Dr Jacqueline Watson
Honorary University Fellow


My primary research interest is spirituality in education, including connections between spirituality and Religious Education (RE), and the inclusion of Humanism in RE in the UK. I retired in 2014 and I am putting my academic interest in spirituality into practice as a Humanist Celebrant and a Humanist member of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital chaplaincy team.

Until recently, I was Managing Editor of the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality and continue to be on the editorial board. I am a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Children’s Spirituality as well as a member of the British Association for the Study of Spirituality.

From 2014 - 2015 I was a member of the AHRC funded Network Collective Worship in Schools: An Evaluation of Law and Policy in the UK, headed by Peter Cumper, University of Leicester, Public Law/Minority Rights and Dr Alison Mawhinney, Bangor University, Human Rights Law/Devolution.

My interest in spirituality in education began over 25 years ago when I was privileged to be taught by Jack Priestley and Terence Copley during my PGCE at the University of Exeter. I was awarded an MEd and a PhD at the University of East Anglia, and my research enabled me to explore understandings of spirituality in adults’ and young people’s lives, and to examine definitions of spirituality in education among educationalists and policy makers.  From 2012-2014, I was Director of the Centre for Spirituality and Religion in Education at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

From 2010-2014 I was lecturer in educational research in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning (EDU) at UEA, where I was Course Director of the BA Education - including module leader for Spirituality, Education and the Child and History and Philosophy of Education - and supported teaching and supervision on several additional programmes including the EdD, PhD and Masters programmes.  I was also Chair of the EDU Research Ethics Committee and EDU Senior Adviser.  I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  From 2011 – 2014, I was a co-opted Humanist member of the Norfolk Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.



BA (Hons Philosophy), PGCE, MEd, PhD


Research group links

Contact details


Back | Top of page | Edit Profile | Refresh page