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  • Research Fellow
  • IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
  • UCL Institute of Education
My career in the environment and education sectors has spanned roles in practice, policymaking and research (www.linkedin.com/in/kate-greer). From early career foundations in secondary teaching, I built a 20+ year career working on climate change and environmental projects in non-government and government organisations. Highlights included my time as Manager of the Education team at Sustainability Victoria, a government organisation in the state of Victoria, Australia, where I lead a team to implement Victoria’s award-winning sustainability education initiative – ResourceSmart Schools. Another highlight was while working as the Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) where I supported governments and businesses in the region to develop clean energy policies and business models.

Since moving to the higher education sector in 2016, I have been involved in research and teaching focused on environment and climate change-related education, and STEM education policy and practice. In 2017 I won the competitive Rosalind Driver Scholarship Fund scholarship to undertake my PhD at King’s College London, which I completed within three years of starting (no corrections) and for which I was nominated for a KCL Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award. I was then awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Program (2021) to extend upon my PhD research with a range of impact generating activities with policymakers and political actors, and research at COP26.

I have held several research posts, working on collaborative projects as a member of research teams. Between 2017-21 I was a Research Assistant/Associate on several projects at King’s College London. These included COMnPLAY Science, a pan-European project examining the nature of coding, making, gaming and playful science activities as potential vehicles for youth engagement in science learning. I also was a collaborator on Understandings of Global Competence in PISA and Schools (2019) which explored teacher and student understandings of global competence as assessed in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). I have played key role in coordinating an ESRC large grant application for a multi-year, theoretically informed, empirical research project investigating the capabilities of educators in higher education settings to teach in response to the climate crisis. This collaborative project is ongoing.

I was the Associate Director/Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) Project (University of Melbourne/University of Saskatchewan). This involved working with a multi-national, interdisciplinary team on research and policy engagement activities designed to enhance the quality and quantity of climate change education globally. Currently, I am Research Fellow in UCL’s Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education (CCCSE). Central to this role has been the development and administration an online survey of teachers in England to investigate their views and experiences related to climate change and sustainability education. The survey has generated qualitative and quantitative data from 800+ respondents and the findings will promote enhanced provision of climate change and sustainability education by informing the design of teacher professional development programmes and policy dialogue with the UK Government. I am also involved in a CCCSE consultancy partnership with the British Council to explore opportunities for enhancing climate change and sustainability education in Iraq through policy dialogue with Iraqi policymakers and teachers.

Research Summary
My scholarship centres on climate change and environmental education, with particular interests in policy and policy influence, and issues of justice.

POLICY AND POLICY INFLUENCE: I have used the Foucauldian concept of ‘governmentalities’ to examine the climate change education policy landscape developing Foucault-informed research tools to analyse policy and transcripts from exploratory interviews with key policy influencers. My related publications have illuminated complex factors that keep climate change education marginalised in policy and in practice. Specifically, I have identified a ‘web of conditions’ (Greer, King and Glackin, 2021) that is keeping meaningful climate change education on the margins of England’s policy landscape, and I have identified diverse conceptions of climate change education amongst policy influencers that make it difficult to capture in policy (Greer and Glackin, 2021). This work is ongoing through examination of the nature of influence amongst policy influencers in England and amongst political actors associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

CLIMATE CHANGE, EDUCATION AND JUSTICE: I view education as having a key role in illuminating the inequality that is the foundation of the unfolding environmental crisis and acting in ways to remedy it - be that through the knowledge that is produced and reproduced, through pedagogy and other educative practices, and through institutional and system-wide structures, cultures and norms. My work in this area is supported by a second key theoretical lens, which is the Capabilities Approach (CA). The CA offers a justice-based framework to support the identification of factors that enable and constrain an individual’s opportunities to make choices about what they value. It supports inequalities in educational opportunity to be unpacked, including opportunities for educators and students, and it provides insight about adjustments that can support more equitable policy processes.

Teaching Summary

My higher education teaching expertise is underpinned by qualifications and experience in primary and secondary schools in Australia and the United Kingdom. From early career foundations in secondary schools in Australia in the early 2000’s, I have transitioned into the higher education sector in the UK where, in 2019, I co-led and co-taught the development of a new MA module “Environmental Education: Sustainability and Society” as part of the MA STEM Education Programme in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London. Working collaboratively with colleagues, I designed course materials and delivered lectures online and in-person. My teaching experiences have included student seminars at KCL and UCL, including contributing to UCLs Citizenship Education PGCE programme with a ‘Climate Change Education Masterclass’, and I have supervised, co-supervised and marked multiple MA Education dissertation students researching environmental and science education. My higher education teaching experiences also extend to coordinating an international postgraduate student ‘lab’ which aimed to generate a research community amongst students located Australia, Canada, Europe, Asia and Africa, through an online workspace and research seminar programme.

Throughout my teaching, I have sought to understand the varied needs and interests of my students and responded where I can. I understand the importance of culturally sensitive pedagogies that create space to share perspectives, experiences and knowledge, and weave those perspectives together with course material to build understanding. Sensitivity to diversity is crucial for enhancing equity in education, and for delivering high-quality postgraduate education to internationally diverse cohorts of students. I am cognizant that the role of the teachers in higher education settings extends beyond physical or virtual classroom settings into tutoring and mentoring, and alert to the types of challenges students encounter, especially international students, as they study away from home, in unfamiliar education contexts and, often-times, not in their first language.

26-JUL-2022 Research Fellow Curriculum Pedagogy and Assessment, Institute of Education University College London, United Kingdom
01-APR-2022 – 01-JAN-2023 Research Associate School of Education, Communication and Society King's College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2021 – 01-MAY-2022 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Melbourne Graduate School of Education University of Melbourne/University of Saskatchewan, Australia
01-JUL-2020 – 01-AUG-2021 Research Associate School of Education, Communication and Society King's College London, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2019 – 01-AUG-2021 Graduate Teaching Assistant School of Education, Communication and Society King's College London, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2017 – 01-DEC-2020 PhD Candidate School of Education, Communication and Society King's College London, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2017 – 01-SEP-2017 Research Officer Faculty of Education Monash University, Australia
01-JAN-2017 – 01-APR-2017 Research Assistant School of Education, Communication and Society King's College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
  PhD Education Research – Climate & climate change King's College London
  MA Masters of Arts in Education, Policy and Society – Academic studies in education King's College London
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