Cathy Gower

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Personal profile

Research interests

Cathy's research interests are in teacher education pedagogy and policy and in physical education policy and practice. She has presented her research at international conferences, such as ECER and AERA, and has disemminated her research at professional association conferences such as AfPE's annual PEITTE conference. Cathy has shared her research on the pedagogy of teacher education at invited seminar series organised by other institutions and it has been used to inform approaches to professional development in partnership schools. Cathy has been a co-investigator on an EU SchoolNet funded project on mentoring (MenSi) and has been a principle investigator on a project funded by BELMAS on the uses of technology to support the professional learning of educational leaders.  Cathy is interested in narrative research and in the uses of technology, such as video capture, as a methodological approach.

Supervisory Interests

Cathy is interested in supervising doctoral researchers in the fields of teacher education pedagogy and policy and in studies relating to physical education initial teacher education and physical education in schools. Methodologically she is interested in supervising studies using narrative approaches to research and in the uses of technology, such as video capture, as a research method.


Scholarly biography

Cathy has contributed chapters to the edited book series Learning to Teach Physical Education in the Secondary School, as a core text for physical education (PE) pre-service teachers. These chapters have focused particularly on the professional knowledge bases required for teaching physical education and effective planning processes in PE. She has given invited presentations to support general and subject specific professional development in schools.  

Approach to teaching

Cathy is a former secondary school physical education and English teacher and was a programme leader for undergraduate and postgraduate physical education teacher education courses for many years before taking on wider leadership roles such as: Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning; Director of Initial Teacher Education; Head of Department; and then, most recently at the University of Brighton, Dean of the School of Education. She has always thoroughly enjoyed teaching and supervising students at all levels and across a wide range of education provision. This has included teaching on and leading modules on BA Education, MA Education, undergraduate and postgraduate ITE courses and supervising undergraduate and Masters students and doctoral researchers studying for either a PhD or an EdDoc. Cathy has also supported both students and mentors in school-based ITE and led programmes of mentor development for school colleagues. Cathy develops very positive relationships with the students she teaches and supervises and is keen to use their narratives as an educational resource and to support the recognition of and value attached to their prior experiences and life outside of their course and the university. She is committed to  inclusive, interactive and dialogic approaches to teaching and learning and has always been keen to explore how technology can be used to enhance the educational experience. Cathy has led on programme development and quality assurance processes and has also been involved in project planning groups relating to teaching and learning estates development.

Knowledge exchange

Cathy has been invited to work with school leaders in several different contexts to develop professional learning programmes for staff, focusing particularly on alternative approaches to lesson observation and analysis. These innovative approaches have challenged established orthodoxies and traditions associated to lesson observation processes in school and have promoted the innovative use of professional narratives combined with video stimulated reflection to support professional learning and development. 

Cathy has been an External Examiner on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at Leeds Metropolitan University, the University of Brighton, Edge Hill University and Loughborough University. She has also been an invited panel member for programme validation and review activities at different institutions. 

Cathy has been invited to present at Ofsted ITE best practice workshops and has been an external advisor and evaluator for a School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) provider.

Cathy has been both a Governor and Trustee at local partnership schools and has also been an FA level 2 qualified grassroots community football coach.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Exploring innovative pedagogical approaches in Initial Teacher Education , Brunel University London

Award Date: 16 Dec 2016

Master, MA Education, Brunel University London

Award Date: 20 Jul 2000

Bachelor, Bachelor of Education

Award Date: 20 Jul 1992


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