I have worked in higher education, community education, the trade union movement and the voluntary sector. In higher education, I have been a law lecturer, worked in the University of Aberdeen’s former Centre for Lifelong Learning and I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Education.
In the late 1990s, I 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. I have also been an adult education tutor and worked for the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB) and a local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Memberships and Affiliations
- Internal Memberships
- Member of the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society, and Rule of Law (CISRUL)
- Training Coordinator for the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme with Early Stage Researchers researching how political concepts are used in the world (POLITICO) 2018-
- Member of the University's Research Culture Task and Finish Group 2020-2022
- Mental Health First Aider 2020-
- School of Education Lead for Social Inclusion and Cultural Diversity research
- Trustee of the Rocking Horse Nursery 2016- (Chair of the Board of Trustees 2019-2022)
- Member of the Aberdeen branch of the University and College Union (UCU) 2006-
- Editor of the University journal Education in the North 2016-2020
- External Memberships
- Associate Director and Hub Lead for Society and Welfare Hub Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) (Scotland's ESRC DTP) 2021-
- Editor of Human Rights Education Review 2021-
- External Examiner University of Stirling, EdD Doctor of Education and MRes (Education) 2021-2025
- External Examiner Nottingham Trent University, BA Education: Policy and Practice 2021-2025
- Co-convenor Network 6 Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures European Educational Research Association 2017-2023
- Community Learning and Development Standards Council Registered Member and Approvals Panel Member 2014-
- Member of the Scottish Educational Research Association
- Member of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction
- Member of the British Educational Research Association
Prizes and Awards
Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (Advance HE)
Teaching Qualification Further Education/ BA Professional Development Team, 2021
My research is currently focused on school uniform. I have produced briefings on the affordability of school uniforms and the school clothing grant in Scotland.
I also research professional learning and mentoring covering both formal and informal learning, in particular during teacher induction.
Children and young people's rights combine my legal and community work background and my interest in social justice.
I am currently accepting PhDs in Education.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.
- Work-Based Learning
- Social Policy
Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
Co-Investigator of Measuring Quality in Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE)
University students mentoring school students
Children's Human Rights in Education
This includes Human Rights Education and young people and participation in decision-making.
I am a member of an international research network Children’s Human Rights Education which is being funded by the Swedish Research Council between 2021 and 2025. Thirteen members of the European Educational Research Association Network 25 aim to strengthen international collaboration in research into human rights education for children. Theory development, joint publications and funding applications are planned. The network also aims to find and invite researchers from regions that are underrepresented in children’s rights research.
Current PhD Students
- Elise Boyle Espinosa - Education in the Islamic State, as part of the Politicoproject, lead supervisor with Prof Pamela Abbott and Dr Hanifi Baris
- Tracy Edwards - The Translation and Enactment of the Principle of Inclusive Pedagogy by Experienced Teachers, supervise with Dr Kirsten Darling McQuistanand Prof Mhairi Beaton
- Tomisin Fadamoro - Integration of Blended Learning into the Nigerian Education Curriculum: STEM Teachers’ Perception of the Learning Management System (LMS) Technology, lead supervisor with Dr John Mynott and Dr Martin Barker
- Touria Jouilla - Exploring student services in Further Education access programmes, lead supervisor with Dr Steph Thomson
- Tracy Robbie - Teachers and local authority youth workers: a new collaborative model for supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds?, lead supervisor with Dr Steph Thomson
2021 Annette Moir - Exploration of children’s awareness of their coping strategies and enhancement of their resilience skills
2020 David Di Domenico - Educators' views, experiences and approaches to cultural diversity: understanding pre-registration adult nursing education at a Scottish university
2020 Maryam Alnoaimi - Citizenship Education in the Kingdom of Bahrain: A case study exploring perceptions of school principals, senior teachers, teachers and students
2019 Ramona Statache - Business Social Media Use by Remote Rural Micro Tourism Enterprises in the Scottish Highlands
2019 Madhawi Alharbi - Using Mobile Games in Teaching English as a Foreign Language Vocabulary at a Saudi Female High School
2019 Khanchai Wongchana - Thai University Student and Teacher Perceptions of Studying Tourism through English Using a CLIL Approach
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
Funding and Grants
In 2021 I received pump-prime funding for interdisciplinary research from the University of Aberdeen for work on the Affordability and Sustainability of School Uniform. This pilot study has investigated the impact of school uniform banks on the affordability and sustainability of school uniforms in Scotland.
Principal Investigator of BERA COVID-19 research: New teachers’ responses to COVID-19: building on Initial Teacher Education for their professional learning.
Co-Investigator of Measuring Quality of Initial Teacher Education (MQuITE) in Scotland funded by the Scottish Government 2017- A longitudinal study involving all higher education institutions that provide initial teacher education in Scotland.
Co-Investigator of EU Marie Curie COFUND grant (2018-22) Political Concepts in the World (POLITICO). The POLITICO PhD programme builds on the success of the interdisciplinary training provided by the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and the Rule of Law (CISRUL), which specializes in the global application of political ideas.
- ED1521 - Learning From Work
- ED505P Using NVivo for Qualitative Data Analysis
Course Co-ordinator for:
SX1011 Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities
SX1521 Sustainable International Development
ED505P Using NVivo for Qualitative Data Analysis
Non-course Teaching Responsibilities
NVivo training for staff and postgraduate students
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Writing Education Research. Guidelines for Publishable Scholarship. Author: Joy Egbert and Sherry Sanden New York and London: Routledge (2015) pp. 225 Paperback £20.99 ISBN 978-1-138-79647-8Education in the North, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 185-186Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
Education in Britain. 1944 to the present. 2nd Edition Ken Jones Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press (2016) pp296, Hardback£60 ISBN 978-0-7456-6322-7Education in the North, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 100Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
Review of ‘Education in Britain. 1944 to the present’ 2nd Edition by Ken Jones.Education in the North, vol. 23, no. 1Contributions to Journals: Reviews of Books, Films and Articles
Young people's political communities and democratic participationContributions to Conferences: Papers
Young people's voice and political communities in schools in ScotlandContributions to Conferences: Papers
The Personal, Professional and Political Experience of MOOC Management: A Scottish Case Study in Rural and Remote CommunitiesThe MOOC Case Book. Corbeil, J. R., Corbeil, M. E., Khan, B. H. (eds.). Linus PublicationsChapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
Lifelong learning professionals need to ensure disadvantaged groups have access to e-learning: “Reflexivity” is requiredInternational Journal of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 24-38Contributions to Journals: Articles
School pupils using technology at heritage sites to improve literacy: bridging dividesContributions to Journals: Features
A study of learners’ situational vulnerability: new teachers in ScotlandEducation in the North, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 2-20Contributions to Journals: Articles
- [ONLINE] http://www.abdn.ac.uk/eitn/journal/12/
- [ONLINE] DOI: https://doi.org/10.26203/XQYR-FP61
- [OPEN ACCESS] http://aura.abdn.ac.uk/bitstream/2164/4089/2/Shanks_EITN_A_Study_of_VOR.pdf
Expectations and reality: the implementation of mobile devices in schoolsContributions to Conferences: Papers