Dr Claire Cassidy



Personal statement

I joined the University in 2001 and am currently a Reader in the School of Education. I am also currently the Deputy Head of School with responsibility for Innovation and Impact.

My research interests primarily relate to three areas: practical philosophy with children and young people, children’s human rights and human rights education, and concepts of children and childhood. While these areas may be considered discretely, my work often demonstrates the overlap between the these.

In the area of Philosophy with Children (PwC), I am particularly interested in children’s dialogue, participation and in what PwC might offer children and young people through the curriculum, notably in citizenship, Time for Reflection and well-being. My work also asserts that PwC can support children and young people’s deliberative participation, which aligns with my interest in human rights education and children’s human rights. I have also proposed that PwC may be used as a rights-based research method. The view I have is that practical philosophy supports children and young people to see themselves as in-and-of the world and to be able to consider themselves in-relation to others.

A key feature of my work is that I enjoy collaborating with teachers on research projects relating to Community of Philosophical Inquiry in their classrooms. My empirical research, therefore, is undertaken in early years, primary school and secondary school contexts. I have also worked with young people in secure accommodation.

I am on the editorial board for Childhood & Philosophy: Journal of the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children and for Scottish Educational Review: an International Journal of Education Research.

I am the course leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in Philosophy with Children, a course that is unique internationally.  It is part of the MEd (Education Studies) at the University of Strathclyde. For more information on this course: https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/educationstudiesmed/

I teach on various modules on the other courses within the School of Education, including: Children and Childhood, Thinking in and about Education, Understanding Education in the 21st Century, Education Studies and Professional Values.

I supervise a range of MEd dissertations on various topics, but predominantly these pertain to: PwC, children and young people’s voice and participation, citizenship, children’s human rights and human rights education.

I welcome opportunities to work with doctoral students. I supervise EdD and PhD students working in the areas of Philosophy with Children, social justice education, children and young people’s citizenship, voice and participation, critical thinking skills, problem-based learning, and teachers’ professional learning. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss doctoral opportunities. You may be interested to know there is an EdD(PwC) available in the School of Education.

In relation to CPD/Career-long Professional Learning and Knowledge Exchange, my work relates to both Philosophy with Children and human rights education/children's rights.  I often work with schools and other organisations to provide CLPL in these areas. I have worked extensively with Glasgow City Council’s CREATE, providing PwC training for many of their teachers to advance their own and children’s creativity. I also work with schools to support them in embedding PwC into their curriculum and everyday practice.

I established and lead the Philosophy with Children and Communities Network.  This group brings together teachers and others trained to facilitate Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI) with children and adults.  We meet on a monthly basis to explore ways of developing philosophy in schools and the wider community, we engage in joint research activity, and we continue to practise facilitating CoPI as a group to maintain our facilitation skills.  We have members around Scotland, but also in England, Australia, Russia and the USA.  Our website is currently under construction.

I am a member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children, and the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow.


Bridging the theory and practice of eliciting the voices of young children : findings from the Look Who's Talking Project
Cassidy Claire, Wall Kate, Robinson Carol, Arnott Lorna, Beaton Mhairi, Hall Elaine
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal Vol 30 (2021)
Fostering teachers' understanding of leadership through a programme of professional learning
Cassidy Claire, Holmes Joanna, Ferguson Erin C, Christie Donald
Scottish Educational Review Vol 52, pp. 71-88 (2020)
Breaking into secure : Introducing philosophical discussions to young people in secure accommodation
Cassidy Claire, Heron Gavin
Journal of Social Work Vol 20, pp. 287-306 (2020)
Thinking about childhood : being and becoming in the world
Cassidy Claire, Mohr Lone Jana
Analytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis Vol 40, pp. 16-26 (2020)
Look who's talking : factors for considering the facilitation of very young children's voices
Wall Kate, Cassidy Claire, Robinson Carol, Hall Elaine, Beaton Mhairi, Kanyal Mallika, Mitra Dana
Journal of Early Childhood Research Vol 17, pp. 263-278 (2019)
SAFER than SAFE : China Club as a model of a positive after-school initiative
Cassidy Claire, Santoro Ninetta
Pedagogies: An International Journal Vol 15, pp. 1-17 (2019)

More publications

Professional activities

Philosophy with Children as and for moral education
What opportunities for introducing a food activism lens within the current educational system?
Contemporary Childhood Conference
Gareth B. Matthews: Philosophy of Childhood or Children?
Thinking philosophically with children
Thinking about childhood: Being and becoming in the world

More professional activities


Philosophy with Children, embedding it in the curriculum
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
This is similar to other introductory five half-day sessions. This short course is provided for teachers in Robert Smillie Memorial School. In addition to the short course, I will work closely with school staff to embed the practice in the curriculum in order that it becomes part of teachers' everyday practice, and children's experience across the school.
06-Jan-2021 - 16-Jan-2022
Contemporary Childhood Conference
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
This is the fourth biennial Contemporary Childhood Conference. The theme of the conference is Border and Boundaries. The conference is an international, multi-disciplinary conference. It is held on-line due to COVID restrictions.
09-Jan-2021 - 10-Jan-2021
Philosophy with Children: an Introduction
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
This short course was undertaken over five half-days with teachers from Croftfoot Primary School, Swinton Primary School, St. Albert's Primary School and Mount Florida Primary School. The teachers will work to embed practical philosophy across their four schools in this partnership project.
23-Jan-2021 - 04-Jan-2021
Proposal for Process and Impact Evaluation of the East Lothian Tutoring Initiative (ELTI)
Sosu, Edward (Principal Investigator) Cassidy, Claire (Co-investigator) Kennedy, Aileen (Co-investigator) Klein, Markus (Co-investigator)
06-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
Human Rights Education
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator) Hunter, Sharon (Principal Investigator)
This one day short course was provided for Tealing Primary School, Fife. The school was working to focus on children's human rights across the school. All members of the school staff participated in the session.
03-Jan-2020 - 03-Jan-2020
Socially Innovative Interventions to Foster and to Advance Young Children’s Inclusion and Agency in Society through Voice and Story
Beaton, Mhairi (Principal Investigator) Wall, Kate (Visiting Academic) Arnott, Lorna (Visiting Academic) Cassidy, Claire (Visiting Academic)
The AdVoSt -project will take into practice the theoretical guiding principles for facilitating and enhancing young children’s voice in specific contexts (Wall et al., 2017). This will be done in close cooperation with practitioners working with indigenous children in Finland, marginalized, indigenous, and immigrant children in Canada, and children with diverse ethnical and cultural backgrounds in the UK. Previous literature indicates that young children are often viewed as ‘becomings’ rather than ‘beings’ within their communities. This is especially the case with children from non-mainstream communities, where ‘becoming’ might also mean to become a mainstream citizen, meaning simultaneously compromising identity, culture and language (e.g. von Benzon & van Blerk 2017; Sköld & Vehkalahti 2016). The AdVoSt-project will enhance educators' knowledge of multiple storytelling pedagogies including perspectives of land-based learning. The research-based development of composing narratives with young learners through art, writing, photography, performance and digital representations privilege young children’s voice enabling their full citizenship. These research-based initiatives will contribute to the development of child centred learning that is focused in land-based pedagogy and play. Play helps children to gain positive learning experiences (Tang & Adams 2010). Children’s varied play engagements often use culturally relevant toys and ephemera which help them to narrate their stories and facilitate hearing the voices of young children. However, educators, administration, local communities and parents do not always know how to promote such play to enhance children’s literacy engagements. Additionally, the digital delivery of early childhood education with distance management sets diverse challenges for educational activities. The AdVoSt-project recognizes the challenges concerning minority and indigenous children and will facilitate knowledge sharing between the participating countries and beyond. Using a community-based qualitative, comparative case study approach, the project will ensure that local cultural contexts play a key role in all research activities.

More projects