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Dr Karen Lowing

Head of ITE

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • School of Education


  • BA (University of Stirling)
  • PGDip (University of Stirling)
  • MPH (University of Glasgow)
  • MEd (University of Stirling)
  • EdD (Newcastle University)


Karen is Head of Initial Teacher Education at University of Hull / Senior Lecturer, joint Dissertation module lead for Masters (Education) at Hull, co-editor for the Northern Scotland Journal (EUP) and Senior Fellow Fellow, Advanced HE (2014).


Karen's research output is focussed on Social Justice and is interdisciplinary, meeting at the interface of Sociolinguistics, Linguistic Anthropology, Cultural Studies and Education (minority languages, attitudes, national identities and education policy).

Current research is concerned with hierarchies of languages as a critical issue within multilingual research, particularly with regard to diglossia and the linguistic practices of plurilingual children in superdiverse education contexts.

Previous Funders:

• Strathclyde Global Knowledge Exchange scheme: £2070 awarded April 2018

• Beacon Trust (funded by UK Higher Education Funding Councils, Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust) awarded £9350 Oct 2009. Research: Ane Instructioun for Bairnis to be Learnit in Northumbrian and Scottis: a study of Scots Language and Literature use for social inclusion in the secondary classroom (2010-2014)

• Newcastle University Faculty REF fund awarded £4400 and £600 March 2010 and May 2011

Teaching and Leadership

Karen was previously Deputy Associate Dean L+T, Subject Group Lead (joint) for Education and Lecturer: Education at Stirling (2019-2022). She was also Director for the MSc Education Programme and Course Lead for Secondary English with Education ITE Pathway / Module Lead for Developing as Reflective Practitioner in Education. Karen supervised Masters and Doctoral students. She was a member of the interdisciplinary Educational Linguistics research area, the Scottish Studies at Stirling group and Education Practice / Theory Research Group at Stirling.

Previously Karen was Lecturer T+R at Strathclyde University (2017-19) and Joint Lead - English PGDE. She was also Lead for the External Examiner (Language and Literature) liaison group and a member of the Education Ethics Committee.

At Durham University School of Education (2012-2017), Karen was Assistant Professor: Joint Lead for PGCE English; Module Convenor - (PGCE) Professional Issues; Pathway Programme Lead - MA Education pt; Module Convenor - MA Education Enquiry; Lead - Ofsted / Newly Qualified Teacher development group and a member of the Ethics Committee. Karen also supervised MEd Dissertation students and Doctoral students.

Karen was Teaching Fellow at Newcastle University (2005-2011). Here she was Course Lead for PGCE English with Drama, Degree Programme Director for MA Education Research and Module Convenor - Education Research. She supervised Education Masters students, taught Faculty Wide student academic writing skills, including abstract writing for Medical students, and collaborated on a Medical Faculty project to implement eportfolios to support PGCE students' reflexive professional development.

Karen was External Examiner for Northumbria University's School Direct programme (2017 to 2021) and prior to this, External Examiner for Sheffield Hallam's School Direct programme - English (2008 to 2012). She also held a seat on the Graduate Teacher Training Registry advisory board, UCAS, 2009 to 2011

Other Teaching Experience

From 1994 to 2005, Karen taught Secondary School English in Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway (and SCOTVEC Drama) and Fife. She also taught Scottish Studies pt (UG / Vocational programmes) at Strathclyde University, Communication Studies and Higher English at Cardonald College and Adult Basic Education for Community Education in Dumfries and Galloway. Karen was awarded full Chartered Teacher Status in 2006. She is a full and current member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Research interests

Sociolinguistics; Linguistic Anthropology; Critical Discourse Analysis; Scots Language; Minority Languages; National Identity