Dr David Owen

Professor David Owen BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCE

Emeritus Professor


I am now Emeritus Professor of Education, and retired Sheffield Hallam in August 2023. Prior to this I was head of department in the Sheffield Institute of Education (SIoE) leading a team of over 110 full time academic staff. I worked as part of the SIoE and the College of Social Sciences and Arts leadership teams, to provide excellence in teaching and learning, external and professional engagement, and research and innovation in the broad fields of education, inclusion, teacher development, and a critical approach to the study of children and young people, and action on their behalf.


I taught in primary, secondary and residential environmental education settings before joining the University in 1994. I led the primary and early years programme for seven years before taking up the role of deputy head of department in 2011 and head of department in 2013. My PhD focused on curriculum development in geography and ICT. I was also part of a transnational team that researched professional development using e-learning, in UK and international contexts, and jointly led the Pedagogy and New Technologies Research Group. I have presented on both geographical education and e-learning at national and international conferences.

I have also played an active role in :

• Subject association networks – the Geographical Association and the Association for Information Technology in Teacher Education.

• National teacher education networks facilitated by UCET, the NCTL and the DfE.

I have supported knowledge transfer through:

• Organising partnership mentor training.

• Running geography teacher networks.

• Collaboratively developing a strategy to develop teacher networking and consultancy in the teacher education department.

• Engaging in school and college governance roles across the region.

I have held specific roles in journal editing teams to promote subject knowledge transfer and engagement with school-led teacher education. I have had substantial experience leading and participating in international teacher education projects. I also played a key role in the Euroland and Modicm European Socrates and Comenius projects. I led the Ecoschool project – an ITE project in which trainee teachers in Finland, Sweden, UK and Austria collaborated to investigate their local areas. In addition, I have advised primary schools on creating their own EU-funded networks. I have over ten years’ experience working on taught international masters level e-learning courses and have taught M-level students in Germany, England and Bonaire (Netherlands) using video conferencing, wiki creation, and a range of other e-learning applications. I was appointed head of department of the combined departments of Teacher Education and Education, Childhood and Inclusion (SIoE) in September 2019, and was appointed Professor of Education in July 2021. From September 2023 I have continued to contribute to education and teacher development in my Emeritus Professor role, and my role as a director and trustee.


Sheffield Institute of Education

College of Social Sciences and Arts



A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

Owen, D (2008) Digital Natives Primary Geography 67

(with Paul Dickinson) Presentation of Sheffield Hallam University response to SED section 12: Capacity to secure further improvements and/or sustain high quality outcomes. TDA SED feedback conference (2010), London

(with Tricia Young) From Partnership to Leadership: collaborative improvement of student teacher placements. 2010 UCET Annual Conference, Barceló Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire


I am able to quickly respond to requests focusing on teacher education, geography education and digital higher education.  I have contributed to The One Show, Radio Sheffield and The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) on a range of topical education issues. I tweet as @davidowenSIoE.

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