Edinburgh Research Explorer

Gale MacLeod

Senior Lecturer


  • BA(hons) Philosophy/Theology (Oxford University)
  • MEd (Edinburgh)
  • PGDE (Primary) (Moray House)
  • PGDSpLD (Edinburgh)
  • PhD (Edinburgh)

I studied Philosophy and Theology at Oxford University before working as a residential care worker in a therapeutic community in Warwickshire. On returning to Edinburgh I continued to pursue academic study whilst working first as a care worker and later as a teacher in units and schools for young people described as having social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD). My PhD, completed in 2005, mapped the separate provision available in Scotland for these young people, and explored the experiences of a group of young people of being educated separately. In 2004 I took up a post as lecturer in primary education and SEBD at Edinburgh. My undergraduate teaching focuses on the application of a range of theoretical perspectives to further understanding of disaffected and disruptive behaviour in schools.

Current Research Interests

  • Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
  • Multi-disciplinary approaches to understanding disruptive behaviour
  • School Disaffection
  • Philosophy and educational research

Recently graduated students

Collaborative Activity

  • Behaviour Management Grant 2011 (with Gillean McCluskey)
  • Scottish Government. Research into Behaviour in Scottish Schools 2009, (Research Assistant).
  • Department of Children Schools and Families. Outcomes for Excluded Pupils 2006-2009, (Co-Investigator).
  • ESRC. Knowledge Exchange Across Settings 2008. Co-ordinator - of a project to facilitate communication between mainstream and special schools.
  • DTRF. Disabled Students in Higher Education 2007/8, with Dr Katie Cebula. A project exploring the experiences of students with disabilities on placement.
  • ESRC TRLP project, 'Epistemology of Educational Research' 2007.


In 2012/13 I will be teaching the following courses:

  • EdD Thesis preparation
  • Supporting Individual Pupils
  • Personal & Social development in Outdoor Education: Critical Perspectives
  • Research Methods 1: Sources of Knowledge
  • Research Methods 2: Conceptualising Research
  • Research Methods 3: Planning Research

Research activities & awards

  1. Chair of PGT Student Experience Working Group

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

  2. Launch of Pupil Equity Fund

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Schools engagement

  3. ‘Closing the gap’

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

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