Cat qualified as a secondary school history teacher in 1999. She taught history, geography, religious studies and citizenship in schools in the West Midlands and North London and spent much of her teaching career as a Head of Year or pastoral leader. Between 2006 and 2008 she volunteered as an Education Advisor for Voluntary Service Overseas in the rural Cambodian province of Mondulkiri, before returning to the UK to begin her MA. In 2010 she completed an MA in History and Citizenship Education, and her dissertation focussed on aspects of teaching about the Holocaust.
After completing her MA, Cat began working on her PhD. She worked as a freelance educator for the Jewish Museum (London), the Imperial War Museums, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and the Holocaust Educational Trust, writing resources and leading educational sessions and visits focussed on the different aspects of the Holocaust. In 2016 she became an Education Officer for the Holocaust Educational Trust, working primarily in their teacher training programme, leading workshops and site visits for primary and secondary school teachers and trainees. In 2018 and 2022 she hosted the Trust's Holocaust Memorial Day webcast, broadcast live to over 30,000 teachers and students.
Cat's PhD research explores 'How Key Stage 3 students make sense of the Holocaust when they learn about it in their history lessons'. She conducted research in 4 secondary schools, in London and the West Midlands, and concluded on the nature, origins and implications of the students' initial ideas about the Holocaust, and on how these developed during their lessons on the topic. At the time of writing, she is finalising her corrections.She was awarded her PhD in February 2023.
Cat joined the University of Winchester in September 2022 and currently teaches, primarily, on the University's PGCE Humanities course.
Areas of expertise
History education, specifically teaching and learning about the Holocaust in the secondary school.
Kirkland, C. (2022) ‘Where do I sit?’ Transitioning from classroom teacher to educational researcher to explore students’ ideas about the Holocaust, Holocaust Studies, DOI: 10.1080/17504902.2022.2058725 (Open Access)Return to the Staff Directory