Staff Profiles


Mrs Catherine Carden

Faculty Director of Learning & Teaching

School: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Education Faculty Office

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 923841

Profile summary

As Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education, my role encompasses strategic leadership of learning, teaching and assessment for the Faculty.  I have specific strategic responsibility for the Faculty's work around, and linked to, the TEF, student surveys, the development of technology enhanced learning and, currently, the delivery of high quality belnded learning.

As a senior leader within the faculty I am part of the Faculty Executive Group and contribute to cross-University work linked to my role, serving on a range of committess and working groups.  I am committed to ensuring that all prospective and current students and alumni have the best possible academic opportunities and that their learning experiences are transformational enabling them to develop personally and professionally to enjoy highly successful careers within their chosen field.

My career in education began in 1998 when I worked in further education.  I then held a variety of teaching and leadership roles within secondary education before moving into higher education in 2008 where I have held a variety of roles and taught on a wide range of programmes to date.

In 2015, I was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship for innovation in learning and teaching.  

In recognition of my contribution to teaching, I was awarded a Fellowship of the Chartered College of Teaching in 2019.

My philosophy of education is centred around the positive role that education has to play in transforming the lives of, and providing opportunities for all through effective learning, support, development and mentorship.  I am an advocate for positive and psychologically safe working cultures and belief that the creation of such cultures results in significant improvements in achievement, outcomes and producitivty as well as wellbeing, happiness, morale and, as a result, retention.

Research and knowledge exchange

My teaching, research and enterprise work focusses around educational leadership, where I am particularly interested in social and emotionally intelligent leadership, women in leadership, wellbeing within education and the power of effective mentoring and coaching. 

I have a significant interest in the political and wider landscape of education and how political policy impacts professional practice and pedagogy, learning and teaching approaches and school cultures and leadership.

I am a regular contributor to Primary School Management and Teach Primary Magazines as well as contributing podcasts and blogs for a range of educational companies and publications and chapters for various publishers.

I have worked with schools on a range of development days, including development sessions on mentoring, approaches to lesson observations for middle and senior leaders, creativity and reflection, using AfL to inform planning and innovative approaches to teacher development and professional learning.

Through knowledge exchange funding I collaborated in work to explore the views that headteachers had around teacher education and partnership with the University which led to further work to investigate how the University could explore new models of education working.  This work developed into a proposal to explore university training schools.

Teaching and subject expertise

My teaching career began in 1998 in further education where I taught on a range of Post 16 qualifications at a range of levels.  I also led course areas and curriculum development.  From FE I moved into secondary education choosing to work in a large school in an area of high deprivation. I held a variety of middle and senior leadership roles during my time at the school culminating in the role of Head of Sixth Form before taking up the position of Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education at Canterbury Christ Chruch. 

During my time to date at CCCU I have successfully contributed to, and led to a range of programmes including PGCE 14-19, PGCE 7-14, GTP (now School Direct), PGCE and BA(Hons) Primary Education. My most recent role as Director of Primary Initial Teacher Education saw me lead our PG and UG primary education (ITE) provision and a large team of around 50 staff and over 1000 students.  I held the post of Director of Primary ITE for 5 years prior to my appointment to Faculty Director fo Learning and Teaching. 

My teaching expertise centres around the educational landscape both in terms of policy and practice, leadership and culture as well as general pedagogy and classroom practice.

Mentoring is a key element of my work and philosophy and I am a mentor for those completing Advance HE fellowships, as well as being  an assessor, for those on the Advance HE  Aurora Female Leadership Programme, where I am also a role model and I currently mentor several early career teachers working in primary education. 

In 2019 I was awarded Senior Fellowship of Advance HE.

External activities

Beyond the University, but linked to my role, I have held a seconded post within a large teaching school alliance, sat on a variety of educational steering groups and round tables, most recently contributing at roundtable events for the DfE ITT Core Content review led by Prof Sam Twiselton. 

I have been an external examiner and sat as an external on different validation panels, something I also undertake internally within the University.

I  serve as a Chair of Governors in a Local Authority CofE Primary School having been appointed to the Interim Executive Board in 2014 and have overseen its development from a school in significant special measures to one that is now good with outstanding features.

Frequently, I review educational books and book proposals on behalf of a range of publishers, including Routledge, Open University Press, Critical Publishing and Sage.

I have presented at a range of conferences and events.

My external work and activities include:

  • Founding Fellow Charthered College of Teaching (FCCT) awarded March 2019
  • Senior Fellow Advance HE (2019)
  • Contributor to roundtable discussion groups for DfE ITT Core Content Framework; Mental Health and Wellbeing and Mentoring and Coaching (Autumn 2019)
  • Chair of Governing Body (Primary) (2016-present)
  • Interim Executive Board member of a local primary school (2014-2016)
  • Governor of a primary school and Chair of the Finance and Premises Committee (2010 - 2014)
  • Steering group member for a large academy trust chain
  • Secondment to a teaching school alliance to support teaching school development
  • External examiner for school direct programmes; University of Greenwich
  • External Validation Panel Member; University of Derby, University of Greenwich
  • Presentation Panel Member - Southwark Diocese Headteacher Conference
  • Curriculum writer for examination group Edexcel Conference presentations: TEAN, Teacher Development Agency, CCCU, University of Bergen, BrewEd North London, Open University

Publications and research outputs

Carden.C, Twiselton.S, Gumbrell.D & Bethune.A (2020) Framing The Debate on Teacher Mental Health & Wellbeing OnLine Panel Discussion by Shawmind 

Carden.C (2020) Debates in Primary Leadership in Debates in Primary Education. Abingdon. Routledge 

Carden.C & Barnes.J (2020) Mr Creativity - a candle in the wind? Expert Comment 

Carden.C et al (2020) A Listening Ear. Teach Primary. 14.3 April 2020 

Carden.C & Bower.V (2020) Onwards and Upwards Teach Primary 14.2 March 2020

Carden.C (2020) We Train Dogs, We Must Education Teachers (part 2). Bowden Education Blog 14 Jan 2020 

Carden.C (2019) Teacher wellbeing and work-life balance.  Podcast. 1 Dec 2019. 

Carden.C & Bower.V (2019) Un-Boot Camp. Bowden Education Blog 4 Nov 2019.

Carden.C & Bower.V (2019) The Importance and Values of Professional Learning and Development. Bowden Education Blog 16 Oct 2019 

Carden.C (2019) Is a Work-Life Balance Unattainable? Primary School Management 3.5 12 June 2019

Carden.C (2019) Are you a leader or a manager? Primary School Management 3.4 17 May 2019

Carden.C (2019) Leadership can be lonely. Primary School Management 3.3 April 2019 

Carden.C & Warnock.J (2019) Fight For Your Rights. Teach Primary. 4 March 2019

Carden.C & Warnock.J (2019) When the going gets tough. Primary School Management. 22 February 2019

Carden.C & Bower.V (2018) What is teaching? in Carden.C Ed (2018) Primary Teaching: learning and teaching in primary schools today. London. Learning Matters Sage.

Carden.C Ed (2018) Primary Teaching: learning and teaching in primary schools today. London. Learning Matters Sage

Carden.C (2013) Mum, What happens if I don't pass the test? Teach Primary 7:8

Carden.C (2013) We Train Dogs: We Must Educate Teachers. Considered. Available at: 9 May 2013

Carden.C (2009) Classroom Activities for GCSE Leisure and Tourism (Edexcel) Llandysul. Travel and Tourism Publishing

Carden.C (2009) Classroom Activities for GCSE Leisure and Tourism (AQA) Llandysul. Travel and Tourism


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Last edited: 19/11/2020 13:32:00