Dr DAVID SMITH

Dr DAVID SMITH
FRSA MYAS

Head of School

Overview
Dr DAVID SMITH
Dr DAVID SMITH

Contact Details

Telephone
work +44 (0)1224 274589
Email
Address
The University of Aberdeen Room 432 | School of Education | MacRobert Building | King's College | Aberdeen | AB24 5UA | UK
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PA | Lorna Thomson | +44 (0)1224 274611 | lorna.thomson@abdn.ac.uk 
Web Links

Pure Academic Profile | Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)Twitter | Linkedin | Royal Society of Edinburgh


READY Project | Religious Education and Diversity | Transnational Erasmus Plus Project

Tales of Iona | School of Education | University of Aberdeen

Online Access Courses | English and Mathematics | School of Education | University of Aberdeen

Biography

David Smith FRSA MYSA is an Educationalist with a specialism in Religion.  A graduate of the University of Glasgow, UK (BD Hons, First Class); Princeton Theological Seminary, USA (ThM, Peter Marshall Scholar); University of Durham, UK (PhD, AHRC Competition B Award holder); and the University of Edinburgh, UK (PGDE, Distinction) - he joined the School of Education in January 2013.

Dr Smith is currently Head of School of Education.  Previously, he has been Programme Director, and previously Depute, of the Initial Teacher Education Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) responsible for PGDE Primary and Secondary | Full-time and Distance Learning Initital Teacher Education (DLITE).  David has pursued a passion for international work, serving as the School's Director of Innovation and Internationalisation - forging and supporting strategic intitatives in China, the Middle East, as well as in the UK.

Dr Smith's research pivots around the study of Education and Religion.  David is currently involved in a transnational European Erasmus Plus funded exploration of Religious Education and Diversity (READY) - a project which has included school and faith community visits in Austria, England, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, along with discussion concerning the various Education systems.

As Principal Investigator/Team Leader for the Third Sector funded technology-enhanced game-based learning innovation Tales of Iona, Dr Smith and his colleagues sought to engage learners across upper-Primary and lower-Secondary school with the religious history of the island of Iona - creating a pedagogical resource for teachers.  This educational game was a finalist at the 2016 International Educational Games Competition | European Conference on Games Based Learning

David joined the University of Aberdeen from Education Scotland (Scottish Government), where he worked as a National Development Officer in the Assessment Team, supporting assessment pedagogy, moderation, and profiling in the new (then) Scottish curriculum - with lead responsibility for Moray, Highland, Orkney, and Shetland Islands.  In Aberdeen City, Dr Smith worked across the city's Primary and Secondary schools for local government as a Curriculum Development Officer for Assessment, Moderation, and Reporting (3-18); prior to which he was Aberdeen City’s Subject Network Leader for Religious, Moral, and Philosophical Studies (RMPS).

Dr Smith has Full Registration with the General Teaching Council (GTCS) for Scotland in the Secondary Sector, for whom he was a Public Appointee as an Adjudicator on their Fitness to Teach and Registration Panels (2012-2016). 

Daivd has taught RMPS at Aberdeen Grammar School (Aberdeen, UK) and at Montrose Academy (Montrose, UK). Prior to becoming a teacher, he worked in the Third Sector, where over several years he led a team to turnaround a struggling charitable company.

Research

Research Interests

Religion | Diversity | and (Initial Teacher) Education

Diversity and identities are two threads which characterise Dr Smith's research interest: a searching for the heterogeneous amidst the seemingly homogenous.  Specifically, his research focus is contextualised within the historical study of religion (in particular, Christianities and Judaisms) through which he has concentrated on heterogeneous early Judaeo-Christian religious phenomena and identities: circumcision as a sine qua non of Jewish identity; constructions of 'sexuality' and boundaries within early Christianities; and early Christian 'magic' and cursing to death, as community identity is in contention within certain early Christian understandings. David's study of early Christianities, and in particular of ancient cursing and magic, is guided by a Religionsgeschichtliche Schule approach.  

Hermeneutical and pedagogical issues arise in the present when contemporary constructions of religion, such as Christianity, are considered in light of their historical origins: fundamental questions emerge concerning Religious Education curricula and pedagogy, and the education of Religious Education student teachers: How can (should?) religious phenomena be interpreted and understood in the past and the present? What might we select/curate to teach, and learn from (?), and how might children and young people be engaged in these experiences?  Dr Smith's current research reflects these interests, as he explores: essentialist presentations of religion by teaching practitioners of Religious Education; and religion, diversity, and identities concerning Scottish Student Teachers and Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual issues: a national, longitudinal, study which is a first of its kind.  David's research concerning religion and diversity is currently informed by his pariticipation with other Religious Education Initial Teacher Educators across Europe in the Religious Education and Diversity (READY) Transnational Erasmus Plus funded project.

What we teach about, and learn from, religion was the focus of Tales of Iona a game-based learning experience through which David (as PI) and his colleagues Katrina Foy and Aloyise Mulligan sought to engage learners across upper-Primary and lower-Secondary school with the religious history of the island of Iona - creating a pedagogical resource for teachers particularly teachers of Religious Education.  This third sector funded innovation was a finalist at the 2016 International Educational Games Competition | European Conference on Games Based Learning

Current Research

1. Essentialist Understandings of Religion and Religious Education |  Lead Researcher | Bad Religion as False Religion in collaboration with Dr Graeme Nixon (University of Aberdeen) and Dr Jo Pearce (UCL Institute of Education). This paper, which was presented at the British Education Research Association's annual conference (September 2017 | University of Brighton) and the Association of Lecturers of Religious Education annual conference (May 2018 | University of London), explores essentialist understandings of religion in relation to teachers of Religious Education across the UK.

2. Initial Teacher Education Students' Attitudes concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Issues | Following a three-year (2013-16), national, data collection period involving Scottish Initial Teacher Education Students at all of Scotland's Teacher Education Institutions, I am writing several papers which share the findings concerning Student Teachers' Attitudes to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual issues, considering also the role of religion in this context.

Collaborations

Current | International

1. Religious Education and Diversity (READY) | CI with Dr Graeme Nixon (University of Aberdeen) and others across Europe (Austria, England, Germany, Sweden) on this transnational Erasmus Plus European Religious Education and Diversity project | Share of €275,506 - £45,430 | September 2015 - present

2. Project Leader and Curriculum Writer | International Professional Learning Initiative | University of Aberdeen School of Education and Beijing Institute of Education | Chaoyang District, Beijing, China | c. £78K Net income-generation | February 2015 - present

Current |  National | UK

1. Project Leader | Mathematics SCQF 5 Online Access innovation | Partnership development in collaboration with secondary-qualified teaching professionals | £29,040K Scottish Government | October 2017 - present

2. Lead Researcher | Bad Religion as False Religion: Schools and the Sanitisation of Religion | in collaboration with Dr Graeme Nixon (University of Aberdeen) and Dr Jo Pearce (UCL Institute of Education)

Completed | International

1. Project Board Member | University of Aberdeen Middle East Internationalisation Initiative | May 2014 - October 2016

Completed | National | UK

1. Project Leader | English SCQF 6 Online Access innovation | Partnership development in collaboration with secondary-qualified teaching professionals | £10K University of Aberdeen | November 2016 - September 2017

2. Project Leader | Mathematics SCQF 6 Online Access innovation | Partnership development in collaboration with secondary-qualified teaching professionals | £10K University of Aberdeen | November 2016 - September 2017

3. Principal Investigator | Iona Cathedral Trust Learning and Technology Innovation in collaboration with Katrina Foy (University of Aberdeen) | Aloyise Mulligan (University of Aberdeen) | and Hyper Luminal Games LTD.  www.talesofiona.com | @talesofiona | £32.5K Iona Cathedral Trust | October 2014 - September 2016

4. Joint Principal Investigator (with Dr Mhairi Beaton [Education: University of Aberdeen]) | Education Scotland (Scottish Government) national Profiling development in conjunction with Mackie Academy, Aberdeenshire | Profiling in the Senior Phase | £800 Scottish Government | January 2014 - December 2014

Research Grants

International

1. Religious Education and Diversity (READY) | CI with Dr Graeme Nixon (University of Aberdeen) and others across Europe (Austria, England, Germany, Sweden) on this transnational Erasmus Plus European Religious Education and Diversity project | Share of €275,506 - £45,430 | September 2015 - present

2. International Professional Learning Initiative | Curriuculm Writer and Professional Learning Leader | University of Aberdeen School of Education and Beijing Institute of Education | Chaoyang District, Beijing, China | c. £78K Net income-generation | February 2015 - present

National | UK

1. Scottish Government | SCQF 5 Mathematics Online Access innovation | £29,040 | April 2017

2. University of Aberdeen | SCQF 6 Mathematics Online Access innovation | £10K | November 2016

3. University of Aberdeen | SCQF 6 English Online Access innovation | £10K | November 2016

4. Iona Cathedral Trust | Third Sector Grant | £32.5K | October 2014 - September 2016

5. Farmington Tutor | Farmington Institute | Harris Manchester College, Oxford | Supervision | £1K

6. Education Scotland (Scottish Government) | Scottish Government | £800 | January 2014 - December 2014

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

Session 2017/18

  • MA3 | Professional Focus Elective | Belief in Scotland (Primary)
  • PGDE | Religious, Moral, and Philosophical Studies Tutor (Secondary)
  • Beijing Professional Learning for Teachers Initiative (Primary/Middle/Secondary) | Thinking Skills for Teachers

Session 2016/17

  • MA3 | Professional Focus Elective: Belief in Scotland (Primary)
  • MA4/PGDE | Religious, Moral, and Philosohpical Studies (Primary)
  • MA4/PGDE | LGBTIQ Lectures (Primary/Secondary)
  • PGDE | Religious, Moral, and Philosophical Studies Tutor (Secondary)
  • PGDE | Cross-Cutting Collaboration | Thinking Skills (Secondary)
  • MA4 | School Experience Tutor (Primary)
  • MA4 | School Experience Tutor (Secondary RMPS)
  • Beijing Professional Learning for Teachers Initiative (Primary/Middle/Secondary) | Thinking Skills for Teachers
Further Info

External Responsibilities

  • External Examiner | Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) | University College London, Institute of Education | December 2017 - present
  • Member | Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE) | January 2017 - present
  • External Examiner | PGDE | University of Strathclyde | October 2016 - present
  • Executive Member of Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) | December 2014 - November 2015
  • Associate Assessor | Higher Education Aspect Reviewer | Her Majesty’s Inspectorate (HMI) | Education Scotland | Aspect Review of Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, Feb. 2015
  • Public Appointee | General Teaching Council for Scotland | Adjudicating Panel serving on Fitness to Teach and Registration Panels | April 2012 - March 2016

Admin Responsibilities

  • Head of School of Education | January 2018 - present
  • Project Lead | Course Coordinator | Online Access Mathematics SCQF 5 | October 2017 - June 2018
  • Acting Head of School | September 2017 - December 2017
  • Deputising Head of School | November 2016 | December 2016 | April 2017 | May 2017
  • Project Lead | Course Coordinator | Online Access Mathematics SCQF 6 | November 2016 - present
  • Project Lead | Course Coordinator | Online Access English SCQF 6 | November 2016 - present
  • Member | University of Aberdeen Senate (Elected and Subsequently Ex Officio) | August 2016 - present
  • University of Aberdeen Mentor | 1 Academic and 1 Administrative colleague | August 2016 - present
  • Acadamic Line Manager (1 Professor; 1 Reader; 1 Senior Lecturer; 4 Lecturers) | October 2015 - August 2017
  • School of Education Executive Committee Member | September 2015 - July 2017
  • Director of Innovation and Internationalisation (School of Education) | August 2015 - September 2017
  • Founding Member and Policy Representative | University of Aberdeen LGBT Staff Network | January 2015 - July 2017
  • Programme Director | Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE: Primary and Secondary; Full-time and Distance [DLITE]) | March 2014 - July 2016
  • School of Education Coordinating Committee Member (Precursor to School Executive) | November 2013 - July 2015
  • Deputy Programme Director of the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE: Primary and Secondary) and Master of Arts (MA), Learning, Teaching, Assessment | June 2013 - February 2014
  • Co-leader Assessment: MA/PGDE Programmes | February 2013 - July 2013

Supervision

  • PhD Supervision - (Second supervisor) | Education and Looked-After Children
  • PhD Supervision - (Second supervisor) | Mindfulness
  • MSc Work-based Project Supervision | Education, Poverty, and Parental Involvement
  • MSc Work-based Project Supervision | Pupil responses to the Certification of core RMPS
  • MSc Leadership | Supervisor
  • MSc Leadership | Supervisor
  • MSc Leadership | Supervisor
  • MSc Leadership | Supervisor
  • MSc Mindfulness (and Business) | Supervisor
  • MSc Mindfulness (and Business) | Supervisor

Certificates

  • LEAN for Higher Education | Institute of Leadership and Management | May 2016
  • Protecting Information | Levels 1 and 2 | National School of Government | February 2012
  • Leadership | Level 5 | Institute of Leadership and Management | March 2011
  • Certificate in Professional Presentation | English Speaking Board | June 2002

Professional Memberships

  • Member | British Education Research Association (BERA)
  • Member | Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA)
  • Member | American Academy of Religion (AAR)
  • Member | Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland's | April 2013 - present
  • Fellow | Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (The RSA) February 2007 - present

Professional Learning

  • 2 hour Coaching Session: International Leadership Development Programme: Elementa Leadership | May 2018
  • International Leadership Development Programme | Student Experience and Transnational Education | Curtin University, WA, Australia | January 2018
  • Legal Aspects of Management; Unconscious Bias as Work: Head of School Development Programme: Pinsent Masons | November 2017 
  • Managing Performance Effectively: Head of School Development Programme: Pinsent Masons | November 2017
  • Managing Ill-Health, Absence, and Disability: Head of School Development Programme: Pinsent Masons | November 2017
  • Family-Friendly Rights: Head of School Development Programme: Pinsent Masons | November 2017
  • Managing Changes to Terms and Conditions; Redundancy: Head of School Development Programme: Pinsent Masons | November 2017
  • Adopting a Different Approach to Equality and Diversity in Higher Education: Diversity by Design | November 2017
  • 2 hour Coaching Session (360 discussion): International Leadership Development Programme: Elementa Leadership | October 2017
  • The Strategic and Organisational Context: International Leadership Development Programme: Elementa Leadership | September 2017
  • Finance Session: International Leadership Development Programme: Elementa Leadership | September 2017
  • International Leadership Development Programme: Elementa Leadership and University of Aberdeen | August 2017 - present
  • Academic Line Management: Organisational Responsibilities: University of Aberdeen. | January 2017
  • Unconscious Bias Training: Challenge Consultancy Ltd. | September 2016
  • Coaching Skills for Managers: University of Aberdeen | May 2016
  • Level 5 Award in LEAN for Higher Education: Institute of Leadership and Management: University of Aberdeen | April 2016
  • Finance and Budgets: University of Aberdeen | December 2015
  • Essential HR for Line Managers: University of Aberdeen | November 2015
  • Academic Line Management Organisational Responsibility: University of Aberdeen | November 2015
  • Associate Assessor Training, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education: Education Scotland | November 2015
  • Line Management Expectation Setting: University of Aberdeen | October 2015
  • Adjudicating Panel Training: General Teaching Council for Scotland | September 2015
  • Education for All: Stonewall Scotland, Edinburgh | May 2015
  • Associate Assessor Training, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education: Education Scotland | January 2015
  • Adjudicating Panel Training: General Teaching Council for Scotland | May 2013
  • Protecting Information: Levels 1 and 2: National School of Government | Feburary 2012
  • Level 5 Award in Leadership: Institute of Leadership and Management | March 2011
Publications

Publications 

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