Professor Simon Catling BEd, MA, FRGS, FRSA

Emeritus Professor in Primary Education

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Humanities in Education (BA PTE – Work-based mode): module leader; geography component.

Postgraduate

  • Arts & Humanities with ICT (Primary PGCE): humanities leader; geography component.
  • MA in Education Dissertation supervision.

Research

Research interests

  • Young children’s geographies and their relationship to geographical education.
  • Younger children’s ideas about geography.
  • Geographical education and curriculum development in the Foundations Stage and Primary School curriculum.
  • The representation of geography in commercial books on geography published for younger children.
  • Student teachers’ geographical knowledge, understanding, values and attitudes.
  • The role and value of geography CPD for primary teachers.

Research and consultancy projects

  • (2007-08) Consultant to the development of new Primary Atlases for UK and World, Collins publishers. Atlases on The British Isles and The World published in 2009.
  • (2008) Evaluator of the Young Geographers Project for this Geographical Association TDA funded CPD project.
  • (2008) EdD Dissertation External Examiner, Queen’s University, Belfast

Conferences

Recent conference papers

  • (2006) Thinking about geographical significance (with Liz Taylor) HEI GET Conference, September, Brighton
  • (2006) The State of Geography in Primary ITT, Geographical Association Annual Conference, Sensational Geography, April, University of Manchester, UK
  • (2006) The images of Geography on children’s bookshelves, IGU Conference, July, Brisbane, Australia
  • (2006) Learning to teach primary geography in 10.5 hours, IGU CGE Symposium, July, Brisbane, Australia
  • (2006) Exploring Geographical Significance (with Liz Taylor), IGU CGE Symposium, July, Brisbane, Australia,
  • (2006) Children’s Geographies in Primary School Geography: Issues and opportunities, New Directions in Children’s Geographies, September, University of Northampton, UK
  • (2006) Geographies on Children’s Bookshelves, paper to the IGU Commission on Geographical Education, British Sub-committee Research Forum, Conceptualising Geography, October, London, UK
  • (2007) Sustainable Schools: Environmental Well-Being and Primary Geography, at the ‘Developing Directions in Primary Geography’ Conference, February, Charney Manor, Oxfordshire, UK
  • (2007) Children’s Geographies and Primary School Geography: Issues and Opportunities, at the ‘Developing Directions in Primary Geography’ Conference, February, Charney Manor, Oxfordshire, UK
  • (2007) Geographical Education and ‘Environmental Well-Being: Opportunities Arising from Developments in England, the International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education/HERODOT Conference: ‘Changing Geographies: Innovative Curricula’, the University of London Institute of Education, April, London, UK
  • (2007) Access through Geography, the Geographical Association Annual Conference, Geographical Futures’, April, the University of Derby, Derby, UK
  • (2008) Formative Experiences of Primary Geography Educators, at the 31st IGU Conference, Building Together Our Territories, August, Tunis, Tunisia
  • (2008) Conflict and Space in the Primary School Playground, at DOSSier ‘Violence and Space’ Event, October, Oxford Brookes University
  • (2008) Hearing Children’s Voices in Primary Geography and History, at The National Primary Geography and History Conference, November, Leeds, UK
  • (2009) Identifying Some Formative Experiences of Primary Geography Educators, at The Geographical Association Annual Conference, ‘Investigating Geography’, April, University of Manchester
  • (2009) Young Geographers Matter, at The Young Geographers Conference, June, London, UK
  • (2009) Hearing Children’s voices in Primary Geography, The Irish Association for Social, Scientific and Environmental Education Annual conference, June, Dublin, Ireland
  • (2009) Children, Space and Issues in Primary School Playgrounds, at the IGU CGE Conference, Introducing ‘Spatial Thinking’ to Geography Education, August, Tsukuba, Japan

Career history

  • 1965-67 Teacher in the primary education private sector
  • 1972-84 Taught in three primary schools in inner London
  • 1980-84 Primary School Deputy Head Teacher
  • 1984-present At Oxford Brookes University
  • 1984-90 Senior Lecturer in Education
  • 1990-95 Principal Lecturer, responsible for Initial Teacher Education
  • 1995-2000 Deputy Head, School of Education
  • 2000-09 Assistant Dean of the Westminster Institute of Education
  • 2006-08 Acting Associate Dean
  • 2009-present Research Leader, Department of early Childhood and Primary Education
  • 1975-present Many INSET/CPD and consultancy activities, including advisor to BBC TV and radio primary geography schools programmes, providing primary geography CPD for schools and LAs, directing the ‘Localities Project’ for the National Curriculum Council, undertaking primary geography monitoring projects for QCA, primary geography GEST programmes for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire LAs, and much more.
  • 2001 Awarded personal Professorship at Oxford Brookes University
  • 2006-present Chair of the International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education, British Sub-Committee
  • 2008-present Honorary Secretary to the International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education

Publications

  • Journal articles

Journal articles

  • (2006) Collins First Atlas, Collins: HarperCollins Cartographic
  • (2006) Collins First Whiteboard Atlas [CD-rom for interactive whiteboard] Collins: HarperCollins Cartographic
  • (2006) Mapstart 1 Copymasters (CD-rom edition), HarperCollins Cartographic
  • (2006) Mapstart 2 Copymasters (CD-rom edition), HarperCollins Cartographic
  • (2006) Mapstart 3 Copymasters (CD-rom edition), HarperCollins Cartographic
  • (2006) Plus or minus one point five per cent: Geography provision for primary trainee teachers on PGCE courses – A report, Oxford Brookes University
  • (2006) Access Denied, Primary Geographer [with 4 past Primary PGCE trainees at Oxford Brookes University], 59, Spring
  • (2006) Connecting locally: geography and history, Primary History, Spring
  • (2006) Planning for Learning beyond the Classroom, in Arthur, J, Grainger, T & Wray, D, (eds.), Learning to Teach in the Primary School, RoutledgeFalmer
  • (2006) Younger Children’s Geographical Worlds and Primary Geography, in Schmeinck, D. (ed.), Research on Learning and Teaching in Primary Geography, Karlsruhre Padagodische Studien
  • (2006) What Do 5-Year-Olds Know of the World? Geographical understanding and play in young children’s early learning, Geography 91 (1)
  • (2006) Encouraging challenging geography in the classroom, Primary G & T Update, Issue 8
  • (2006) Geography – Going Places, Junior Education, August
  • (2006) Children Thinking About Geographical Significance (with Liz Taylor), Primary Geographer, 61 (Autumn)
  • (2006) Geographical Significance: A useful concept? (with Liz Taylor), Teaching Geography, 31 (3)
  • (2006) Learning to Teach Geography in 10.5 Hours, in Purnell, K. (ed.), Changes in Geographical Education: Past, Present and Future, Proceedings of the IGU CGE Symposium
  • (2006) Exploring Geographical Significance (with Liz Taylor), in Purnell, K. (ed.), Changes in Geographical Education: Past, Present and Future, Proceedings of the IGU CGE Symposium
  • (2007) Changing Geographies: Innovative Curricula – The Conference Proceedings, Oxford: International Commission on Geographical Education/HERODOT [edited with L. Taylor]
  • (2007) Geographical Education and ‘Environmental Well-Being’: Opportunities Arising from Developments in England, in Catling, S. & Taylor, L. (eds.), Changing Geographies: Innovative Curricula – The Conference Proceedings, Oxford: International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education/HERODOT
  • (2007) Image(s) of Geography on Children’s Bookshelves: 1996-2005, in Halocha, J. & Powell, A. (eds.), Conceptualising Geographical Education, London: University of London Institute of Education
  • (2007) ECM6? – Developing Children’s Environmental Well-Being, Primary Geographer, 63 (Summer)
  • (2007) The State of Geography In English Primary Schools, [with R. Bowles, J. Halocha, F. Martin & S. Rawlinson], Geography 92 (2)
  • (2008) Children’s Geographies and New Technologies, Primary Geographer, 67, 7-10
  • (2009) The Happiness of Everyday Geographies, Primary Geographer, 68, 12-14
  • (2009) ‘Thinking of Britain’ in Children’s Geographies, Primary Geographer, 69, 16-19
  • (2009) Creativity in Primary Geography, in Wilson, A (ed), Creativity in Primary Education, Exeter: Learning Matters, 189-199
  • (2009) Children, Space and Issues in Primary School Playgrounds, The New Geography (The Shin-Chin), 57 (Special Issues), 82-89.
  • (2009) Teaching Primary Geography, Exeter: Learning Matters, (with T. Willy).

Forthcoming

  • (2010) Organising and Managing Learning in the Outdoor Classroom, in Arthur, J & Grainger, T (eds), Learning to Teach in the Primary School, London: Routledge [2nd edition]
  • (2010), Sources of evidence for conducting research in geography education, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education