear in the literature. Eddie was amongst the first UK Psychologists to apply “learning theory” to the prevention and management of pupil ”problem behaviour”.

Eddie has always worked to the Scientist – Practitioner model. Consequently his objective, data based interventions have been shared with fellow practitioners via his publications.

Eddie’s first publication (1972, 1973) described the application of applied behaviour analysis and contingency management to the toilet training of a non communicating child experiencing severe learning difficulties. Eddie went on to use a similar intervention rationale in Primary mainstream school settings before developing training programmes for teachers in the use of applied behaviour analysis and contingency management in mainstream classroom settings (Harrop and McNamara,1979).

Eddie also appreciated that classroom environmental factors and school system issues were both potentially highly influential in affecting pupil behaviour and devised checklists and protocols for the assessment of such factors eg The Behaviour Checklist for Primary Schools Primary (McNamara,1995), The Behaviour Survey Checklist for Secondary Schools (Jolly and McNamara, 1991), Assessment, (Jolly and McNamara, 1992), Assessment of the Learning Environment (Jolly and McNamara,1994), The Prevention and Management of Problem Behaviour: a Problem Solving Model (McNamara,1990a).

Eddie Pioneered the application of behavioural interventions in the secondary school sector with regard to classroom management eg McNamara and Harrop (1979, 1981), McNamara (1984, 1985b, 1987b). This work was augmented by identifying significant system factors in Secondary schools which influence pupil behaviour eg McNamara, 1985a, 1986. Facets of the type of behaviour change achieved by successful interventions have also been explored by Eddie eg “Are disruptive Behaviours Reduced when Levels of on-task Behaviours Increase?” (McNamara, 1990a).

From a developmental perspective, Eddie realised that as the age of the pupil increases so too does the need for active pupil commitment to programme intervention. Consequently Eddied explored the use of Behaviour Contracts eg McNamara, (1987a) and pupil self-monitoring eg McNamara and Heard, (1976), McNamara, (1978, 1979b).

In 1991 Eddie became one of the few Educational Psychologists working wholly in a Local Authority setting ie not based at or linked to a University Psychology or Education Department, to be elected a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Part of the citation read “….for his contributions to the advancement of knowledge not only through publications but also through involvement in seminars and workshops whereby behaviour management skills are proselytised and presentations at national and international conferences. Dr McNamara has ensured that social and emotional development have remained on the agenda of the revolution in secondary schools that is underway”.

Eddie was in the vanguard of those Psychologists who realised that the integration of cognitive interventions with behavioural interventions would have reciprocal benefits as each approach could enhance the effectiveness of the other. Eddie has also demonstrated that the integration of a cognitive approach with a behavioural approach can effect change when the behavioural approach alone could not (McNamara,2002, 2004).

For cognitive approaches to be successful requires the client, student/pupil in our case, to be cooperative ie motivated: for cognitive–behavioural approaches are a collaborative endeavour between the helper and the helped.

Eddie pioneered the development of pupil self-management strategies in the secondary school with his work on the re-activity of self-recording and quickly identified motivational interviewing as the “gateway to pupil self-management”.

Eddie produced the first publication dedicated to using Motivational Interviewing with school aged children (McNamara,1998). This highly successful publication is now in its 7th reprint.

The growing awareness about motivational interviewing amongst professional working with children and young people, an awareness contributed to by Eddie’s lecture, seminars, workshops and publications, stimulated Eddie to invite contributions to his latest publication “Motivational Interviewing: Theory, Practivce and Applications with Children and Young People.(McNamara, 2009 – Edit.).



BRADLEY, G.& McNAMARA, E.(1981). The structured treatment of problem behaviour: prevention is better than cure.

Behavioural Approaches with Children, Vol.5, No.4, 4-12.

Daly, M. & McNAMARA, E. (2008). Rolling with Resistance. Special Children, Oct/Nov, 32 - 37

HARROP, A. & McNAMARA, E. (1979). The behavioural workshop for classroom problems: a re-appraisal.

British Journal of In-Service Education, 5, 32-38..

JOLLY, M. & McNAMARA, E. (1991). The Behaviour Survey Checklist: Towards Better Behaviour Part 1.

Pub. TBB,45, Marina Drive Fullwood, Preston, PR2 4SB.

JOLLY, M. & McNAMARA, E. (1992). Assessment: Towards Better Behaviour Part 2.

Publ. TBB, 7 Quinton Close, Ainsdale, Merseyside PR8 2TD

JOLLY, M. & McNAMARA, E. (1994). Intervention: Towards Better Behaviour Part 3.

Pub. TTB, 7, Quinton Close, Ainsdale, Merseyside PR8 2TD

McNAMARA, E. (1972). Dora: or how thet met their Waterloo.

Special Education, 61, 9-11.

McNAMARA, E. (1973). Above article reprinted at Editorial request in

Communication, Vol. V11, No.3, 53-56.

Journal of the National Association of Autistic Children.

McNAMARA, E. & HEARD, C. (1976). Self-control through self-recording

Special Education : Forward Trends, 3, 21-23.

McNAMARA, E. & JOLLY, M. (1994). Assessment of the Learning Environment:

the Classroom Situation Checklist.

Therapeutic Care and Education, Vol.3, No.3, 277-283,

McNAMARA, E. & MOORE, B. (1978). Special Education treatment for maladjusted children.

Journal of the Association of Educational Psychologists, 7, 15-19.

McNAMARA, E. (1978). Management of problem behaviour through self-recording techniques.

Unpublished M. Sc. Thesis, University of Manchester,

McNAMARA, E. (1979a). Results and impressions of using behaviour modification in a psychological service.

Quarterly Bulletin of the British Association for Behavioural Psychotherapy, Vol.5, No.3, 55-63.

McNAMARA, E. (1979b). The use of self-recording in behaviour modification in a secondary school. Behavioural Psychotherapy, 7, 57-66.

McNAMARA, E. (1979c). Pupil self-management in the secondary school: the goal of behavioural intervention.

Journal of the Association of Educational Psychologists, Vol.5, No.1, 26-29.

McNAMARA, E. & HARROP, A. (1979). Behaviour modification in the secondary school: a cautionary tale.

British Psychological Society: Division of Education and Child Psychology, Vol.3, No.2,38-41

McNAMARA, E. & HARROP, A. (1981). Behaviour modification in the secondary school: a rejoinder to Wheldall and Austin.

British Psychological Society: Division of Educational and Child Psychology, 5, 60-63.

McNAMARA, E. (1982a). The misapplication of contingency management in a primary school classroom.

Behavioural Approaches with Children, vol.6, No.2, 13-19.

McNAMARA, E. (1982b). Reality problems in classroom research.

British Psychological Society: Division of Educational and Child Psychology, 2, 50-53.

McNAMARA, E. (1982c). A short-term behavioural contracting approach to a multiple problem secondary age pupil.

Behavioural Approaches with Children, Vol.6, No.2, 50-53.

McNAMARA, E. (1983a). Classroom contingency management and teacher non-verbal behaviour.

British Psychological Society: Division of Educational and Child Psychology, 7, 58-60.

McNAMARA, E. (1983b). The use of behavioural contracts to modify excessive punishment: a case study.

Behavioural Approaches with Children, Vol.7,2,18-30.

McNAMARA, E. (1984). Behaviour modification in the secondary school: issues and outcomes.

Educational Psychology, 1,41-61.

McNAMARA, E. (1986). Above article reprinted in “Behavioural Analysis in Educational Psychology”, Edit.Wheldall, K & Glynn, T. Publisher Croom Helm Ltd.

McNAMARA, E. (1985a). Sanction and incentive systems in the secondary school: a survey enquiry.

The Durham and Newcastle Research Review, 55, 41-46.

McNAMARA, E. (1985b). Are the techniques of behaviour modification relevant to problems of concern to teachers in secondary schools?

Behavioural Approaches with Children, vol. 9, 34-45.

McNAMARA, E. EVANS, M. & HILL. W. (1986). The reduction of disruptive behaviour in two secondary school classes.

British Journal of Educational Psychology, 56, 209-215.

McNAMARA, E. (1986). The effectiveness of incentive and sanction systems used in secondary schools: a behavioural analysis.

The Durham and Newcastle Research Review, 56, 285-290.

McNAMARA, E. (1987a). Behavioural contracting with secondary aged pupils.

Educational Psychology in Practice, 4, 21-26.

McNAMARA, E. (1987b). Behavioural approaches in the secondary school, pp. 50-68. Invited chapter in “The Behaviourist in the Classroom”, Edit. Wheldall, K.; Publ. Allen & Unwin: London.

McNAMARA, E., HARROP, A. & OWEN, F. (1987). The effect of group orientated classroom management procedures on individual pupils.

Educational Psychology, 7,157-167.

McNAMARA, E. (1988a). The use of rules and evaluative statements to promote pupil on-task behaviour.

Behaviour Approaches with Children, 12, 45-54.

McNAMARA, E. (1988b). Invited review of “classroom control”, by David Fontana in

Education Review, Vol.4, No.1, 120-121.

McNAMARA, E. (1988c). The self-management of school phobia: a case study.

Behavioural Psychotherapy, 16, 217-229.

McNAMARA, E. (1989). The management of problem behaviour in the secondary school - a behavioural approach.

Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Manchester.

McNAMARA, E. & JOLLY, M. (1990a). The reduction of disruptive behaviour using feedback of on-task behaviour: an across setting study of a class of 12 and 13-year old pupils.

Behaviour Psychotherapy, 18, 103-119.

McNAMARA, E. & JOLLY, M. (1990b). Are disruptive behaviours reduced when levels of on-task behaviours increase?

Behavioural Psychotherapy, Vol.18, 239-249.

McNAMARA, E. (1990a). The prevention and management of problem behaviour - a problem solving model.

Positive Teaching, Vol.1, No.2, 1-7.

McNAMARA, E. (1990b). Invited “peer” review of “Effective Classroom Learning” by Kevin Wheldall & Ted Glynn in

Journal of the Education Section of the British Psychological Society, Vol.14, NO.1, 65-68.

McNAMARA, E. (1992). Motivational Interviewing: the gateway to pupil self-management.

Pastoral Care in Education, 10 (2), 22-28

McNAMARA, E. (1993). Cognitive behavioural therapies: application in educational settings.

British Psychological Society: Division of educational and Child Psychology - Newsletter No. 56, 16-20.

McNAMARA, E. (1994). Motivation: an applied psychologist’s perspective.

British Psychological Society: Division of Education and Child Psychology,

McNAMARA, E. (1995). The Behaviour Checklist for Primary Schools. Positive Behaviour ManaGEMET, Ainsdale, Merseyside PR8 2TD, UK

SCOTT, L., McNAMARA, E. & McPHERSON, E. (1986). The use of behaviour modification in the secondary school: a further development.

British Psychological Society: Division of Educational and Child Psychology, 3,4-20.

McNAMARA, E. (1998). The Role of Thinking and Feeling: Extending Assessment beyond Behaviour. Pastoral Care in Education, 10 – 18.

McNAMARA, E. (2002). Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Interventions in “Working with Emotions: Responding to the Challenge of Difficult Pupil Behaviour in Schools”. P. Gray (Edit), Routledge/Falmer.London and New York.

McNAMARA, E. (2004). When All Else Fails. Special Children Jan/Feb, 17 - 20

McNAMARA, E. (2009) Motivational Interviewing: Theory, Practice and Applications with Children and Young People. Positive Behaviour Management, Ainsdale, Merseyside, UK