BEd (first class); PhD in Education
Before taking up my post at the University of Aberdeen, I was the Autism Development Coordinator for Moray Council Education Department. Prior to this, I worked as a Support for Learning teacher with young people on the autism spectrum in a secondary base.Whilst working as a teacher, I undertook a part-time PhD at the University of Aberdeen and achieved my doctorate in July 2004. I joined the School of Education in September 2004 as a Lecturer in Inclusive Practice with a specialism in autism.
In 2008 I developed the postgraduate Masters Pathway in Autism & Learning and became Programme Director. This is an interprofessional programme designed to provide high level studies in autism and learning suitable for parents, teachers, therapists, care workers and other professionals who support individuals on the autism spectrum across service contexts. This programme is still running and is now online. The online programme is designed to widen access and attract international students, as well as UK and local students, and will provide a more flexible route into autism studies.
In 2011 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer. Since then I have held the roles of Director of Research Culture & Support with a remit to develop research provision for staff and PhD students within the School, and to enhance inclusion and participation across our research community. In 2014, I joined the Executive Committee and became Director of Staff Development & Wellbeing. In this role I was responsible for the planning and organisation of professional development and for supporting staff & student wellbeing. Around this time, I also became Co-Lead of the Athena SWAN Self Assessment Team responsible for ensuring that the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded across all school structures, processes and practices. This team were successful in achieving the Athena SWAN Bronze Award - the first School of Education in the UK to do so!
In 2018 I was promoted to Reader. I am currently Interim Director of Research on the School Executive Committee. I am responsible for the development of the School Research Strategy and Action Plan, for preparations for the next REF and for supporting the development of our research community.
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
I am Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Learning programme and take responsibility for teaching and learning, assessment, recruitment and ongoing collaboration with the National Autistic Society, local service users and other partners. I am currently developing an online programme.
I also coordinate two modules on the Inclusive Practice programme: Participation and Learning and Introduction to Autism. I undertake ongoing monitoring, evaluation and development of these modules, and I am responsible for tutoring and assessesment.
- External Memberships
I undertake peer reviews for several academic research journals including the International Journal of Inclusive Education, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, Journal of Interprofesional Care and the Journal of Autism.
I have also been external examiner (PhD) at the University of Strathclyde and University of Exeter, and have twice been internal examiner at the University of Aberdeen.
I presented a Keynote Speech to the Scottish Autism 50th Anniversary Conference in Glasgow in November 2018. The keynote was entitled: From Interprofessionalism to Transprofessionalism: A bridge to innovative practice?
I was a member of the Unviersity of Aberdeen Inclusion Workstream contributing to the development of the inclusion strand of the 2040 Strategic Plan.
I am the University of Aberdeen Autism Training Coordinator and provide training in autism for academic staff and support staff across all Schools.
I research in autism and inclusion. (Please see publications below.)
In 2018, a research partner and I were awarded funding to undertake a scoping study in Cambodia to explore how we might support capacity building in inclusive education in remote, rural schools in Battambang Province. We have now completed this scoping study and have written a research paper about the study (Ravet & Mtika forthcoming).
In 2019, we secured further funding to enable our Cambodian research partners to visit the School of Education to collaborate on the development of a model of teacher professional development in inclusion that will be relevant and sustainable in the Cambodian context. This will enable teachers in rural schools to ehance the quality of inclusion for all children in their classrooms. Whilst in Aberdeen, our research partners visited local schools to observe inclusive practice and to explore how our model of inclusion might be adapted to rural schools in the Cambodian context.
Since then, a team of colleagues and I have been designing a Capacity Building Programme (CBP) in educational inclusion to address the needs of practitioners in remote, rural schools. This CBP will be delivered using a cascade model. In the first instance, we will deliver the programme online to our Cambodian research partners. We hope to do this in April 2021. The aim of the CBP is to enhnace their knowledge and understanding of inclusion, and critique and refine the CBP to ensure that it is culturally appropriate for onward delivery to lecturers at Battambang Teacher Education College (BTEC) in the next phase of the study. BTEC lecturers will then deliver the CBP to practitioners in remote, rural areas of Battambang Province.
We are currently working on the development of the CBP and on a research paper that explores interculturality i.e. our experiences and perceptions of the research process as an inter-cultural team. We will also will be researching the online delivery of the CBP in 2021 to evaluate it's efficacy and cultural relevance and hope to secure funding for this project.
Funding and Grants
Pump-priming grant (£3.500) for evaluative research study:Autism & Learning programme.
Scottish Government / National Autistic Society/ Scottish Autism grant (£50,000) for autism research series
GCRF/IPPF (3) funding (£7,000) for Scoping Study: Educational Inclusion in Cambodia
GCRF/IPPF (5) funding (10,000) Capacity Building for Educational Inclusion in Cambodia
Under preparation: Phase 3 GCRF funding application: Capacity Building for Educational Inclusion: Efficacy & Interculturality
I am Programme Director of the P.G. Certificate in Autism & Learning.
I teach on the Inclusive Practice programme and the Autism & Learning programme.
I also lecture in autism on undergraduate Initial Teacher Education programmes (MA, PGDE).
I am the University of Aberdeen Autism Training Coordinator (providing autism training for university staff and support staff)
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A decolonial perspective on intercultural research: A case study of educational inclusion in rural CambodiaContributions to Conferences: Papers
Educational Inclusion in Resource-Constrained Contexts: A Study of Rural Primary Schools in CambodiaInternational Journal of Inclusive Education, pp. 1-22Contributions to Journals: Articles
Educational Inclusion in Samlout & Rukhak Kiri, Cambodia: A Scoping Study ReportCommissioned by KHEN. 26 pagesBooks and Reports: Other Reports
From Interprofessionalism to Transprofessionalism: A Bridge to Innovative Practice in AutismShare: Practice Knowledge & Innovation, vol. 8, pp. 4-5Contributions to Specialist Publications: Articles
'But how do I teach them?’: Autism & Initial Teacher Education (ITE)International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 714-733Contributions to Journals: Articles
Discipline, behaviour and ethos in primary schoolsScottish Education. Bryce, T., Humes, W., Gillies, D., Kennedy, A. (eds.). 5 edition. Edinburgh University PressChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Review of 'Supporting Social Inclusion for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder' Cathy Little (Ed)Scottish Educational Review, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 100-106Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
What we know now: education, neuroscience and transdisciplinary autism researchEducational Research, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 1-16Contributions to Journals: Articles
Inclusive/Exclusive? Contradictory Perspectives on Autism and Inclusion: The Case for an Integrative PositionAutism and Education. Humphrey, N. (ed.). Sage Publications, pp. 667-682, 15 pagesChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Supporting Change in Autism Services: Bridging the Gap Between Theory into PracticeRoutledge, London. 154 pagesBooks and Reports: Books