Professor Claire Cassidy



Personal statement

I joined the University in 2001 and am currently a Professor in the Strathclyde Institute of Education. I am also currently the Acting Head of Institute, and the Deputy Head of Institute 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 with others.

A key feature of my work is that I enjoy collaborating with teachers on research projects relating to Community of Philosophical Inquiry (CoPI) 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 and other community settings.

I am on the editorial board for Childhood & Philosophy: Journal of the International Council for Philosophical Inquiry with Children; the Journal of Philosophy in Schools; and  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:

I teach on various modules on the other courses within the Strathclyde Institute of Education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

I supervise a range of MEd dissertations on a range of 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's human rights and human rights 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 Strathclyde Institute of Education.

In relation to CPD/Career-long Professional Learning (CLPL) and Knowledge Exchange, my work focuses on 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 and also work with Stirling Council's Creative Learning Network, 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 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 and the USA.  

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.

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Professional Activities

Philosophical Practice and Human Rights Education
Communities of Philosophical Enquiry: A Question-posing Education
Ethical research with children
External Examiner
Human Rights Education Review Conference
Community of Philosophical Inquiry: Addressing issues of our time

More professional activities


Using Philosophical Dialogues with Children to Understand Care and Wellbeing for Siblings of those with Life-Limiting Conditions
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator) Robinson, Anna (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2023 - 30-Jan-2024
Promoting Thinking Skills in the Early Years
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
This CLPL activity is designed to support colleagues working with very young children to develop their practice in promoting children's thinking. This session was created and delivered for Lennoxtown Early Years Centre.
15-Jan-2023 - 15-Jan-2023
RADICAL: Respect and Disrespect in Children's and Adolescents' Lives
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2023 - 30-Jan-2025
Philosophy with Children and Creativity: an introduction
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
This is similar to other introductory five half-day sessions, though this has a focus on creativity. This short course is provided for practitioners (teachers, early years staff, and community educators) in Stirling Council for CREATE (Creative Learning Network).
09-Jan-2023 - 20-Jan-2023
What is Philosophy with Children?
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
This short session was created and delivered to introduce Philosophy with Children to Community Learning and Development staff at Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council.
20-Jan-2023 - 20-Jan-2023
Thinking Together to Live Together
Cassidy, Claire (Principal Investigator)
This session was provided for Imaginate, an arts-based charity. It involved training and staff development in children's rights and practical philosophy with children and young people.
25-Jan-2021 - 25-Jan-2021

More projects

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Professor Claire Cassidy

Tel: 444 8036