Dr Kat Lord-Watson (PhD, MPhil, BA, PGDE) is a Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education in the Psychology, Sociology and Education Division. 

I am a reader, writer, and thinker - but mainly I am a doer. I like to use my knowledge to find effective solutions to the problems faced by people and the institutions they operate in. My main interest is evaluating how best practices within the scholarship of teaching and learning - particularly peer-to-peer learning and mentorship - can facilitate a process of change management that seeks greater social justice within education.

Before immigrating to Scotland in 2016, I was a Vanier Scholar and prior to that, a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Social Sciences and Research Council Master’s Scholar, both of which are highly competitive and generous national graduate scholarships offered by the Government of Canada, which were awarded to me for my research into critical pedagogy, curricular peer mentoring and engineering education. Throughout my graduate degrees I taught across the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Engineering, and was nominated and awarded teaching excellence awards from my students.

After moving to Scotland, I simultaneously undertook a PGDE Primary qualification and finished writing my doctoral dissertation. During my probationary teaching year, I returned home over the Easter holidays and successfully defended my doctoral thesis. After becoming a fully qualified teacher, I then taught in various state and independent primary school schools, until returning to fulltime university teaching and research.

My research explores themes of pedagogy, change, and agency within education systems. As the wider education system continues to be impacted by a neoliberal agenda that curtails agency and shapes pedagogies, curriculum, learning outcomes and organizational structures, I am keen to explore change processes within education that challenges that neoliberal discourse, while at the same time existing within it. Contemporary education systems overly value technical knowledge and its commercial utility, but education systems must also value human rights, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship, if we are to address historic injustices within society, economics and politics.

My doctoral research specifically focused on engineering education, given its emphasis on training students to solve technical problems, often producing engineering professionals unable to reflect on the effects of engineering on individuals, society, and the environment. To address these concerns, this study piloted a peer-based learning program that ran in an undergraduate engineering program at a Canadian university returning rich qualitative data on implementing a change process within engineering education. Informed by critical pedagogy, the programme introduced a specific model of undergraduate peer mentoring, known as curricular peer mentoring, within engineering education to question exclusionary discourses.

Active research interests:

  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Change Management
  • Creative Pedagogies
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Barriers to Education
  • Teacher and Pupil Wellbeing
  • Equity in Education
  • Mathematics & Numeracy

Research Methods:

  • Mixed Methods
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Interpretive and Critical Qualitative Research Design
  • Case Study
  • Auto-Ethnography
  • Document Analysis
  • Participant Observation
  • Interviews (Formal, Informal, Group)
  • Surveys
  • Grounded Theory

I am responsible for teaching on the Initial Teacher Education Programme and the Education Studies Programme, with responsibility for delivering the Undergraduate Programme Placement Module Course.