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Dr Kate Noble

Senior Research Associate: Museum Learning

Kate is the strategic lead on research relating to learning and engagement practice at the Fitzwilliam Museum. She has a particular interest in action research and its’ potential to stimulate change and improve practice. Kate also leads a teacher training programme which encourages creative teaching and learning using objects and images and works with teachers and school groups to help them to make the most out of their visit to the museum.


Kate holds a PhD in the Development of Visual Literacy in Young Children, and a BEd in Art and Early Years Education, both from the University of Cambridge. She is a member of the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), Affiliate of the Chartered College of Teaching and is East Area rep for engage, the advcoacy organisation for gallery education. She has contributed chapters to books on multi-modal literacy in children and worked as a researcher for Tate's Young Cultural Creators Project. More recently she has led learning research and evaluation projects on behalf of the University of Cambridge Museums and the National Gallery. She was part of a team who won the Anna Craft Creatvities In Education Prize 2020 for their abstract 'From 'What does a gallery mean?' to 'Art galleries, I love them!': Children's views of 'culture' introduced into their primary curriculum.' 


Research Interests

Visual literacy, multimodality, creativity, drawing, making, play, metacognition, art and design education, school and museum partnerships, digital technology and learning, teacher training and CPD, teacher and pupil well-being           


Recent/Major Publications


'Making the Most of Museums: The Case for Learning Through Objects' in Impact, Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching (Online Edition) September 2019

‘Picture Thinking: The Development of Visual Literacy in Young Children’, in Engage 38 Special Issue on Visual Literacy, December, 2016; pp40-51

Contributions to catalogues, collected essays and conference volumes

Editorial with Nicola Wallis and Lawrence Bradbury in Museum and Gallery Learning in the Early Years, Special Issue, Journal for Education in Museums (2020)

'Leaving Room for Learning: University of Cambridge Museums Nursery in Residence' chapter with Nicola Wallis in Working with young children in museums; weaving theory and practiceHackett, Abigail, Holmes, Rachael & MacRae, Christina, (Routledge, 2020)  

Thinking aloud: Looking at children drawing in responose to picturebooks in Children Reading Pictures: Interpreting Visual Texts, Evelyn Arizpe and Morag Styles, (2nd edition, Routledge 2015), pp99-120

‘Investing in Teachers of the Future through Initial Teacher Training’ GEM conference presentation and publication with Philip Stephenson in GEM Journal 25, Group for Education in Museums (2014) pp10-12

‘Thinking in Action: analysing children’s responses to multimodal picturebooks’ chapter with Morag Styles in Talking beyond the Page ed. Janet Evans, (Routledge 2009) pp118-133

‘Picturebooks and the Development of Visual Literacy’ chapter in What do you see? International Perspectives on Children’s Literature, ed. Jennifer Harding and Pat Pinsent (2008) pp153-164

Research and Evaluation Reports

Inspire Project Report (The Fitzwilliam Museum, 2020)

Digital Maker Residency End of Project Report with Ina Pruegel, (University of Cambridge Museums, 2018)

UCM Nursery in Residence End of Project Report with Nicola Wallis (University of Cambridge Museums, 2018)

UCM Digital Schools Consultation, Research Report’ with Sarah Jane Harknett and Naomi Chapman, (University of Cambridge Museums 2015) 

‘Thresholds: Poets in Residence Evaluation Report’, Unpublished Report, (University of Cambridge Museums, 2013)

Teaching Resources

Looking at Collections: A How to Guide for Researchers with Lucy Shipp and Ina Pruegel (UCM 2018)

Harrison Moore, A and Noble, K, Extended Project: Using Museums and Galleries, (OCR Teacher Notes 2017)

‘The Quest for the Pharoah’s Sarcophagus’, Science, Art and History interactive game created with Frances Sword, Helen Strudwick, Philip Stevenson and Mark Wingfield (The Fitzwilliam Museum, 2016)

‘Big Draw on Tour Sourcebook’ with Pam Smy, Anna Betts and Jenny Duke (University of Cambridge Museums, 2012)

Selected Case Studies and Blog Posts

Look Think Do with Holly Morrison and Rosanna Evans, (University of Cambridge Museums, 16.09.20)

Inspire: A celebration of children's art with Holly Morrison and Sarah Villis (University of Cambridge Museums, 13.1.20)

Practical Evaluation (University of Cambridge Museums, 9.9.10)

More sessions please! Planning enrichment sessions for teachers (University of Cambridge Museums, 9.04.19)

Learning to teach in the museum  with Nicola Wallis (University of Cambridge Museums, 26.11.18)

Creativity and Experimentation: Digital making with Ina Pruegel (University of Cambridge Museums, 19.10.18)

‘The Twins’: Creating a resource for research with Lucy Shipp (Understanding British Portraits Professional Network, 2018)

Reflecting on the Findings of the UCM Nursery in Residence Project with Nicola Wallis, Felicity Plent and Bronwen Richards (University of Cambridge Museums, 27.08.18)

Valuing the Visual: Reflections on the role of museums in supporting children and young people’s creativity and visual literacy.’ (University of Cambridge Museums Blog Post, 1.9.17)

Teacher Training Session with Access Art

What do teachers Want from a Digital Museum Resource? with Sarah-Jane Harknett and Naomi Chapman (University of Cambridge Museums Blog Post, 9.3.17)

‘Managing a school trip across eight museums’ in GEM Case Studies Vol.14 (2015)

‘Evaluating the Thresholds Poetry Residency’ Working with Writers Case Study, Museum Practice 16.06, Museum Association Website (2014)