Professor David Smith (SFHEA, FRSA)
Head of Moray House School of Education and Sport
- Moray House School of Education and Sport
- University of Edinburgh
- Tel: +44 (0)131 651 6167
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: Linkedin
Moray House School of Education and Sport
Old Moray House
- University of Edinburgh (Holyrood Campus)
- Post code
- EH8 8AQ
My research interest is in religion and education. Exploring the possible religio-cultural milieu of certain religious practices and beliefs has long captured my imagination; not least, as a way to understand this fundamental aspect of human behaviour. I am interested in the way in which religion is conceptualised and taught in educational environments.
I have held a variety of leadership positions in academic and non-academic environments through which I have sought with others to make a positive difference. Since October 2022, I have been privileged to lead Moray House School of Education and Sport; an amazing School community of highly talented individuals whose research, teaching, and wider work, has significant societal impact throughout the world. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, I spent ten years at the University of Aberdeen where I was: Head of School of Education (2017-2022), reporting to the Senior Vice-Principal and being a member of the University Management Group; innovation Project Lead, University of Aberdeen OnDemand Online Access (widening participation) English and Maths courses (2016-2018); School Director of Innovation and Internationalisation (2015-2017); and Director of the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education: Primary, Secondary, and Distance Learning (2014-2016).
I was elected Chair of the Scottish Council of Deans of Education (2020-2022), an organisation which represents eleven Higher Education Institutions in Scotland. Through my tenure as Chair, which coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, I played a key leadership role in the national response to Covid-19 and Teacher Education in Scotland, which ultimately enabled thousands of Student Teachers throughout the country to graduate and to progress into employment as Probationary Teachers. I enjoy working with people in other cultures and regularly visited Beijing, China, over a five year period (2016-2020), where I taught a successful professional learning course for Chaoyang District Institute of Education.
Prior to my time in Higher Education, I worked nationally for Education Scotland/Scottish Government (2010-2012) where within the Assessment and Moderation team, I had lead-responsibility for the local authorities within the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Before this, I served in local government for Aberdeen City Council's Education Department. I entered local government having sought to educate and enthuse young people as a Secondary (High School) teacher of Religious Education/Religious, Moral, and Philosophical Studies. Prior to becoming a Teacher, I worked in the Third Sector where over several years I led a team to turnaround a struggling charitable company. Throughout these various roles and contexts, I have enjoyed collaborating with others and working through gnarly problems, towards shaping new possibilities. In my current role, the way in which education and research can have a positive impact on people's lives, and that of society collectively, is something that motivates me.
PDGE: Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Distinction), University of Edinburgh, UK
PhD: Doctor of Philosophy (Religion), University of Durham, UK (Arts Humanities Research Council Funded Studentship)
ThM: Master of Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, USA (Master's Funded Scholarship)
BD (Hons): Bachelor of Divinity (First Class), University of Glasgow, UK
Responsibilities & affiliations
Representative, Scottish Council of Deans Representative: Universities Scotland (February 2023-present)
Convener: University of Edinburgh LGBT+ Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDIC) Sub-Committee (February 2023-present)
Member: Universitas21 Deans of Education Group (November 2022-present)
Honorary Professor of Education: University of Aberdeen (October 2022-present)
Member: Global Deans of Education Forum, University of Kansas and East China Normal University (October 2022-present)
Emeritus Chair, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (July 2020-July 2022)
Member, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (2014-present)