Aileen Kennedy

Prof

  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

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).

 

 

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.

Teaching Interests

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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Award Date: 1 Jan 2006

Master of Education, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000

Bachelor of Education, Jordanhill College

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992

Keywords

  • teacher education
  • professional learning
  • education policy
  • professionalism
  • transformative learning

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