Kate Lavender-Duncan

Kate’s expertise extends to field instruction and outdoor leadership, having previously served as a Field Instructor and Cave Leader at the Burren Outdoor Education Centre, where she guided Leaving Certificate geography students through immersive field trips, as well as led groups of all ages on adventures in Burren caves. Her strong connections with local farmers, landowners, and experts significantly enrich her educational programs, providing students with a multifaceted understanding of the Burren’s unique landscape.

In addition to her extensive teaching experience, Kate has contributed to academic research. She co-authored a paper titled “Lower Devonian spore assemblages from the Arbuthnott Group at Canterland Den in the Midland Valley of Scotland,” published in 2002 in the Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. Currently, she is submitting an MLitt thesis in August titled “Human-Landscape Interactions in Doolin, County Clare,” focusing on prehistoric activity in the Doolin area, aiming to create accessible narratives for local schools, communities and visiting tourists.

Kate’s qualifications include an MSc in Palynology from Sheffield University, a BSc in Geology from Aberdeen University, a PGCE in Secondary Geography from St Martin’s College, and a Diploma in Archaeology from the University of Galway, underscoring her strong academic foundation and commitment to interdisciplinary teaching methods. Her personal interests in the Burren are diverse, encompassing its natural and cultural heritage.

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is rooted in a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes the integration of various fields of study to create a holistic understanding of the Burren’s landscape. I believe in engaging students through diverse teaching methods tailored to different learning styles, ensuring that each student can connect with the material in a meaningful way. I value the importance of hands-on, experiential learning, often taking my students into the field to directly observe and interact with the environment. My approach is community-focused, fostering strong connections between students and local experts, farmers, and landowners to enhance the educational experience. My commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, aiming to inspire positive action and a deep appreciation for the cultural and natural heritage of the Burren.