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.