Educator-in-Residence Programme (EiRP)

EiRP facilitates active exchanges between the NUS academic community and distinguished educators from around the world

EiRP Public Lecture 2014 - Kathleen Quinlan

Click here to view the webcast of Kathleen Quinlan's lecture.



Education is an inherently holistic experience – one that involves both thinking and feeling.  However, the emotional dimensions of higher educational experiences are underexplored, yet may be vital elements in developing students’ sense of personal and social responsibility.  Underpinned by Cartesian dualism, higher education has traditionally privileged the rational, emphasizing criticality and analysis as its key features, while rejecting the emotional as a threat to rationality.

However, a variety of fields are now embracing an integrated view of cognition and emotion.  Although different disciplines and theorists define, situate and conceptualize emotion differently, there is general agreement that we can no longer separate mind from body or feeling from thinking.  Through consideration of several case examples illustrating key theoretical perspectives, this lecture will raise questions about the role of emotion in teaching and learning.  Should teachers shape, manage or develop students’ emotional literacy?  Are emotions natural aspects of deep learning that need to be supported and normalized?  Perhaps typical emotional responses to key issues might become the object of curricular attention and through that, sites of social resistance?  The speaker will suggest ways in which attention to emotional dimensions of educational experiences could enhance university education.

Educator in Residence 2014

Kathleen received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University.

She is currently the Head of Educational Development at Oxford Learning Institute, University of Oxford.  She is responsible for the Institute’s Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.  As Head of Educational Development, she manages the group’s portfolio of offerings, collaborating with other Institute staff to enhance the various pathways for learning about teaching supported by the Institute.  She provides policy and practical advice on educational development matters to relevant committees, divisions, departments and colleges.

Prior to her appointment at Oxford in 2009, she held academic and leadership positions in educational development at The Australian National University and Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  She also has five years of government consulting experience in the United States, contributing to curriculum development, action planning for national and state projects, and planning and evaluation of large-scale biomedical research.

Her research interests are in learning and teaching in higher education, with a particular focus on integrating students’ intellectual and personal development.  She seeks to understand how higher education can best support the development of students’ sense of personal and social responsibility.  She is currently editing a book on the role of emotions in higher education teaching and learning.  In addition to her academic work, she is a published poet.  Her poetry often explores social issues and has been published in several social science journals.