Catherine Whitley


  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Catherine graduated with a degree in Psychology and was a Course Tutor for General Practice (Early Patient Contact) at the University of Dundee. After gaining a PGCE with Distinction and Merit in Teaching from Northern College, Dundee Campus, Catherine taught in schools in Angus. While teaching in Montrose, Catherine opted for the Chartered Teacher Route as a means of continuing professional learning.

Catherine took up the post of Teaching Fellow, based at Jordanhill Campus, in 2007. In 2011 she graduated with a M.Ed. from Sthe University of Strathclyde having completed her Dissertation titled “Behaviour Management or Promoting Learning Behaviour?”

Catherine is currently the Director of School of Education and Local Authirity Partnership and Outreach. This role involves her in forging partnerships with Local Authorities throughout Scotland along with other providers of Teacher Education.

Catherine is also PGDE course leader. The PGDE at Strathclyde is the largest in Scotland with a cohort of almost 1000 students. The PGDE timetable is also followed by several routes into Initial Teacher Education and courses open to International students.

External responsibilities include being co chair of the National Student Placement Management Group and co chair of the West Partnership.
Catherine is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Academic / Professional qualifications

B.Sc.(Hons) Psychology


Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Studies (Chartered Teacher)

M.Ed.      Ways in which students conceptualise behaviour management and how      their conceptions change over the duration of ITE courses

PgCert Supporting Teacher Learning

Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Research Interests

Post Teaching Scotland’s Future (Donaldson, 2011) the National Implementation Board has been tasked with monitoring partnership arrangements in the Early phase of Teacher Education.

Catherine has been steeped in the partnership agenda since the publication of the Donaldson review of Teacher Education and was a driver and shaper of early pilots.

The partnership agenda and the impact partnerships have on student teachers’ school experiences provide the focus for Catherine’s current research interest.


Teaching Interests

Since Catherine led and coordinated the development and implementation of the Strathclyde Enhanced Partnership Initiative (SEPI) and coordinated the team of tutors and associated school-based staff involved during the 2012-13 SEPI pilots, many of the features of the initiative have been adopted as standard practice in the School of Education. In fact, some features have been so highly acclaimed nationally that they are being included in the Scottish Government’s National Framework agreement for partnership.

The focus of Catherine's career remains firmly on the learning and teaching aspects of the student experience and as such she is proud to have been nominated annually for the Teacher Excellence awards and the Strathclyde medal. She is glad  to have accepted the role of Deputy  PGDE course leader quickly followed by the role of PGDE course leader itself; leading a course serving over 900 students from across the world.  Catherine was instrumental in the design of the current PGDE however the rapidly changing landscape of teacher Education in Scotland means that she has had to oversee and instigate change and enhancement within the bounds of the accredited course. Catherine is beginning the process of curriculum review and is preparing to  launch the new PGDE with Integrated Masters in response to calls from the Scottish Government. She  will ensure that, despite the condensed nature of the new course, there is rigour and equivalence demonstrated across all modules.


The importance of combining the “on-campus” learning with that gained on school experience is crucial to the conceptualisation of teacher education in Scotland. To that end Catherine leads on the Pedagogy and Placement Learning (PL) modules within the BA and PGDE courses. Catherine developed the  BA year 2 PL module and evaluates that with students annually. Catherine also co-wrote the PGDE PL module and  currently leads on the re-write of the Nursery component of this module.

All the above ensure that Strathclyde offers a high quality and distinctive student experience and indeed the PGDE was commended as such by GTCS upon its accreditation.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development 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 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

External positions

Co-chair National Student Placement Management Group

27 Jan 2017 → …

External Examiner, University of Dundee

19 May 201330 Jun 2016


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