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Mr David Roxburgh

Senior Teaching Fellow


Personal statement

Before joining the School of Education, initially on secondment in 2012, David enjoyed a varied and successful teaching career of 17 years in primary schools within Glasgow and was awarded the professional title of Chartered Teacher in recognition of the quality of his classroom practice and expertise across a number of curricular areas.  He was heavily involved in a wide range of local authority and national initiatives notably in mathematical problem solving, social studies, science and technology. 

These experiences continue to form the basis of his teaching and supervision of students’ dissertations here at the University of Strathclyde.  David has taught on a varied range of classes across the BA and PGDE programmes in Primary Education and also within the BA in Childhood Practice.  In module leader roles, he has been instrumental in the redesign of classes to support the STEM agenda.  He has internationalised his practice in this area in working with influential organisations in China such as the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission and is supporting other colleagues within the School to do likewise in their own areas of expertise.

From 2014-2017, he was the Depute Director of the Strathclyde China Institute (SCI) and played a key role in international student recruitment into courses within the HaSS and Business School Faculties as well as promoting research and knowledge exchange collaborations with a number of high ranking Chinese partners.  

As recently appointed Faculty Director for Student Mobility (China), David’s role now involves the successful promotion and organisation of inward/ outward mobility for students interested in visiting Scotland and China for comparative education, language and cultural experiences.  In supporting this work, he also leads a module which introduces visiting international students to the Scottish system and encourages reflections on education in their own contexts.

David's part-time PhD is now entering its fourth year.  Supervised by Professor Ian Rivers, it examines the teaching of Chinese language and culture in Scottish primary schools.  This links to national policy developments and to the on-going work of the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, based in the HaSS Faculty, with whom he enjoys a very strong relationship.

David sits on a number of Faculty/University wide internationalisation groups and is asked to give his perspective on working with Chinese partners.  He is also an elected member of the Faculty Board of Study representing the School of Education.

In recognition of the breadth and quality of his various contributions, David was promoted to Senior Teaching Fellow.


Has expertise in:

    Current module leader roles:

    • BA3: Science, Technology and ICT
    • PGDE: Creative Contexts for Learning (Technologies)
    • Introduction to Scottish Education for International Students

    Having successfully completed a postgraduate qualification in ‘Supporting Teacher Learning’, David has used this work as part of enhanced partnership initiatives to engage school colleagues in joint assessment approaches of BA and PGDE students on placements.

    David visits China on a regular basis to work with partner universities in promoting opportunities to engage with Strathclyde.  He has successfully designed, implemented and evaluated new student programmes in comparative education and language study delivered at Strathclyde and in China.  These have opened up opportunities for large numbers of students across the HaSS Faculty as a whole.  He would welcome requests from other international partners to open up new models of collaboration.

    He is an enthusiastic learner of Mandarin and is looking ahead to the implementation of the 1+2 languages agenda and how Chinese language and culture can be promoted through this in Scottish primaries.  

Prizes and awards

Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Awards 2018

more prizes and awards


  • Effective teaching of science and technology in the primary school.  
  • Interdisciplinary/ cross-curricular learning.        
  • Problem solving and enquiry in mathematics.
  • Chinese education, language and culture.
  • Student exchange programmes with Chinese partner universities

Research interests

  • The teaching of Mandarin Chinese in Scottish primary schools
  • The teaching of Chinese culture in Scottish primary schools
  • The ‘1+2’ languages agenda in relation to third languages (L3) in primary schools
  • Comparative education with a Chinese/ Scottish focus
  • Study abroad experiences of student teachers
  • Approaches to mathematical problem solving and enquiry
  • Teaching of STEM subjects in the primary school

As part of his PhD, David is currently undertaking an extensive range of data collection using a mixed methods approach to explore the experiences of those delivering Mandarin Chinese in a range of schools within 3 Scottish Local Authorities.  The views of pupils learning the language are also very much central to the aims of the research.  This work will provide an innovative perspective on the teaching of Chinese language and culture within the context of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 policy agenda, due for full implementation in 2021.

Professional activities

Review of short-term study abroad experiences funded by Chinese Scholarship Council
2nd Nanjing Normal/ Strathclyde University Schools of Education symposium
The Scottish Curriculum for Excellence
First Strathclyde/ Nanjing Normal University Schools of Education symposium
Scottish Government Language Symposium (invited guest):
UK and Republic of Ireland Confucius Classrooms Conference

more professional activities


Chinese Headteacher Visit - A conversation with Scotland
Roxburgh, David (Academic)
Organised in collaboration with Scottish Government and the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, the event was designed for a group of 12 Head teachers from Fengtai district in Beijing who were interested in sharing their experiences and learning from the Scottish education system, particularly in the areas of education reformation, construction of campus culture, teacher training and leadership.

My involvement was sharing experiences of the delivery of 'Teacher Professional Learning' in the area of STEM integration to groups of primary/ secondary teachers in Tianjin, China and to give a general overview of what might be offered by the School of Education in areas of interest to the group.
Period 17-Sep-2018 - 17-Sep-2018
Teaching in Higher Education: training programme with Beijing Institute of Technology (Zhuhai)
Roxburgh, David (Administrator) Holmes, Joanna (Academic) McKay, Norrie (Academic)
4 week training event for 33 university academics. Responsible for input from School of Education, University of Strathclyde
Period 30-Jul-2018 - 24-Aug-2018
Using Evaluation for Schiool Improvment: Teacher CPD, Hexi District, Tianjin, China
Roxburgh, David (Co-investigator) Holmes, Joanna (Principal Investigator)
Contractual and organisational lead
Period 06-Nov-2017 - 17-Nov-2017
Philosophy with Children (CPD project with teachers in Heping District, Tianjin, China)
Roxburgh, David (Co-investigator)
Contractual and organisational lead
Period 20-Jun-2018 - 26-Jun-2018
Inaugral Summer School for HaSS students at Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Roxburgh, David (Principal Investigator)
I have been responsible for promotion and student support to allow HaSS students
to gain places on a 4-week summer school on the theme of 'Global Collaboration. The programme seeks to promote a better understanding of the world, in tandem with the current quests for ‘world peace’ and ‘global common good.
Period 29-Jun-2018 - 26-Jul-2018
Nanjing Strathclyde (School of Education) joint symposium 2018
Roxburgh, David (Principal Investigator)
3 day research event in Nanjing, China. I am the main lead in the organisation of the event to build on the initial symposium in 2017.
Period 28-May-2018 - 01-Jun-2018

more projects