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Dr Debra Kidd

Teaching and Learning - Creativity - Dilemma-led Learning

There few people working in education today who have the breadth of experience that Dr Debra Kidd has, let alone the depth of understanding of all things educational from national policy level to what goes on in the classroom. 

And that's not to mention teaching theatre skills to children in Siberia.

It is why we are so pleased that she is an Associate with Independent Thinking and why she is so much in demand to speak at conferences, to train teachers and to work directly with young people across the UK and internationally too.

Debra is rare in that she has experience in every phase of education from nursery and EYFS all the way through to FE, including her recent appointment as an Associate Lecturer in the PGCE programme at Leeds Beckett University where she supports international students. She combines this vast experience, especially looking at literacy, oracy and the power of the Arts, with a clear view on what education is all about and the willingness to speak truth to power through various platforms including national TV.

Recent titles include:

  • The Curriculum of Hope!
  • Making Learning Matter
  • Using Enquiry and Dilemma to Motivate Learners

Her first book, Teaching: Notes from the Frontline set out her stall in no uncertain terms regarding the issues teachers and school leaders are battling with today as they confront the conflict thrown up by trying to balance government expectations with doing the best thing for the children and young people in their care. It is a book, like the rest of her work, that balances anger at the situation teachers find themselves in with practical and reassuring ideas about how they can still do the best possible job all round.

She followed that up with Becoming Moebius, the publication of her rich doctoral thesis which encourages us all to take a fresh look at the very nature of teaching, learning, human interactions and possibilities in every classroom.

Her most recent book for the Independent Thinking Press, Uncharted Territories, takes the fight directly to the classroom in a way that shows what a great teacher Debra is.

Drawing on creative pedagogies such as the Mantle of the Expert, and highlighting the academic research that supports them, the book is a beautifully presented and wonderfully practical piece of work. It was written in collaboration with friend and fellow Independent Thinking Associate Hywel Roberts and is full of strategies to guarantee engagement, excitement and independent learning in even the youngest of children.

When she is not sharing platforms on educational matters in conferences across the UK or inventing and organising highly praised events such as the Northern Rocks teacher festival or the upcoming National Teacher Day, she is also in demand globally for her work with the International Schools Theatre Association.

Such works takes her to far-flung places including Hong Kong, China, Siberia and Poland where she uses her teaching skills and experience to tap into the power of the Arts to bring untapped creative talents to the fore in all sorts of children. She laso finds hersefl, currently based in Belgium working for a top international school with a focus on creativity, curriculum, teaching and learning.

For an inspiring, uncompromising look at education – from policy to practice – with an understanding that stretches beyond national boundaries, then Dr Debra Kidd is just who you are looking for.

Thank you so much for helping to make the AET HT’s conference such a stimulating, enjoyable and valuable occasion this week. I am deeply grateful to you . The feedback was hugely positive and I am so grateful to you

You really captured what the curriculum should look like for our children. It reminded me of things we have done in the past that have been forgotten in the drive to improve standards

You were fantastic. Your keynote speech was ‘spot on.’….. inspiring, challenging and set up the rest of our two days of INSET really well

She was a brilliant speaker and is clearly a very talented lady

Thank you very much indeed for what was a truly inspiring presentation by Debra Kidd

Thank you Hywel and Debra for our INSET. Their experiences and skills came through in a fantastic way and encouraged great discussion in the afternoon.
Ps - I don't think I've heard such a laughter in an INSET before!

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