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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I was appointed as a teacher of History and Modern Studies in Ayrshire in 1999. In December 2004 I was appointed Faculty Head for Social Subjects, a position I held until 2013. Latterly I was an extended member of the Senior Management Team within the secondary school. I lead significant project work on raising attainment of vulnerable groups using my knowledge of National Qualifications to meet learners’ needs. My approach utilised interdisciplinary learning to promote attainment through literacy and Social Subjects. This integrated approach to learning and teaching lead to the model being adopted across the authority especially to support pupils who were educated with alternative arrangements.

In addition to my role as a faulty head I served as the Network Co-ordinator for History within the local authority. My interests in supporting teacher learning were developed with this role as I was responsible for the delivery of CPD and support for subject delivery in terms of pedagogy and subject knowledge.

In August 2012 I was appointed as a Teaching Fellow at Strathclyde University. I am course coordinator for Modern Studies. I have responsibility for delivery of PDGE Modern Studies and input into generic Modern Studies. I am a tutor for Educational Studies within the PDGE course. My personal interests in interdisciplinary learning have provided the opportunity to deliver lectures to the PDGE Secondary cohort on the topic of Holocaust education. Additionally, I have a great deal of experience teaching and researching Scottish Studies as an integrated model for learning and teaching. I deliver an options course in Scottish Studies to promote this skills-based unit aimed at certificate age learners. This course allows me to pursue my interest in promotion of literacy across learning as part of the wider curriculum. It supports individualism within the curriculum as well as demonstrating a practical way to achieve interdisciplinary learning whilst supporting individual achievement.

As part of the Knowledge Exchange programme I offer CPD in Modern Studies, History and general Social Studies in primary as well as lower Secondary as part of the Broad General Education. In terms of certification I have vast experience for National standards, Higher and Advanced Higher History and the delivery and preparation for Scottish Studies at National 2 to National 6 standard.

2013-14 I was part of Glasgow Caledonian University Advanced Higher Hub pilot with responsibility for History. This position allowed me to work with two groups of senior pupils from across Glasgow city to achieve Advanced Higher History. The transitions project was aimed to increase confidence and for secondary pupils to promote further education for schools in Glasgow acting as a transition project to make meaningful connections between school and further education establishments.

I have served on Scottish Association of Teachers of History Committee since 2000. I held the post of SATH secretary for 3 years until 2013. I currently hold responsibility for publications and the yearbook. This position provides opportunities to work with fellow academics across Europe in the promotion of teaching History. I represent Initial Teacher Education on the SATH committee.

My position as curricular leader of History in South Ayrshire allowed me to work with the University of Michigan bringing ‘Big History’ to Scotland. I was one of only three schools which piloted the course which fuses science with history to provide an understanding of the world from the Big Bang to the present day. This course supported my interest in Interdisciplinary Learning. This initiavie worked in tandem with the Bill Gates foundation and was overseen by the SQA.

I currently a Qualifications Design Specialist and Consultant for SQA for History and Scottish Studies for SCQF levels 2 to 6. Additionally I have a role in the verification process for National Qualifications in History.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests lie in the delivery of PDGE Modern Studies and History in both primary and secondary schools. I have a keen interest in interdisciplinary learning throughout Social Subjects and the wider curriculum. Furthermore I am interested in the delivery of Scottish Studies which illustrated my very keen interest in promoting meaningful Interdisciplinary learning. Furthermore, I am interested in the subject of inclusion, in particular supporting pupils with additional support needs in a social studies context. Learning for sustainability is also a key aspect of my teaching.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in aspects of improving literacy through the medium of Social Studies,  in particular raising attainment in vulnerable groups in Scottish secondary schools. Recent activities involve the use of learning clouds and digital technologies in the promotion of literacy in Scottish primary schools.  Scottish Studies. Integrated approaches to teaching Social Subjects.  New projects which are pending shall concentrate on the issue of Scotland and the Great War delivery within a local context in both primary and secondary sectors.  Particular emphasis shall be placed on the application of knowledge and the development of key historical skills as well as the promotion of literacy.

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