Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Professor

Professor Rachel Lofthouse


Rachel Lofthouse is Professor of Teacher Education in the Carnegie School of Education. She has a specific research interest in professional learning, exploring how teachers learn and how they can be supported to put that learning into practice. 

Rachel joined Leeds Beckett University in July 2017, and has established the Research and Practice Centre ‘CollectivED: The Mentoring and Coaching Hub’.

Rachel is a teaching educator and researcher. Her interest starts with student teachers, but extends to teachers and educators at all career stages and in all sectors. Ensuring that teachers keep learning is critical when the policy and practice landscapes of education keep shifting. Rachel has a particular interest in how teachers learn through approaches such as coaching, mentoring, lesson study, professional enquiry and inter-professional practice. She marries these interests with a concern for the development of innovative pedagogies and curriculum design. Key to all of these are the opportunities for that professionals at all stages of their career and in all roles have for dialogue and creative and critical thinking.

Rachel works with student teachers and their school-based mentors, teacher coaches, postgraduate students and school leaders as well as a range of educational practitioners, including those interested in community curriculum development and professional coaching for speech and language support in multicultural early years and primary settings. She encourages professionals to find practices through which they can build their workplace expertise while developing critical reflection and their ability to contribute to, and draw productively on, the knowledge base for teaching and learning. Rachel has published in peer-reviewed journals on the subjects of coaching and mentoring, the innovative use of video to support practice development, practitioner enquiry and professional learning. She also writes regularly for professional publications and websites. Through these diverse roles she supports individuals to make a positive impact on the educational outcomes for their own learners and communities.

Prior to taking up her current role in July 2017 Rachel was senior lecturer at Newcastle University, and co-director for the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT).

Research Interests

Rachel’s ongoing research is orientated towards the transformation of professional learning through partnerships of scholarship and practice development. She continues to research how educational workplaces can both offer, and constrain, professional learning, with a current focus on coaching and lesson study and the inter-relationships between practice, well-being, professional learning and leadership. Teacher recruitment and retention are challenges both in the UK and internationally and Rachel’s research relates to creating opportunities for teachers to experience career success and the knowledge that their contribution makes a difference to learners, colleagues and communities. In all of these areas of work there is a focus on teacher learning and self-determination, professional collaboration and collective efficacy. Rachel’s research recognises the need to develop professionals who demonstrate adaptive expertise and who benefit from and contribute to ecological agency.

Professor Rachel Lofthouse, Professor

Ask Me About

  1. Self-determination
  2. Professional learning
  3. Professional collaboration
  4. Teacher training
  5. Teaching

Selected Outputs

  • Lofthouse R; Gunning C (2022) A Manifesto for Attuned Teaching. In: McGovern W; Gillespie A; Woodhouse H ed. Understanding Safeguarding for Children and their Educational Experiences: a guide for Students, ECTs and School Support Staff. Croydon, UK: Emerald,

  • Lofthouse R; Turu Porcel M (2022) Enabling and sustaining early career learning through coaching and mentoring. In: Ovendon-Hope T ed. The Early Career Framework: Origins, outcomes and opportunities. John Catt Education,

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Changing the landscape through professional learning. In: Netolicky D; Andrews J; Paterson C ed. Flip the System Australia: What matters in education.. Australia: Routledge, pp. 172-181.

  • Lofthouse RM; McElwee S; King C; Lofthouse C (2017) Lesson Study: an Opportunity for Collaborative Teacher Inquiry. In: Boyd P; Szplit A ed. Teachers and Teacher Educators Learning Through Inquiry: International Perspectives. Kielce–Kraków: Wydawnictwo Attyka, pp. 63-79.

  • Lofthouse RM; Hall E; Wall K (2012) Practitioner Enquiry. In: Briggs A; Coleman M; Morrison M ed. Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management. London: Sage Publications Ltd, pp. 170-187.

  • Lofthouse RM; Leat D; Towler C (2012) Improving Coaching by and for School Teachers. In: Fletcher S; Mullen C ed. SAGE Handbook of Mentoring and Coaching in Education.

  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Narratives of collaboration in practice; discourses, dimensions and diversity in collaborative professional development. In: TEPE; Teacher Education Policy in Europe, 16 May 2019 - 18 May 2019, Krakow, Poland.

  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Metacognition: supporting teachers and learners as thinkers. In: Metacognition in Action, 5 April 2019, Scotch Corner Hotel.

  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Coaching: catching the zeitgeist and making it work to improve learning at all levels in your school. In: Whole Education 9th Annual Conference, 26 February 2019, London.

  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Using coaching and mentoring to focus on the curriculum in action. In: British Curriculum Forum; Re-imagining a curriculum for teacher knowledge, 23 February 2019, Holborn, London.

  • Lewis H; Briggs M; Holweck T; Hunter J; Erkkilä R; Perunka S; Lofthouse R (2019) Mentoring, coaching and collaborative dialogue to support professional learning throughout teachers’ career paths; exploring roles, responsibilities, tensions and opportunities. In: ICSEI Congress 2019, 8 January 2019 - 12 January 2019, Stavanger, Norway.

  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Primary teachers learning from Specialist Coaching for Communication-rich Pedagogies. In: ICSEI Congress 2019, 8 January 2019 - 12 January 2019, Stavanger, Norward.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Unique places, universal professional challenges; learning from Western Quebec mentoring, coaching and induction practice. In: IPDA International Conference 2018, 16 November 2018 - 17 November 2018, Aston University, Birmingham.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Beyond the buzzword; why bother with coaching for CPD. In: Teacher Development Trust; Coaching in Schools, dialogue to drive performance, 14 November 2018, Manchester Enterprise Academy, Manchester.

  • Lofthouse RM; Glazzard J; Iredale A; Dutton C; Riley S (2018) Snakes and Ladders: interrogating school - university research partnerships from the inside out. In: BERA Annual Conference 2018, 11 September 2018 - 13 September 2018, Northumbira University, Newcastle upon Tyne.

  • Flanagan J; Wigley B (2018) Talking and learning, how video reflective practice coaching with speech and language therapists can support children’s language for learning. In: Derby Research School Conference #evidenceintoaction, 7 July 2018.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Mentoring; engaging with heart, mind and soul for the good of the profession. In: MMU ITE Partnership Conference, 5 July 2018, Manchester Metropolitan University.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Liberating the learning; tackling the complexities of mentoring through our ‘sayings, doings and relatings’. 5 July 2018.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Mentoring; engaging with heart, mind and soul for the good of the profession. In: Sheffield Hallam University ITE Partnership Conference, 29 June 2018, Sheffield Hallam University.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Re-imagining teacher education; letting go of the constraints and thinking differently. In: BERA Alternative Education SIG Event. SIG Alternative ways of educating teachers to educate children differently: What do curriculum, assessment and pedagogy look like when ‘done differently’?, 23 June 2018, London.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Coaching from within; Moving coaching forward by understanding its architecture. In: National Coaching Symposium, 15 June 2018, Whittlebury Hall, Towcester.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Coaching in Education: a professional development process in formation. In: 2018 ATEE Spring Conference ‘Designing Teacher Education and Professional Development for the 21st Century: Current Trends, Challenges and Directions for the Future’, 7 June 2018 - 8 June 2018, Bialystok, Poland.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Twister: Creating a professional future where teachers can lean on each other, laugh with each other and learn from each other through coaching. In: Northern Rocks, 19 May 2018, Leeds.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) COACHING: putting hearts and minds into professional and personal development. In: Women Leading in Education Yorkshire and Humberside Conference, 17 March 2018, Leeds.

  • Lofthouse RM (2017) Developing space for [trans]formative mentoring. In: NW ITT Network, 8 December 2017, Manchester University.

  • Lofthouse RM (2017) Bridge over troubled water: Rebuilding professional learning in landscapes of professional complexity. In: International Professional Development Association (IPDA) International Conference, 24 November 2017 - 25 November 2017, Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff.

  • Lofthouse RM; Davies P; Davies D; Greenway C (2017) New professionals in formation: how do student teachers conceptualize their own learning?. In: ATEE Annual Conference: Changing Perspectives and Approaches in Contemporary Teaching, 23 October 2017 - 25 October 2017, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

  • Knight J; Munro C; van Nieuwerburgh C (2021) Curious Convos Webinar - Instructional Coaching: Balancing Inquiry and Advocacy.

  • Cehic N (2021) Coaching and Mentoring with Professor Rachel Lofthouse.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Teachers’ Learning Matters: Exploring lessons from research and practice.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Long live metacognition, lessons learned from a life in the field.

  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Supporting children’s speech and language development through inter-professional coaching; a case study of collaboration.

  • McGrane J; Lofthouse RM (2017) Developing Outstanding Teaching and Learning: Creating a Culture of Professional Development to Improve Outcomes. 2 Optimus.

  • (2010) Developing Outstanding Teaching and Learning: Creating a culture of professional development to improve outcomes. Optimus Education eBooks.

News & Blog Posts


Control and command: ITT, mentoring and the pedagogy of professional decline

  • 09 Oct 2023
Image of set of books

Taking a stand against the Pedagogy of Professional Decline

  • 27 Sep 2023
A smiling male student in a beige shirt

Holding the space for professional learning

  • 14 Sep 2023
Image of person teaching

Making more sense of teacher coaching

  • 21 Aug 2023
A woman and man talking while they sit at a desk in a classroom