I am a Senior Lecturer of Education (Associate Professor) at the University of Aberdeen, a veteran teacher and skilful educational leader with over twenty years’ experience across teaching & training, coaching & mentorship, human resource leadership, and higher education instruction. I have worked as a quality assurance manager, secondary history and English teacher, History Department Chair (principal teacher of history) secondary asst. principal (depute headteacher), elementary school principal (primary headteacher), director of human resources, and a school superintendent. I hold a doctorate in Education and Executive Leadership (#DEXL) from St. John Fisher University, Rochester, NY.
My research centres around the intersection of autism, teacher education, and higher education policy. In my role as Programme Director & Course Coordinator of Inclusive Practice, I lecture on Curriculum Transformation & Change and Inclusive Pedagogy. I support Initial Teacher Education as a course tutor performing student teacher observations, and also teache several co-developed, on-demand leadership courses.
Across my diverse roles, I have always believed there is no better way to teach than through a combination of experiential learning and purpose-driven collaborative activities that leverage the learners’ experiences in a positive and encouraging way. My vision is one that empowers learners to fulfill their academic or life passions and professional goals in an inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment that facilitates innovative and creative connections between pupils/students, staff, faculty and the wider community.
In addition, I am honoured to have been named a Trustee of the Board of Directors of Autism & Neurodiversity North Scotland, an Aberdeen-based autism education service organisation and charity whose charter is to Think Differently.
- Ed.D. Education & Executive Leadership2021 - St. John Fisher University
- CAS in Educational Leadership2017 - State University of New York at Oswego
- Master's in Teaching Secondary History2002 - State University of New York at Cortland
- Bachelor in History and Secondary Teaching1998 - State University of New York at Cortland
I am interested in teacher preparation for educating students with autism and/or ASN, and issues related to educational leadership.
Accessibility for Autism in Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire
The shortage of teachers highly qualified to educate students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in New York State affects the education of those pupils. There is a lack of research and understanding into the perspectives of leaders of schools of education in New York State who can affect the preparation of teacher candidates.
My study examined the experiences of 10 leaders in Upstate New York departments of education on the establishment of teacher preparation programs or coursework that would ensure pre-service graduates are adequately prepared to educate students with ASD. Through semi-structured interviews, the study examined education leaders’ views on the ability of current teacher programs to prepare all department graduates for the rising number of students with ASD enrolled in public schools. The study examined what impediments to providing more preparation for preservice teachers exist and what efforts can be or are being made by the department or institute of higher education to mitigate those obstructions.
Results from the data indicate little support for the establishment of a baccalaureate program in autism education or the creation of an NYS teacher certification specifically in autism. Recommendations include streamlining NYS regulations on college program development at the undergraduate-level, cross-institutional, and multidisciplinary collaboration between teacher preparation programs, enhancing existing coursework on best practices in autism education, and increasing on-site internships for students pursuing study and teacher certification in special education.
Leadership Perspectives on the Effect of Teacher Shortages on Students with Autism in New York
Co-supervising a PhD Student interested in the intersectionality of leadership and life-long learning in the context of their homeland.
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Higher Education Leadership Perspectives:: Autism Education Certification and Teacher Shortages in Upstate New YorkSt. John Fisher University. 231 pages.Other Contributions: Other Contributions