Kay Livingston

Professor Kay Livingston, University of Glasgow
Teachers as learners: quality career long professional development.


The changing global context has created the need for new and different knowledge, skills and values and different patterns of life and work. This context requires the development of adaptive, flexible, independent and self-regulating learners so they are able to learn, live and work in a fast-changing globalised society. This means that there is an ongoing need for teachers to learn and adapt, have new subject knowledge and utilise new pedagogical approaches throughout their career.

To gain a better understanding of quality in teachers’ professional career long development key questions such as, ‘What counts as quality professional development for teachers? , Who measures the quality of the professional development? and How is quality measured? are explored in this keynote.

The presentation draws on principles of learning in the 21st century and argues that teachers have an ongoing commitment to maintain their professional expertise and recognise themselves as learners. Teachers need to revise and enhance their knowledge and skills and teaching and learning approaches continually. To do this they need to engage in an appropriate balance of personal and professional development that enables them to progress their learning in ways that are relevant to their own individual needs and those of their pupils throughout their career. The importance of establishing supportive learning environments and creating a culture of enquiry, self-evaluation and reflection in schools that enable teachers to take responsibility for developing their learning in their own classrooms is addressed


Professor Kay Livingston,  University of Glasgow

Current Posts

Kay Livingston is a professor in the School of Education, University of Glasgow holding a Chair in Educational Research, Policy and Practice. She is currently on a 5 year secondment to Education Scotland, (which is a Scottish Government development and improvement agency for education) as the Director of International, Research and Innovation.  Professor Livingston has responsibility for leading the agency’s international activities, research and development projects with a focus on innovation in teaching and learning including piloting new models of teacher professional development and leadership. Professor Livingston works closely with policy-makers, researchers and practitioners at international, national and local levels to influence strategic change and improve the quality of education drawing on her knowledge and experience of education in a global context. She is the Editor of the European Journal of Teacher Education which is a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Professor Livingston also currently holds the following positions:

Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts; Full registration with the General Teaching Council of Scotland; Member of the EU Group on the Professional Development of Teachers; Member of the Scottish National Partnership Group responding to Teaching Scotland’s Future (Review of Teacher Education); Chair of the National Partnership Sub-Group on Career-long Professional Development of Teachers; Member of UNESCO Scotland National Committee; Member of the UNESCO UK Education Committee; Director of the Learning and Teaching Scotland Confucius Institute in; Member of the Board of the Scottish China Education Network; Member of the Administrative Council of the Association of Teacher Education in Europe; Chair of the Association of Teacher Education in Europe Research and Development Group ‘Professional Development of Teachers; and Chair of the Scottish Government Games Legacy Learning Group (Olympic Games London 2012 and Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014).

Previous posts

Prior to her current posts she held a Chair in Education at the University of Aberdeen where she was the Director of Scottish Teachers for a New Era (STNE) - a research and development project constructing a new model of teacher education.

She has had responsibility for directing and leading numerous policy-related research and evaluation projects at national and international levels with a focus on teacher professional development, improving teaching and learning, learning in and from a global context and use of technology in education. She has acted as sole and joint Principal Investigator of national and international research projects funded by UK and Scottish Governments, the EU, research bodies and philanthropic foundations in Scotland and USA in all of these areas.

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