Professor Aileen Kennedy

Professor Of Practice

Education

Personal statement

I grew up in Perthshire and Fife, originally planning to pursue a career as a professional cellist. I ended up opting for primary teaching instead, completing a BEd at the then Jordanhill College in Glasgow in 1992. I taught in a primary school in Clydebank for six years, leaving to become the first ever Professional Officer at the General Teaching Council for Scotland. In 2001 I took up a lecturing post at Strathclyde, staying for 14 years, before venturing to the east of the country for a 5-year stint at the University of Edinburgh. In Edinburgh, I had the joy of developing a radical new initial teacher education programme which qualifies graduates to teach across the primary/secondary transition, working in an explicitly activist way to progress social justice in schools and their communities. I was delighted to return to the University of Strathclyde in August 2020 to take up a position as Professor of Practice in Teacher Education. I am currently the Director of Teacher Education here in the School of Education, working with colleagues and wider stakeholders to enhance and promote our work in teacher education policy and pedagogy. My research focuses on how teachers learn, and the policy context within which that learning happens. This work enables me to conceptualise and explain the powers that influence teacher professional learning, exploring pedagogies for teacher learning that support a transformative and socially just orientation. Of central importance is the capacity for my research to speak to policy-makers and practitioners alike, and to offer new ways of understanding and articulating how teachers learn in ways that embrace and support a diverse pupil population. I am co-Principal Investigator of the ‘Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education’ (MQuITE) project, Managing Editor of Professional Development in Education, co-convener of the Scottish Educational Research Association’s Teacher Education Network (SERA-TEN).

Publications

A story of transforming teacher education
Kennedy Aileen, Hay Lizzie, McGovern Rebecca
Scottish Educational Review Vol 52 (2020)
Looking beyond the obvious : Applying a critically reflective lens to professional learning literature
Kennedy Aileen
Professional Development in Education Vol 45, pp. 523-526 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1080/19415257.2019.1637099
Developing a new ITE programme : a story of compliant and disruptive narratives across different cultural spaces
Kennedy Aileen
European Journal of Teacher Education Vol 41, pp. 638-653 (2018)
https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2018.1529753
Scottish teachers : then and now
Kennedy Aileen
Scottish Education (2018) (2018)
Teacher professional learning
Kennedy Aileen, Beck Anna
Scottish education (2018) (2018)
The future of Scottish education
Humes Walter, Bryce Tom G K, Gillies Donald, Kennedy Aileen
Scottish Education (2018) (2018)

More publications

Teaching

All of my teaching is informed by my research on teacher professional learning and teacher education policy. At the root of my teaching approach is a values-based commitment to furthering democratic learning and working for social justice through adopting an activist orientation. I am persuaded by the literature on transformative learning, and in particular, by the ideas promoted through ‘a politics of recognition’. This means that my teaching is characterized by openness, negotiation, authenticity and bravery, and that I use my teaching as a valuable source for my own professional learning.

Research interests

My research focuses on how teachers learn, and the policy context within which this learning happens. This work enables me to conceptualise and explain the powers that influence teacher professional learning, and explores pedagogies for teacher learning that support a transformative and socially just disposition. Of central importance to me is the capacity for my research to speak to policy makers and practitioners alike, and to offer new ways of understanding and articulating how teachers learn in ways that embrace and support a diverse pupil population.  I enjoy both conceptual and empirical work, leaning towards a critical, interpretivist perspective on research. In particular, I have experience in critical discourse analysis, elite interviews, narrative interviews, focus groups, nominal group technique and both small and large scale surveys.

Projects

Student Teachers’ Perceptions of Critical Incidents in their Professional Learning
Soltysek, Raymond Ronald (Academic) Kennedy, Aileen (Academic)
The aim of this investigation is to explore student teachers’ perceptions of what constitutes critical learning incidents in their very early careers. The investigation will seek to identify patterns across the student body which will provide an overview of key learning incidents. We wish to investigate how much importance they give to different aspects of their school experience, with a view to ensuring that this important information can be used to inform future iterations of the PGDE programme.
29-Jan-2014 - 29-Jan-2015
Teacher Educator Identity
Kennedy, Aileen (Principal Investigator) Carse, Nicola (Principal Investigator)
This project focuses on participants in the Pg Certificate in Supporting Teacher Learning. It examines their motivations for undertaking such study at masters level, their previous learning experiences in this area, the extent to which their current roles involve supporting colleagues' earning, and the extent to which they perceive themselves as 'teacher educators'.
01-Jan-2014 - 31-Jan-2014
SE and HIME Placement on Schools Focussed Research
Kennedy, Aileen (Principal Investigator)
"This six month placement is split between the Scottish Government Education Analytical Services Unit and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education. The aim of the placement is to enhance knowledge exchange between research communities and the host organisations, and to further existing links between these partners, with a particular focus on schools research.

One of the key aims of the placement is to identify relevant research from the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) and the Applied Educational Research Scheme (AERS) and to find ways of making this accessible to policy makers through the production of accessible summaries and the organisation of seminars.

Another key objective of the placement is to contribute to the research culture in both organisations and to gain a better insight into their work with a view to better understanding how academics and policy makers can work together to produce, disseminate and use research. Outcomes from the placement will be both substantive, in terms of working papers and academic articles, and experiential."
01-Jan-2008 - 30-Jan-2008
Teacher Development Research Commission
Kennedy, Aileen (Principal Investigator) Christie, Donald (Co-investigator) Welsh, Anne (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2007 - 12-Jan-2007

More projects