Dr Katharine Burn

katharine burn

BA Camb, MSc DPhil PGCE Oxf


Dr Katharine Burn


Associate Professor in Education (History)


Katharine leads the PGCE history programme and teaches within the MSc in Learning and Teaching. She supervises Master's and doctoral students, particularly focusing on history teaching and on teachers’ learning. Katharine is also Chair of the Secondary Committee of the Historical Association and a co-editor of the professional journal Teaching History.

Katharine's main research interest is in teachers' professional learning.  She was involved for a number of years in the Developing Expertise of Beginning Teachers (DEBT) project, a longitudinal study tracking secondary school teachers through their PGCE year and on into the first and second year of teaching. She has engaged in collaborative action research with mentors in partnership school to address some of the specific challenges that student teachers face in developing subject knowledge and subject pedagogy within history and more recently she has collaborated with colleagues in science to explore the nature of teachers' informal learning of subject-specific pedagogical knowledge within their subject departments or faculties.  She is currently working with colleagues in Oxford and elsewhere examining how ITE programmes prepare beginning teachers to work with children living in poverty.

Katharine's research in history education includes an annual survey of history teachers' experiences in England, monitoring the ways in which the subject is time-tabled and taught, the trends in GCSE and A-level uptake and the nature of teacher's professional development and curriculum concerns. She is particularly interested in students' entitlement to history education post-14 and is currently exploring the ways in which some schools succeed in providing worthwhile and meaningful history for all.