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Dr Gill Clifton

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Professional biography

I have over 30 years experience of working across educational sectors from early years through to special school and Further Education.  More recently I have worked in Higher Education - both for the University of Essex and the Open University.  The breadth of my experience also includes working in the Third Sector,  designing and project managing government funded national initiatives such as Aimhigher, Students Associates Scheme, and Entry to Employment.  I have also worked in initial teacher training, supporting trainee teachers (specialising in Child Protection and Reflective Practice)  and trained as an assessor for QTS.   

Currently, my work with the Open University includes Programme Lead for the Masters in Education (F55 & F70 pathways) as well as managing Associate Lecturers in my role as a Staff Tutor for the School of Education Childhood, Youth and Sports.  However, during my 15 years experience with the OU I have held a number of positions.  These have included working as an Associate Lecturer (teaching on Access modules, Undergaduate and Masters programmes).  I am a member of the OU Ethics Committee, an EdD Supervisor and Area Co-Ordinator for the Inclusion Strand of the EdD programme.

As module chair for the Leadership and Management Pathway of the OUs Masters programme, I can bring to my role the breadth of my educational experience but also my commercial and industrial experience since, prior to joining the field of education, I worked in the Marketing, PR & Tourism sectors, as well as the Petro-chemical Industry.

As an OU regional academic I have published a number of articles and book reviews;  I am a peer reviewer for two educational journals and have designed and participated in a number of small scale qualitative studies.  As an active researcher my interests lie in the developing concept of critical (digital) pedagogies through the lens of inclusion (in its broadest sense)  and barriers to learning and education.  My Doctorate focussed on the concept of critical thinking as an holistic way of thinking beyond simply seeing criticality as set of skills to be taught and learnt! 


Adult postgraduate students’ learning in online spaces—Images of identity and belonging (2021)
Dennis, Carol Azumah and Clifton, Gill
Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung, 44(2) (pp. 133-150)