Linda Clarke was born in Brooklyn, New York, moving to Northern Ireland in early childhood. She qualified as a teacher in 1983 and served as a Geography teacher and head of department for 15 years. Her Masters degree is in education technology and her PhD examines the use of Elearning in initial teacher education. She was appointed as a Lecturer in education at Ulster University in 2001 and Senior Lecturer in 2008, with teaching responsibilities in initial teacher education (as Course Director in PGCE Geography) and in CPD courses in the ICT pathway of the MEd.
Linda served as Head of the School of Education from 2009 to 2013 leading the school through a range of key strategic developments including external course inspection and professional accreditation procedures. She chaired the 2011-12 University-wide review of Widening Access and Participation and the Bring your Own Device (BYOD) Project Board, 2013-14.
Her key research interests lie in teacher education and pedagogical practice and are also based in her leadership and support roles in some of the key teacher education bodies.
Linda was the Northern Chair of the cross-border body for teacher education – the Standing Conference for Teacher Education North and South (SCoTENS 2013-2016). In June 2013, she was commissioned by the BERA-RSA Inquiry into Teacher Education to co-write a Review of UK policy and practice – a ‘home international’ comparison of teacher education across the UK. Linda also served as Chair of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCETNI, 2010-11) Committee which comprises the leaders of teacher education in all of the local HEI ITE providers.
Linda also conducts research into the use of ICT to enhance teaching and learning, including, most recently, the use of tablet computers, She is a member of the Editorial Board of Technology, Pedagogy and Education and a reviewer for several key education journals.
She has worked in several interdisciplinary collaborative teams to develop a range of curriculum projects including 'The Forward Thinking NI' project is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Astra Zeneca (with Prof Valerie McKelvey Martin) which led to the design, development and evaluation of the Communities of Scientific Enquiry approach to teaching science in primary and post primary schools.
Linda is part of the team which secured funding from DCAL for investigating and expanding Ulster Scots teaching resources for the Northern Ireland Curriculum and is currently evaluating the DfID-funded 'Global Learning Project' in Northern Ireland. She has worked on projects on Global Citizenship in Initial Teacher Education (funded by DfID), on teacher mentorship with teacher education researchers in Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda (funded by Irish Aid and by the British Council) and the 'Lessons Today for Change Tomorrow' project(with Dr Aideen Hunter) which allowed student teachers at Ulster to teach Citizenship in Malawian secondary schools and led to a Chancellor College tutor being awarded Commonwealth Scholarship for his PhD in Citizenship Education.
Linda has recently worked to develop an innovative, interdisciplinary Model, the Place Model which uses two senses of place (status and learning journey) to conceptualise the dystopias and ideals of professionalism – a challenge which is of increasing relevance in a time of strong anti-expert sentiments – this is the focus of a recent book, conference keynote and paper.