Oration - Sally Brown OBE FRSE
Professor Brown has dedicated her working life to teaching and research in the field of education. Her work has been professionally relevant, socially useful and had high impact. It is therefore entirely fitting that Queen Margaret University honours her today as we dedicate ourselves to address precisely these objectives.
Sally Brown graduated in 1957 with a BSc in Special Physics from University College London,. She went on to win a Fulbright scholarship to undertake an MA in Physics at Smith College in Massachusetts, USA. Sally began her working career as a Physics Lecturer in London and then in universities in Nigeria. In 1964, she broadened her experience by becoming Principal Teacher of Science at St Brides School in Helensburgh in Scotland. In 1971, she moved to the University of Stirling as a Research Officer examining childrens attitudes to science in the first two years of secondary school, for which she was awarded her doctorate from that university in 1975. She was seconded to the Scottish Education Department for research on curriculum and assessment in the third and fourth years of secondary school associated with the Munn & Dunning Report.
Sally went on to become Director of the Scottish Council for Research in Education between 1986-1990 and President of the British Educational Research Association in 1990-91. She has chaired many national and regional committees on child protection, disability, Gaelic research and adult & continuing education. Following her return to the University of Stirling, she became its Deputy Principal from 1996-2001. She was chair of the Education panel for the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.
During her career Sally Brown has been a prolific winner of research grants. She has published more than a dozen books, more than one hundred research articles and given more than one hundred invited presentations world-wide. Her work has been recognised through a barrage of awards, including Fellowships of the Royal Society of Arts, the Scottish Council for Educational Research and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2002 Professor Brown was awarded an OBE for services to educational research. She received an Honorary Degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2003 and from the Open University in 2004.
Since retiring, Professor Brown has served on the Academic Council of the UHI Millenium Institute, has chaired the group which produced The Scottish Arts Council Arts Education A Lifelong Learning Strategy and has continued to make major contributions to public life. Professor Brown served as a senior member of Queen Margaret Universitys Governing Body from 1997 to 2008, with a period as deputy chair. She gave wholeheartedly of her time and of her expertise in research development.
Professor Sally Brown could be described as an academics academic as she has worked her way up through the ranks, she has chaired every imaginable university committee and she has an outstanding record of publications. However, her contribution to public service goes much further as her work has influenced the work of teachers, young people in general, those with special educational needs and indeed our society as a whole.
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