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Dr Clare Brooks
UCL Institute of Education
University College London
20 Bedford Way
  • Reader in Geography Education
  • IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
  • UCL Institute of Education
UCL HR Head Of Department,UCL Principal Supervisor

My background is in geography education: I was a geography teacher in East London, then as an educator at UCL Institute of Education, developing both initial and continuing teacher education programmes, and focusing my research interest on the importance of subject identity for teacher professional practice. Until recently I was both Head of Department, Curriculum Pedagogy and Assessment, and Head of Initial Teacher Education, and this has extended my work into initial teacher education where I am currently exploring dimensions of quality along with scale. I am still active in the geography education community, acting as Co-Chair of the International Geographical Union Commission for Geography Education, and editor of their book series, and Chair for the UK-based Geography Education Research Collective.

I have undertaken a range of consultancy-based work around ITE (nationally and internationally), and I am the Director of the research Centre on Teacher and Early Years education. I am currently on a one-year sabbatical where I am undertaking an international research project looking at high quality initial teacher education at scale, which will be published in a research monograph for Routledge.

Personal country knowledge

  • China
  • Singapore


Languages spoken

  • French - basic

Research Summary

A key theme across all my research interests is on teacher development and learning. As a geography educator, I was particularly interested in how 'expert' geography teachers used their subject knowledge and by extension the implication that would have for initial teacher education. This turned into a longitudinal interest, summarised in Teacher Subject Identity in Professional Practice: teaching with a professional compass published by Routledge.

Following that work, and in line with my work as Head of ITE, I have become further interested in the processes and pedagogies involved in teacher education. My current research is in high quality teacher education at scale, and I am involved in a international comparative study exploring high quality practices in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand and the US. This is also deeply rooted in a research interest in site-based pedagogy around practice, and the development of this as an interdisciplinary field.

The idea of teacher education at scale also underpins my leadership of the Centre for Teacher and Early Years Education. The Centre is orientated on early years practice in China, but through the specific understandings of scale and teacher education I have developed.

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