Dr Nicola Walshe

Deputy Head of School for Education and Social Care in Cambridgeshire

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

Department:School of Education and Social Care

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Education and teaching

Nicola is an experienced educator and teacher educator in both secondary and higher education settings. She has a particular interest in geographical and environmental and sustainability education.

nicola.walshe@anglia.ac.uk

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Background

Having gained a PhD in glaciology, Nicola worked briefly as an IT consultant before training as a geography teacher and going on to become Head of Department in three comprehensive schools. She then joined the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education where she worked for ten years in Initial Teacher Education, ultimately leading the Secondary Geography PGCE course and supporting students on the Researching Practice MEd. 

Currently, Nicola is a Principal Lecturer and Deputy Head of School of Education and Social Care at Cambridge. She is also Course Leader of our BA Primary Education Studies programme.

Research interests

  • Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE)
  • The use of arts-based pedagogies in nature for supporting children's wellbeing and capabilities
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in Education
  • The use of 360 degree video to support teacher development
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in Education
  • Geography Education
  • Dialogic diaries as a pedagogical tool and research method

Nicola’s research interests lie within Teacher Education. She is particularly interested in Environmental and Sustainability Education, primarily how it is conceptualised by students and the pedagogy for developing students’ understandings of and engagement with sustainability at all levels (primary school to HE). Her recent work builds on this to explore how artists working in nature with school children can support their connectedness with nature and, thereby, wellbeing. Nicola is also involved in research exploring how immersive technologies, such as 360-degree video, can be used to support teacher and trainee teacher practice.

Areas of research supervision

Nicola would welcome contact from prospective doctoral candidates (PhD and EdD) in the following areas:

  • Environmental and sustainability education (both within and beyond the school context, across all phases)
  • The role of creativity and the arts in environment and sustainability education
  • Pedagogy, curriculum and understanding in geography education
  • Pedagogy and learning in school contexts

Teaching

  • Nicola is Course Leader for and teaches across the BA in Primary Education Studies in Cambridge. She also teaches on qualitative methods within the doctoral school.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Leeds
  • MEd, University of Cambridge
  • PGCE, University of Cambridge
  • BSc (Hons) Geography and Geology, University of Durham
  • National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH), Eastern Leadership Centre

Memberships, editorial boards

  • GEReCo (Geography Education Research Collective) Committee Member
  • Co-Convenor of the ESER (Environmental and Sustainability Education Research) Network of EERA (European Educational Research Association)
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geography
  • GA (Geographical Association)
  • BERA (British Educational Research Association)
  • Research of International Geographical Education Online (RIGEO: reviewer and on the Editorial Board)
  • Environmental Education Research (journal reviewer)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • PI, ARU Anglia Learning and Teaching Project Award for the project: ‘Using 360-degree video to develop student teacher pedagogical knowledge’, 2018, £3500.
  • PI, ARU Seed Corn Grant for the project: ‘Place-based learning, creativity and wellbeing’, 2016, £2000.
  • PI, Award of ArcGIS Online licenses for Cambridge University partnership schools for the project: ‘Developing trainee teacher practice with GIS’, 2015, match funding equivalent of £2875.
  • PI, Global Thinking Grant from DFID for the project: 'Understanding and developing student conceptions of sustainable development', 2011, £1500.

Selected recent publications

Lambert, D. & Walshe, N. (2018). How Geography Curricula Tackle Global Issues. In A. Demirci, R. da Miguel and S. Bednarz (Eds) Geography Education for Global Understanding. Springer: London. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-77216-5_7

Walshe, N. (2017). Developing Trainee Teacher Practice with Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 41(4), 608-628. doi: 10.1080/03098265.2017.1331209.

Walshe, N. (2017). An interdisciplinary approach to environmental and sustainability education: developing geography students’ understandings of sustainable development using poetry. Environmental Education Research, 23(8), 1130-1149. doi: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1221887.

Walshe, N., 2016. Working with ArcGIS Online Story Maps. Teaching Geography, 41(3).

Walshe, N., 2016. Developing Students’ Essay-Writing with “Talking Essays”. Teaching Geography, 41(1), pp.26-27.

Walshe, N., 2013. Exploring and developing student understandings of sustainable development. Curriculum Journal, 24(2), pp.224-249.

Walshe, N., 2013. Exploring and developing children’s understandings of sustainable development with dialogic diaries. Children’s Geographies, 11(1), pp.132-154.

Recent presentations and conferences

Walshe, N. (2018). Making Connections: Developing undergraduate trainee teachers’ understandings of ESE through conference. European Educational Research Association European Conference for Educational Research - EERA:ECER (Bolzano, Italy).

Walshe, N. (2018). Developing reflective trainee teacher practice with 360-degree video. European Educational Research Association European Conference for Educational Research - EERA:ECER (Bolzano, Italy).

Walshe, N. (2018). Developing geography trainee teacher practice with 360-degree video. IGU-CGE Symposium (Canada).

Walshe, N. (2018). Developing reflective trainee teacher practice with 360-degree video. Geography Teacher Educator Conference (Birmingham).

Walshe, N. (2017). School students’ perceptions of the value and nature of GIS: informing curriculum development and pedagogical practice. IGU-CGE Symposium (Lisbon).

Walshe, N. (2017). An interdisciplinary approach to environmental and sustainability education: developing geography students’ understandings of sustainable development using poetry.  EERA: ECER (Copenhagen).

Walshe, N. (2017). Place-based Learning, Creativity and Well-being: An Ethnography (poster presentation). EERA: ECER (Copenhagen).

Walshe, N. (2017). Beyond a cookbook approach to GIS: Developing trainee teachers’ pedagogy and practice across a PGCE year. GTE conference (Plymouth).

Walshe, N. (2016). Another quantitative revolution? Developing trainee teacher understanding of quantitative methods in geography teaching. GTE conference (Manchester).