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Professor Rachel Lofthouse

About 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.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (21)

Books (2)

  • McGrane J; Lofthouse RM (2017) Developing Outstanding Teaching and Learning: Creating a Culture of Professional Development to Improve Outcomes. 2 Optimus.
  • ed. (2010) Developing Outstanding Teaching and Learning: Creating a culture of professional development to improve outcomes. Optimus Education eBooks.

Chapters (3)

  • Lofthouse RM; McElwee S; King C; Lofthouse C (2017) Lesson Study: an Opportunity for Collaborative Teacher Inquiry. In: Boyd P; Szplit A Teachers and Teacher Educators Learning Through Inquiry: International Perspectives. Kielce-Kraków: Wydawnictwo Attyka, pp. 63-79.
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  • Lofthouse RM; Hall E; Wall K (2012) Practitioner Enquiry. In: Briggs A; Coleman M; Morrison M 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 SAGE Handbook of Mentoring and Coaching in Education. : , pp. .

Conference contributions (21)

  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Narratives of collaboration in practice; discourses, dimensions and diversity in collaborative professional development Krakow, Poland 16/05/2019.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Metacognition: supporting teachers and learners as thinkers Scotch Corner Hotel 05/04/2019.
  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Coaching: catching the zeitgeist and making it work to improve learning at all levels in your school London 26/02/2019.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Using coaching and mentoring to focus on the curriculum in action Holborn, London 23/02/2019.
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  • 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. Stavanger, Norway 08/01/2019.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2019) Primary teachers learning from Specialist Coaching for Communication-rich Pedagogies Stavanger, Norward 08/01/2019.
  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Unique places, universal professional challenges; learning from Western Quebec mentoring, coaching and induction practice Aston University, Birmingham 16/11/2018.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Beyond the buzzword; why bother with coaching for CPD Manchester Enterprise Academy, Manchester 14/11/2018.
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  • Lofthouse RM; Glazzard J; Iredale A; Dutton C; Riley S (2018) Snakes and Ladders: interrogating school - university research partnerships from the inside out Northumbira University, Newcastle upon Tyne 11/09/2018.
  • 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. 07/07/2018.
  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Mentoring; engaging with heart, mind and soul for the good of the profession Manchester Metropolitan University 05/07/2018.
  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Liberating the learning; tackling the complexities of mentoring through our 'sayings, doings and relatings' 05/07/2018.
  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Mentoring; engaging with heart, mind and soul for the good of the profession Sheffield Hallam University 29/06/2018.
  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Re-imagining teacher education; letting go of the constraints and thinking differently London 23/06/2018.
  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Coaching from within; Moving coaching forward by understanding its architecture Whittlebury Hall, Towcester 15/06/2018.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2018) Coaching in Education: a professional development process in formation Bialystok, Poland 07/06/2018.
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  • 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. Leeds 19/05/2018.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2018) COACHING: putting hearts and minds into professional and personal development Leeds 17/03/2018.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2017) Developing space for [trans]formative mentoring Manchester University 08/12/2017.
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  • Lofthouse RM (2017) Bridge over troubled water: Rebuilding professional learning in landscapes of professional complexity Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff 24/11/2017.
  • Lofthouse RM; Davies P; Davies D; Greenway C (2017) New professionals in formation: how do student teachers conceptualize their own learning? Dubrovnik, Croatia 23/10/2017.
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Internet publications (1)

  • Flanagan J; Wigley B; Lofthouse RM (2017), Developing the use of communication rich pedagogies in classrooms using Video Enhanced Reflective Practice informed methodologies as a vehicle for teacher and speech and language therapist continuing professional development

Lectures (1)

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

Open educational resources (2)

Reports (4)

Working papers (2)

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