Prof Catherine Doherty
- Emeritus Professor (School of Education)
I am a sociologist of education and applied linguist. I am interested in how education practices and policies can both contribute to social change, and mitigate its effects.
Before becoming an academic, I worked in community education, adult literacy, migrant English programs, and higher education bridging programs in two states in Australia. I also worked in curriculum and policy for language/literacy provision. My doctoral project explored cultural difference in online internationalised higher education, to show how it is invoked as both a curricular asset and a pedagogical problem. I worked in the Faculty of Education at the Queensland University of Technology before coming to the University of Glasgow in 2017.
In my work, I seek to conduct empirically rigorous studies that are informed by sociological and educational theory to investigate social and professional problems that matter. I have worked with classroom ethnography, document analysis, survey designs, interview methods, narrative analysis and critical discourse analysis. My research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Education Policy, British Journal of Sociology of Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Linguistics and Education, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, and International Studies in Sociology of Education.
I am an associate editor for Critical Studies in Education, and regularly do reviews for many other education and sociology journals, and grant schemes.
I am interested in issues of curriculum, pedagogy, classroom discourse, social change, mobile populations and the impact of education policy on equity groups.
I led three large nationally funded projects in Australia on:
- the social ecology of the International Baccalaureate curriculum. This research revealed the curricular markets and strategies of the meritocratic optimization it cultivates;
- family mobility decisions. This research demonstrated how families negotiate career and educational strategy in spatialised educational markets. These decisions ultimately impact on rural and remote communities in terms of their capacity to recruit and retain human service professionals;
- the disputed moral order of the classrooms produced under Australia’s extension of compulsory education under its ‘earning or learning till 17’ policy.
I am currently involved in another nationally funded project that seeks to understand the burgeoning shadow market in private literacy tutoring in Austalia. We are interested in exploring its interaction with equity agendas, and systemic measures of school quality and student achievement.
My current research interests are around the sociology of knowledge and pedagogic discourse in different models of teacher education programs, and school/university learning partnerships.
i am co-leading a project for the Scottish Council of Deans of Education with Professor Moyra Boland. The project is interested in identifying and trialling innovative pedagogies for teacher education as a contribution to the Scottish Attainment Challenge. See
- (2018) Impact study, British Council school programmes in Scotland. (£66,000 co-lead with Professor Kay Livingston)
- (2018-2020) Scottish Council of Deans of Education, Developing new approaches in teacher education to tackle Scotland's poverty-related attainment gap. (Co-lead with Moyra Boland of University of Glasgow project)
- (2015-2019) Australian Research Council Discovery Project A$244,425 with Professor Dooley, QUT. Private literacy tutoring: A sociology of shadow education
- (2012-2014) Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA fellowship) A$403,639 Classroom relations and moral order in compulsory non-academic pathways in high school and TAFE settings
- (2011 -2013) Australian Research Council Discovery Project, A$225,206 with Prof Wendy Patton and Paul Shield, QUT Career mobility in educational markets: a sociological study of how families reconcile priorities
- (2010-2011) Academy of Social Sciences in Australia International Science Linkages Program, A$7,454 with Assoc Prof Chin-Ju Mao, National Taiwan Normal University. Fashioning national identity through curricular reform: a comparative analysis of Australian and Taiwan national curricula as responses to global times.
- (2008-2010) Australian Research Council Discovery Project, A$239,416 with Prof Allan Luke, QUT The International Baccalaureate in Australian Schools: A sociological case study
- (2008-2009) QUT Early Career Researcher Grant A$9,969 with Dr Margaret Kettle and Dr Lynette May, QUT Spoken genres in first year university courses: Investigating assessment and classroom interaction demands
I am currently supervising the following postgraduate projects:
- Louise Barrett, EdD, Secondary English teachers' perspectives on their responsibility for health and wellbeing across learning, commenced 2017.
- Lynn Frantzen, EdD, commenced 2018.
- Nahiya Jaber, Curriculum and teacher effects on Muslim Immigrant Students' Identities, PhD, commenced 2018.
- Jingwei Song, Feedback of assessment for learning in the English classroom in a Chinese context. Phd, commenced 2018
- Julian Liu, Oracy demands in British higher education and enabling the participation of ESL students. Phd, commenced 2018
- Ahmed Alharbi, What kind of curriculum and assessment practices align with communicative language pedagogy? PhD, commenced in 2018.
- Julie Pryzborski, Teacher education pedagogies for closing the attainment gap. Commenced in 2018.
I supervised the following projects in my previous position at the Queensland University of Technology:
- 2016 Bridging the gap: Curriculum practices in community language schools and their challenges. Masters of Education, Revathi VAIDYANATHAN (Associate Supervisor)
- 2015 EFL teachers’ professional dilemmas with moral curriculum reform in Indonesia.Doctor of Philosophy, Uswatun QOYYIMAH (Principal Supervisor)
- 2015 From music student to industry professional: An entrepreneurial learning design. Doctor of Philosophy, Kristina KELMAN (Associate Supervisor)
- 2014 Transnational preservice teachers in local education programs : a critical realist approach to narratives. Doctor of Philosophy, Annetta SPATHIS (Principal Supervisor)
- 2013 Heritage Language for Chinese Australians: Negotiating ‘Chineseness’ and Capitalising on Resources in the Lived World Doctor of Philosophy, Guanglun (Michael) Mu (Associate Supervisor)
- 2012 Coming to Belong: A Narrative Analysis of International Students’ Experiences in an Australian University,Doctor of Philosophy, Jung-Hsiu (Isadora) LIN (Associate Supervisor)
- 2010 Home Literacy Education of Taiwanese Australian Families: A Sociological Analysis, Education Doctorate, Pei-Shan (Peggy) CHIANG (Associate Supervisor).
- 2010 Exploring teacher educators’ preparations for the Australian national curriculum Research Pathways thesis, Elizabeth Briant(supervisor)
- 2008 Is the world your oyster? Pre-service primary teachers’ global career aspirationsResearch Pathways thesis, Pernilla Widegren (supervisor)
I teach courses in the Doctorate in Education, the MSc and the MEd (Educational Studies), and teacher education programmes.