Dr Rachel Shanks

Dr Rachel Shanks

Senior Lecturer

Dr Rachel Shanks
Dr Rachel Shanks

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274871
The University of Aberdeen Room 622 MacRobert Building, King's College, Aberdeen AB24 5UA.


Rachel has taken part in research projects funded by the Hunter Foundation, the Scottish Government, LEADER, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, various local government authorities, Awards for All, the Higher Education Academy, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

She has contributed to the learning of adults in higher education, community education, and the voluntary and trade union sectors. In higher education she has worked as a law lecturer, in the University of Aberdeen’s former Centre for Lifelong Learning and currently as Senior Lecturer in Education. In the late 1990s she led the Trade Union Congress partnership project Bargaining for Skills in the East and West Midlands regions in England, working with trade unions, employers, colleges and Training and Enterprise Councils. Rachel has also been an adult learning tutor, worked for the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux and for Aberdeen CAB.


Current Research

Professional learning

  • Teacher Induction in Scotland and the mentoring of new teachers.
  • Measuring the Quality of Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE) in Scotland

Using digital and mobile technologies for learning

Community learning and development

  • Health and Social Care for older people in Marr in the 2020s
  • Young people and participation in decision-making

Education law

  • Impact of Named Person duties on school principals

Teaching Responsibilities

Current teaching

  • ED302F Professional Learning and Inquiry (BA Professional Development)
  • ED302E Hazard and Risk in Professional Contexts (BA Professional Development)
  • ED4030 Broadening Professional Boundaries (BA Professional Development)
  • ED553T Advanced Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation (MSc Social and Educational Research)
  • ED1521 Learning From Work (Cross-university employability course)
  • Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Supervision of Masters Work-Based Projects

 Current PhD Students

  • Madhawi Alharbi - Using a mobile game for teaching English as a Foreign Language in Saudia Arabia with Dr Bruce Scharlau (School of Natural and Computing Sciences)
  • Hanadi Alkhatabi - Children and Arabic Applications on Tablet Devices in the Context of Preschool Provision with Dr Kirsten Darling-McQuistan and Dr Nahal Gahwaji (King Abdulaziz University)
  • Maryam Alnoaimi - The Role of Bahraini Educational leaders in Developing Educational Values of Citizenship and Promoting Educational Change in the Kingdom of Bahrain with Dr Robert White
  • David Di Domenico - Analysis of the experiences, approaches and reflective accounts of academics in relation to cultural diversity in the delivery of undergraduate pre-registration nursing education at a Scottish university with Dr Graeme Nixon
  • Esther Nyaga - School leadership and teacher professionalism: an exploration of head teacher leadership practice in public primary schools in Kenya with Prof Emerita Karen McArdle
  • Ramona Statchde - The relationship between rural communities and Small & Medium Enterprises - an investigation of the extent to which the latter's social media use is based on shared social and cultural capital and is conducive to mutual development with Dr David Watts (Rowett Institute) and Dr Mark Beecroft (School of Geosciences)
  • Khanchai Wongchana - Thai University Student and Teacher Perceptions of Studying Tourism through English Using a CLIL Approach with Prof Do Coyle (University of Edinburgh)

Completed PhDs

2017 David Johnston - A Socio-Cultural Perspective on 'Belonging'

2017 Geraldine Prince - Art-Making and the Interpretation of Cultures: Cross-cultural teaching and learning in Edinburgh and Dubai

Further Info

External Responsibilities

Admin Responsibilities

Research Tools

The links below show the surveys and interview schedules used with new teachers for my research on learning in the workplace:

Journal Board and Reviewer Information



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