David Roxburgh

David Roxburgh, SFHEA


  • United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

In recognition of the breadth and quality of his various contributions, Dr David Roxburgh was promoted to Senior Teaching Fellow in 2016 and to Principal Teaching Fellow in May 2023. 

Before joining the Institute of Education (IoE), initially on a two-year secondment in 2012, David enjoyed a varied and successful teaching career of 17 years in primary schools across Glasgow and was awarded the professional title of 'Chartered Teacher' by the General Teaching Council for Scotland in recognition of the quality of his classroom practice and expertise across a number of curricular areas, notably mathematics, social studies, science and technology. David has taught on a varied range of modules across the BA and PGDE programmes in Primary Education and also, to a lesser extent, within our BA in Childhood Practice and, as a result, his cognate and pedagogical interests are varied.  He also has course leader experience in overseeing our undergraduate combined degree programmes involving Education and the Science Faculty and the postgraduate MSc in Education Studies (January cohort), which is the one of the largest master's programmes at Strathclyde for international students.

Chinese language and culture/ cultural dimension of language learning

David's doctorate examined the teaching and pedagogy behind the promotion of Chinese culture in Scottish primary schools through third language approaches.  This is the only in-depth study of its kind in Scotland to date and has implications for HE and school curricula contexts and national policy developments.  As part of the HaSS Faculty, he enjoys a very strong relationship with colleagues from our Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools and is involved in leading CPD activities with its various groups of established and visiting teachers of Mandarin Chinese.  His research and scholarship base in this area is growing with involvement at a number of levels: locally, nationally and internationally.

He is currently supervising master's, Ed.D and Ph.D students and welcomes expressions of interest from students across his range of cognate bases, but especially the cultural base to language learning.


After many years of leading STEM type modules on BA/ PGDE courses, David is currently Course Leader for STEM combined 'with teaching' BSc/ MChem degrees that see him work collaboratively with IoE secondary colleagues and the various departments of the Science Faculty to support domestic and international students on these programmes.  He has received funding from Education Scotland to help promote the effective teaching of the Craft, Design, Engineering and Graphics (CDEG) element of Technologies in the primary curriculum and is working with a number of local authorities, an area where he has supported student teachers for a number of years.

Global engagement/ internationalisation

From 2014-2017, David was the Depute Director of the newly established 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.  Since 2017, he has been the Faculty Director for Student Mobility (China) successfully promoting and organising inward/ outward mobility for under and postgraduate students interested in visiting Scotland, China and South Korea for comparative education, language and cultural experiences.  

From June 2020 onwards, David will serve as the 'Director for Global Engagement' within the Institute of Education.  As a member of the School Leadership Team, he is responsible for producing and operationalising the School's strategic plan in collaborations with local, national and international partners and supporting other colleagues to build upon their expertise to maximise delivery and impact.  He also oversees the co-ordination of international mobility programmes in the IoE as a whole, leading other colleagues to manage incoming and outgoing student exchanges to partners in Europe and North America. In supporting quality comparative education experiences, he also leads a module which introduces visiting international students to the Scottish school system and encourages reflections on education in their own contexts.

In 2019, he was the proud recipient of a 'Strathclyde Medal' for his team leadership in creating and managing Knowledge Exchange opportunities with Chinese partners.  He was nominated for the Faculty 'Teaching Excellence Awards' in promoting inward/ outward student mobility in 2019 and won the 2020 category for an 'Effective and Sustained Contribution to Outstanding Student Experience' through his work in this area.  In 2022, he was recognised as a goodwill ambassador for his on-going work to promote strong collaborations between the IoE and Nanjing Normal University, China.

He has been a member of a number of Faculty/University wide internationalisation groups and champions the leading work of the Institute of Education as an example for others.

Other achievements/ wider HE involvement

From 2018- 2023, David served as the External Examiner for the MA (Hons) degree in Primary Education at the University of Aberdeen.  He is currently the Chief External Examiner for ITE Primary programmes; and the external examiner for PGDipEd Primary; PGDipEd/PGCE Primary (School Direct) and the PGCE Primary [SEN] (School Direct) at the University of Birmingham over the 2022- 2026 period.

In 2021, David was awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy status (SFHEA), which recognised his impact on colleagues in the areas of STEM education and internationalisation practices.

As a proud Strathclyder, he will serve as a member of University Senate until August 2024 and sits on its student disciplinary sub-committee.

Expertise & Capabilities

David has a wide range of experience in leadership and mangagement positions within the School of Education and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences including:

  • Joint Course Leader for MSc Education Studies - January cohort (2022- present)
  • Course Leader for STEM combined degrees (2017- present) involving: 
    • BSc (Hons) Physics with Teaching (including an international variant)
    • BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Teaching (including an international variant)
    • BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Teaching (including an international variant)
    • BSc (Hons) Biology with Teaching (including an international variant)
    • MChem with Teaching
  • Director of Global Engagement, School of Education (2020- 2024 initial term)
  • Co-ordinator for international exchange, School of Education (2020- 2023 initial term)
  • Faculty co-ordinator for student mobility: China and South Korea (2017- present)
  • Depute Director of Strathclyde China Institute, HaSS/ SBS Faculties (2014- 2017)

He welcomes requests from other international partners to open up new models of collaboration.

Research Interests

David's research, scholarship and knowledge exchange interest lie within:

  • The pedagogy of teaching Chinese language and culture (CLC), intersecting with aspects of decolonising the languages/ HE curriculum
  • Innovations in models of third language (L3) acquisition and related pedagogies
  • The pedagogy of STEM based learning and teaching
  • Study abroad pedagogies/ experiences of university students, especially student teachers
  • Comparative education systems and curricula

These themes are to be seen across as cognate bases in Primary Education, Initial Teacher Education and Higher Education more widely with local, national and international reach and impact.  He works closely with a range of colleagues in the School of Education, international partners and with other outward facing Institutes at Strathclyde including SCILT and CISS.  David welcomes master's and doctoral students with an interest in these areas.  Sample master's and doctoral topics supervised include:

  • PhD: 'Exploring relational dynamics between course tutors and Chinese students in UK TESOL programmes'
  • Ed.D: 'An Investigation into the Value and Role of Critical Thinking for Visual Arts Education in China’ 
  • MSc: ‘Constructivist approaches to second language (English) language learning in China’
  • MEd: ‘The use of gamification to enhance learning within Science’
  • MSc: ‘Pakistani students’ experiences of Higher Education (Strathclyde case study)’
  • MSc: ‘Culture shock in South Asian students studying in UK HE institutions’
  • MSc: ‘A Comparative Study of English Curriculum Standards in Secondary Schools in China and Japan’
  • MEd: ‘STEM Within the Secondary Classroom Environment’
  • MSc: ‘A Study of the Challenges Faced by Chinese Undergraduate Students in Learning to Write in English in a Second Language Context’
  • MSc: ‘Research on Intercultural Adaptation of Chinese Visiting Students in the UK’
  • MEd: ‘Exploration of the use of Project-Based Learning to Increase Engagement of Socially Disadvantaged Young People in STEM’
  • MSc: ‘A Comparative Study of Students’ Self-Regulation Strategies in Learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL)’
  • MSc: ‘A Comparative Study of the Practices and Professional Development Needs of Chinese STEM Middle School Teachers’
  • MSc: ‘A Comparative Study of the Challenges Faced by Heritage and Non-heritage Learners of Mandarin Chinese’

His own PhD was a multi-layered study exploring the experiences of those delivering Mandarin Chinese in a range of schools within 3 Scottish Local Authorities.  The views of pupils learning the language were also very much central to the aims of the research.  This work provides one of the very few perspectives available on the teaching of Chinese language and culture within the context of the Scottish Government’s 1+2 policy agenda.  He is working with a range of organisations to expand the scope and reach of his work.

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 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, An Analysis of the Promotion of Chinese Culture Within an L3 Language Experience at the P5-7 Stages in Selected Scottish Primary Schools, University Of Strathclyde

Award Date: 2 Sept 2021

Master of Science, Promoting the Effective Teaching of Mathematical Problem Solving in the Primary School: An Evaluation of a Local Authority Initiative, University of Strathclyde

Award Date: 11 Nov 2006

Bachelor of Education, University of Strathclyde

Award Date: 29 Jun 1995

External positions

External examiner for ITE courses (Primary Education), University of Birmingham, School of Education


External Examiner MA (Hons) in Primary Education, University of Aberdeen, School of Education



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