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The CATE Collection – together in collaborative educational leadership

10 Nov 2021 | Dr D Irving-Bell, Dr N Watchman Smith, Professor D Tolson & Dr M Weaver The editorial team introduces the first edition of the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) Collection series.

The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence, otherwise known as CATE, was put in place as a sister award to the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) by Advance HE to acknowledge the shared practices and team working that leads to teaching excellence.

Since 2016, CATEs have been awarded to teams who can demonstrate evidence of excellence in their approach to working collaboratively and those that have a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning, including beyond their immediate academic or professional area. In recognition of their achievement, representatives of CATE winning teams join the Association of National Teaching Fellows, and it is from this foundation, driven by Professor Mark O’Hara (Birmingham City University), that the vibrant community known as CATE-Net was established.

In 2020, to mark the fifth anniversary of the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE), and in recognition of the growing number of CATE community members, the idea for the CATE Collection was born. It is our hope that this collection captures the spirit of CATE and adds to the conversations around good practice in higher education contexts, via the sharing of experience and insight from a breadth of voices. Each contributor talks to their expertise on achieving impactful, meaningful and effective collaboration. Each chapter notes the hurdles experienced on the path to a CATE win, but equally highlights the well-earned benefits and opportunities that being a CATE winner provides.    

The CATE Collection: Together in Collaborative Educational Leadership is a wonderful resource for all involved in higher and further education, who have a passion for innovation in learning and teaching that is evidence-informed, proven in practice and collaboratively shaped. The resource examines the “what, why, how and who” of the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence, introducing within editorial chapters ideas about CATE Thinking and CATE Doing and the opportunities we have together to transcend what is done today in new ways of being together in creative and connected real world learning.

Perhaps the most important chapters are authored by award-winning academic and student CATE champions from across the UK. They are passionate leaders and change agents with inspiring stories to share extending across disciplines from arts and humanities, engineering, science, sustainability, healthcare and social sciences. There is something in it for everyone with many transferable take home messages for educators at any stage in their careers.

This is a practical guide presented in an anthology style, packed with case studies, lessons learnt and tips for success. The CATE Collection is a story of what the CATE teams did and what they are doing now. It is about the things that go right and the disappointments - an emotionally intelligent tale with a ‘can do’ spirit, written for and by collaborative educational innovators. If you are curious about CATE and interested in education and learning excellence, then read on.

Access the CATE Collection: Together in Collaborative Educational Leadership

  • Dr Dawne Irving-Bell is a Reader and Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow at Edge Hill University, a Principal Fellow, CATE2020 Award Winner and recipient of a National Award recognising her outstanding contribution to Teacher Education. With a passion for visual thinking and technology education, she established “The National Teaching Repository” and edits the Journal of Social-Media for Learning.
  • Dr Nicola Watchman Smith is Deputy Director of Student Learning at Teesside University and previously Head of Teaching Excellence Awards at Advance HE. A keen professional advocate of inclusive and collaborative higher education practices, Nicola was the co-founder of the Sorority of HE Leaders, and co-lead for the Advance HE In it Together project.
  • Professor Debbie Tolson is the Alzheimer Scotland Professor of Dementia, and Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at the University of the West of Scotland. She is a Principal Fellow, CATE2020 Award Winner, Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and Honorary Fellow of the Queens Institute for Nursing Scotland.
  • Dr Miles Weaver co-led Edinburgh Napier’s ‘Get on Board’ competency pathway – a CATE winner in 2020. He has research interests in Sustainability, Strategy and Supply Chain Management; particularly, the use of systems-based approaches for cross-sector collaboration to accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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