Dr Zoè Robertson

Senior Teaching Fellow

Background

I am currently seconded to the University of Edinburgh from the General Teaching Council for Scotland.  

I am passionate about learning: my own learning, the professional learning of teachers, the learning of the education system, and most importantly the impact on children’s learning. This has been the underpinning focus and driving purpose throughout my career.

I began my career in education as a primary teacher, working in Fife before broadening my personal and professional horizons to experience life in America and its education system. I taught in an elementary school in North Carolina, where I was awarded the North Carolina Cultural Educator of Year award in 2003.

After studying for an MSc in Education, I took up a post as a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education. During this time I worked across Initial Teacher Education (where I focused on pedagogy and digital learning), Masters Programmes for teacher education (which included the Chartered Teacher programme and an online MSc in Educational Leadership) and the taught Doctorate in Education. I led professional learning programmes with schools and individual teachers, across primary and secondary, focusing on practitioner enquiry. After a decade in the university context, I enjoyed a secondment with Education Scotland as a Development Officer for Teacher Education, taking forward key aspects of Teaching Scotland’s Future. 

I then moved to the General Teaching Council for Scotland in 2013, initially as an Education Adviser, then (Acting) Head of Educational Services and laterally as Senior Education Officer for Research & Professional Learning. My work here provided a great opportunity to bring together my passion for enquiry, research, policy and practice – in many ways it was my doctoral thesis in a job description!

Now, I have returned to the University and in my role here I am excited about the opportunities of working with teachers at all stages of their professional learning journey – from students just embarking on their career in education, to teachers committed to their ongoing learning and those seeking the next professional challenge.

My enquiring, curious and active toddler helps keep me very busy outside work and also acutely aware of the importance and joy of education.

Qualifications

  • Doctorate in Education, University of Edinburgh (2010)
  • MSc Education (Distinction), University of Edinburgh (2004)
  • BEd (Hons), Moray House Institute of Education, Heriot-Watt Universty (1997)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Programme Director: MEd Leadership & Learning

Co-Director: Teacher Education Partnerships (CLPL & Masters)

Course Organiser: Professional Experience & Practice Year 3

Research summary

My research interest has focused predominantly on teacher professional learning. In particular, understanding the nature, purpose and impact of teachers engaging in enquiry as an approach to professional learning and adopting an enquiring stance as part of their professional identity and the critical importance of this in developing teacher agency and empowerment. 

I have a particular interst in qualitative research and more innovative and creative methods that are appropriate to practice-based research in schools, classrooms and learning communities.