Dr Kate Adams
Academic Coordinator for the Doctor in Education (EdD)
Educational Development and Research

Reader in Education
Academic Coordinator for the Doctor in Education (EdD)

Kate Adams holds the positions of Reader in Education and Academic Coordinator for the Doctor in Education (EdD) and also teaches on undergraduate programmes in Education Studies. Prior to joining Bishop Grosseteste University in 2005, Kate worked as a primary teacher before gaining a PhD in education from the University of Glasgow. A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, she has lectured at the University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde and the University of Paisley in Education Studies, Religious Education and Professional Studies on PGCE and non-QTS degrees. The main focus of Kate’s research and publication profile to date is on children’s spirituality, particularly in relation to schools’ implementation of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC).

Teaching

Kate coordinates, teaches on and supervises the Doctor in Education (EdD) programme where she focuses on reflective practice, identity and developing the critical skills required for doctoral level study. On the Education Studies programmes, Kate specialises in children’s spirituality and research skills, in addition to teaching a range of sociological, philosophical and historical issues related to education. Kate also contributes to teaching and supervision on the MA in Education where she leads sessions for students who wish to disseminate and extend their research beyond the MA.

Research

The main focus of Kate’s research profile to date is on aspects of childhood from children’s perspectives, particularly focused on spirituality, and its implications for the curriculum; the concepts of childhood and adulthood from children’s perspectives; and the implications of children’s understandings for education’s well-being agenda.

Consultancy and External Activities

Kate is engaged in a range of activities with professional associations. She was a member of the RSA’s expert working group on developing new approaches to spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in schools and was on a working party on spiritual development in the curriculum for the then Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA). Kate is currently the Vice Chair of the International Association for Children’s Spirituality. She served on the board of directors of the US-based International Association for the Study of Dreams from 2007-2011, holding the position of Secretary from 2010-2011. She is currently their UK representative.

Kate is on the editorial board for the Journal of Religious Education and is editorial consultant for Professional Reflection (formerly REsource). She reviews for the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, British Journal of Religious Education, Journal of Religious Education and Dreaming. Her research findings have made impact beyond the academic community, appearing in publications as diverse as The Daily Telegraph, Vogue, Reader’s Digest and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. She also writes a blog for Psychology Today.

Funded projects

Excellence in SMSC. This is a project funded by BELMAS to explore the school leadership qualities which facilitate outstanding practice in spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) in primary schools.

SMSC in ITT. A collaborative project with the University of Hertfordshire and University of Winchester to explore ITT provision to prepare trainee teachers to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children in primary schools. Phase one consisted of a national online survey.

Leadership in primary schools with mixed aged classes. A project funded by CfBT to facilitate school improvement in small schools.

Children’s perceptions of childhood. This study, funded by Bishop Grosseteste University collected data via interviews with 56 children aged 7-11 which explored their perceptions of childhood and adulthood. The implications of the findings relate to the social construction of childhood and the associated ‘childhood in crisis’ debate, the implications for education’s well-being agenda and the links between sociological theory and that of children’s spirituality.

Children’s spiritual lives. The first study into children’s spiritual dreams and their understanding of them was funded by the Farmington Institute of Christian Studies, Oxford University (£7500). It was subsequently expanded into a multi-faith, multi-disciplinary doctorate, funded by a scholarship from the University of Glasgow (£30,000) and the Keswick Hall Trust Fund, University of East Anglia (£500). The findings, published widely and presented at conferences worldwide, consider the implications of children’s spiritual dreams for the curriculum, particularly Religious Education, and for interfaith dialogue. These findings pertaining to dreams, together with work on a wider range of children’s spiritual experiences have attracted media attention, being disseminated via BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and various BBC local radio stations; in publications including The Daily Telegraph, TES, Tablet and Church Times; and through expert comments for articles in Vogue, Sainsbury’s Magazine and Reader’s Digest.

Recent publications (since 2005):

Books

Adams, K.; Koet, B. and Roukema-Koning, B. (eds.) (forthcoming) Dreams and spirituality: a handbook for ministry, spiritual direction and counselling. Norwich: Canterbury Press

Adams, K. (2010) Unseen Worlds: looking through the lens of childhood. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Bulkeley, K., Adams, K. and Davis, P. M. (eds.) (2009) Dreaming in Christianity and Islam: culture, conflict, and creativity. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Adams, K. (2009) Behaviour for Learning in the Primary School. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Adams, K., Hyde, B., and Woolley, R. (2008) The Spiritual Dimension of Childhood. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Book chapters

Adams, K. (in preparation) Making the unseen visible outside the faith sector: the cultural ambivalence towards children’s spirituality in England, in: M. deSouza; A. Trousdale and J. Watson (eds) Global Perspectives on Spiritual Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

Adams, K. (2011) Managing behaviour for learning, in: A. Hansen (ed) Professional Studies in the Primary Curriculum. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Adams, K. (2009) Seeking and sharing the spiritual in the classroom. In: M. de Souza, L. J. Francis, J. O’Higgins-Norman and D. Scott (eds.) The international Handbook of Education for Spirituality, Care and Wellbeing. Dordrecht: Springer.

Adams, K. (2009) Dreams of Muslim and Christian Children. In: K., Bulkeley, K. Adams and P. M. Davis (eds.) Dreaming in Christianity and Islam: culture, conflict, and creativity. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Adams, K. and Chater, M. (2006) Faith in education: what place for faith communities in schools? In: J. Sharp; S. Ward and L. Hankin (eds.) Issues in education, 2nd ed. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Journal articles

Adams, K.; Bull, R. and Maynes, M-L. (forthcoming) Early childhood spirituality in education: towards an understanding of the distinctive features of young children’s spirituality. European Early Childhood Education Journal.

Adams, K.; Monahan, J. and Wills, R. (under review) Losing the whole child? A national survey of primary education training provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. European Journal of Teacher Education.

Adams, K. (2014) What is a child? Children’s perceptions, the Cambridge Primary Review and implications for education. Cambridge Journal of Education, 44:2, 163-178. DOI: 10.1080/0305764X.2013.860082.

Parker, J; Freer, K. and Adams, K. (2013) Characters, social interactions, emotions and self-representation in 7 to 8 and 9 to 11 year olds’ dream reports. International Journal of Dream Research, 6:1, 13-21. [view article]

Adams, K. (2012) Childhood in crisis? Perceptions of 7-11 year olds and the implications for education’s well-being agenda. Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education. DOI:10.1080/03004279.2011.613849. [view article]

Adams, K. (2010) Unseen Worlds: placing children’s spirituality on the map in Education Studies. Discourse, 9(2), 49-58.

Adams, K. (2009) The rise of the child’s voice; the silencing of the spiritual voice. Journal of Beliefs & Values, 30(2), 113-122. [view article]

Adams, K. (2009) Searching for connectedness: the role of RE and spirituality in supporting children’s questions about death. Journal of Religious Education, 57(2), 12-17.

Adams, K. and Hyde, B. (2008) Children’s grief dreams and the theory of spiritual intelligence. Dreaming, 18(1), 58-67.

Adams, K. (2008) The dreaming child: dreams, religion and religious education. British Journal of Religious Education, 30(1), 59-67. [view article]

Hyde, B. and Adams, K. (2007) From biblical dreams to scriptural dreams. Journal of Religious Education, 55(4), 37-42.

Adams, K. (2006) Children’s divine dreams: a conceptual and empirical study with implications for Religious Education. Research in Education, 76(2), 88-90.

Adams, K. (2005) Voices in my Dream: children’s interpretation of auditory message dreams. Dreaming, 15(3), 195-204.

Papers and conference proceedings

2013: Spiritual matters, Lincoln Diocese Bishop’s Visitors Annual Conference, Lincoln, UK: Keynote.

2013: 13th International Conference on Children’s Spirituality, University of Leuven, Belgium.

2012: 12th International Conference on Children’s Spirituality, University of East Anglia, UK.

2011: Imagination, spiritual development and the RE curriculum: informing better practice from new research, Westhill Trust, Leeds, UK: Keynote.

2011: Centre for Church School Education Annual conference, York St John University, UK: Keynote.

2011: Dialogue Society, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK: Invited talk.

2011: Ensuring Research Quality in Small HEIs, Management of Small Higher Education Institutions Network – Leadership Foundation (MASHEIN), London, UK: Invited talk.

2011: BERA annual conference, (British Educational Research Association) London, UK.

2011: Education, Research and Professional Practice Seminar, The Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training (CREST), GuildHE, London, UK.

2010: Annual conference of Catholic Headteachers, Nottingham Diocese, Grantham, UK: Invited talk.

2010: Religion, Education and Spiritual Development, annual conference of the Association of University Lecturers in RE, Norwich, UK.

2010: Teaching Spirituality in Higher Education, HEA, Leeds, UK.

2009: BERA annual conference, (British Educational Research Association) Manchester, UK.

2009: 8th International Conference on Children’s Spirituality, Canterbury, UK.

2009: 26th International Conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams, Chicago, USA.

2007: 25th International Conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams, Montreal, Canada.

2007: 24th International Conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams, Sonoma, CA, USA. Paper presented by Patricia Davis.

2007: 5th National Symposium on RE, Brisbane, Australia. Paper presented by co-author Dr Brendan Hyde.

2006: 7th International Conference on Children’s Spirituality, Winchester, UK.

2006: 23rd International Conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams, Boston, USA. Two papers presented.

2005: 22nd International Conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams, Berkeley, California, USA.