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Meet Claire

Dr Claire Dewhirst

Head of the Centre for Educational Development


I have spent the last eighteen years working in Higher Education, initially as a Senior Teaching Fellow in Teacher Education at the Stirling Institute of Education and more recently in my role as Head of the Centre for Educational Development at Queen’s University, Belfast. Before this, I spent ten years working in the secondary sector in Scotland, six of which were spent as Principal Teacher of Geography. My doctorate focuses on the professional development of teachers.

In my previous roles in Teacher Education, I have led on a number of quality assurance functions in a range of management roles from Director of Learning and Teaching through to Director of Initial Teacher Education. I have also led on the content development of, and delivery of, a wide range of courses, many of which have been at a Masters level. These include courses around Coaching and Mentoring as well as Educational Leadership. All of which have had to be accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. During this time I was also involved in developing the Scottish Teacher Education Committee’s (STEC) National Framework for Inclusion.

In relation to ethics and integrity, I have chaired a Professional Practice panel for Teacher Education and have sat on University committees for Academic Progression as well as a Fitness to Practise Committee for Nursing and Midwifery.

I undertook my EdD later in life, entitled Thinking Practice: CPD as Ethical Work.

Responsibilities within the University

Leadership of the Centre for Educational Development. The Centre for Educational Development (CED) advises on all things teaching and learning related including assessment. The Centre is a key point of contact for HEA related activities including the QMA, the pedagogic use of Canvas, MOOCs, Distance Learning, Curriculum Design, Assessment and other pedagogic activities at Queen's. The Centre is heavily involved in the delivery of the University’s Education Strategy. CED is also the home of the university’s Science Shop.

External Recognition

Associate Editor of the International Journal of Educational Research (IJER)

Panel Member of the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS)

Accredited Trainer Advance HE External Examiners Course

Member of Sage’s Pedagogic Advisory Board (PAB)

Member of the Head of Educational Development Group (HEDG)

External Examiner PGDE Geography Swansea University 2009-2013

External Examiner PGDE Social Subjects Newcastle University 2005-2009

External Examiner B.Ed Primary (Environmental Science) 2005-2009

International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education (IGU CGE) UK sub-committee Secretary 2011-2013

Professional and Personal Interests

I am a Geographer at heart. I spent ten very happy years teaching Geography and Modern Studies in Fife before moving into Higher Education (Teacher Education). For me there is nothing more rewarding in a professional life than working with learners to enable and enhance their learning experience, whatever their age. If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I also love my dogs!