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Personal profile



  • Initial Teacher Education, BA(hons) programme (SCQF levels 7-10)
  • PGDE Programme (SCQF levels 10-11)
  • PGDE Critical Self-Evaluation (SCQF level 11)
  • MSC in Mental Health: Leading and Motivating Learning (SCQF level 11)


Currently engaged in PhD study into Teacher professional learning communities (PLCs) which are frequently presented as a mechanism for enhancing professional knowledge and capacity in teachers.  Significant research evidence has been generated to support this view (Cordingley et al. 2005; Stoll et al. 2006, 2007; Edwards, 2012). Collaborative observational practices such as Learning Rounds, Learning Triads or Learning Walks are increasingly advocated in education and other professions as a means of supporting home-grown professional learning situated in the workplace. However, there are conflicting arguments in this debate (see Dooner et. al.(2008); Fendler (2011) Servage (2009) and Watson (2014)) and further empirical knowledge is vital to inform practice in this area and generate deeper understanding of the relationships and processes involved in PLCs, and their emergent agentic effects. This study aims to fill that gap

Target collaborative organisations

In discussion with Nienke Moolenar (University of Utrecht) regarding potential collaborative research project on Professional learning Communities (pending PhD)

In discussion with Centre for Social Ontology (UCL) - on-going participation in CR interest group

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange


Online professional development for teachers

Target collaborative companies

Ongoing partnership with Bridges programmes to develop programme to enable qualified refugees into teaching

External positions

Online Facilitator, Scottish Educational Leadership and Management Association

Mar 2012 → …


  • L Education (General)
  • professional learning
  • PLCs
  • collaborative practices
  • agency
  • Education Policy

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Research Output

  • Professional learning communities as drivers of educational change: the case of learning rounds

    Philpott, C. & Oates, C., 1 May 2017, In : Journal of Educational Change. 18, 2, p. 209-234 26 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 11 Citations (Scopus)
    115 Downloads (Pure)

    Accessing the field: methodological difficulties of research in schools

    Oates, C. & Riaz, N. N., 21 Dec 2016, In : Education in the North. 23, 2, p. 53-74 22 p., 23.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Teacher agency and professional learning communities: what can Learning Rounds in Scotland teach us?

    Philpott, C. & Oates, C., 18 May 2016, In : Professional Development in Education. 43, 3, p. 1-16 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 18 Citations (Scopus)
    125 Downloads (Pure)

    Learning Rounds: what the literature tells us (and what it doesn’t)

    Philpott, C. & Oates, C., 2015, In : Scottish Educational Review. 47, 1, p. 49-65

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Prizes

    University of Stirling, Vice Chancellor's Award

    Catriona Oates (Recipient), 22 Apr 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    • 1 Publication peer-review

    Education in the North (Journal)

    Catriona Oates (Peer reviewer)
    2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication peer-review