Ronald Elder

Professor Emeritus


Professor Ronald J Elder


Park Place  1973

Joined Dundee College of Education as a Maths Lecturer in 1973.  Dundee College of Education was linked to Dundee University at that time and was located in Park Place.

Gardyne Road   1976

In 1976 the College moved to the new building in Gardyne Rd. There were well over 1400 full time students on Primary, Secondary, Social Work & Community Education  courses at that time. In 1980 I became Director of Primary Education.

Northern College  1987

 I led the College into the formation of Northern College in 1987 which saw Dundee and Aberdeen Colleges merged into one entity. Appointed Head of Primary Development in Northern College.

The new College operated on the two Campuses and developed a strong in-service portfolio of courses throughout the North of Scotland  which meant many trips throughout Scotland including the Scottish Island Communities.

Throughout the 80’s my publications were mainly concerned with mathematics education. After taking a research degree at Stirling University I spent the next 20 years heavily involved in research into many aspects of teacher education. These ranged from “How children learned from computers” in 1979 to “Forms of Assessment in Teacher Education” in 1996

In 1993 I was awarded the Chair of Education and became Vice - Principal of Northern College in 1997.

 Mergers with the Universities of Dundee and Aberdeen  in 2000

2000 saw the merger of the Aberdeen Campus of Northern College with Aberdeen University and the Dundee Campus with the University of Dundee. These were interesting political and educational times and I was closely involved with both mergers. After the establishment of the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Dundee I became Dean of the Faculty and Depute - Principal of the University.

The University of Dundee  2000

During the next 4 years I continued my External Examining work and carried out  many Validation and Quality assurance  duties throughout the UK.

I convened the Scottish Teachers Education Committee, which, among other things, dealt with teacher supply numbers. I represented the Scottish Universities on the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

I enjoyed developing the New Faculty, promoting its research profile and took a key role in ensuring that the Dalhousie Building was funded and built.

From 2002  - 2015 I convened the George D Gray MBE Award Committee, which each year, selects the best education thesis from all the Scottish Universities.

I retired in 2004 to travel, play golf and run my Jazz Club


Education (Academic and Professional Qualifications):

1966               Diploma in Technical Education, Dundee College of Education

1967               PGCE(P), Dundee College of Education

1979               BA (Mathematics), Open University

1980               MEd (Research), Stirling University



Books and book chapters

ELDER, R. J. (1977) Puzzle Maths I and II, Macmillan

ELDER, R. J. (1987) Mathematics Matters, COPE

ELDER, R. J. (1990) Principles of Management,  SOED

ELDER, R.J. ADAMS F. & DIXON, J. (1996) Assessment in Initial Teacher Education: Herriot – Watt University, ( Edinburgh)

Academic journal papers (refereed)

ELDER, R. J., Introducing a Microcomputer in Primary School, Scottish Education Review, 1982

ELDER, R. J. (1984) Review of Primary Education in the Eighties, The English Teacher


Other journal papers (professional, non-refereed, etc)  

ELDER, R. J. (1992) Partnership in Education, TES


Contributions to professional literature (e.g. reports to external commissioning bodies)

ELDER, R. J. (1982) Microcomputers in Primary Education, Dundee College of Education (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J. (1985) The Use of a Microcomputer in the Development of Language Arts in Primary School, Dundee College of Education (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J. (1985) Guidelines for Teachers:  Ideas for Microcomputer Use, Dundee College of Education (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J.  et al (1987) The  Role of College and School in the Assessment of Primary School Teachers, Dundee College of Education (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J. (1992) AHT/DHT Management Course  - Reader.  Tayside Regional Council, Education Department

ELDER, R. J. and GILLIES, K. E. (1993) Managing Partnerships:  Schools and Parents Units 1, 2 & 3.  Northern College (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J. and KWIATKOWSKI, H. (1993) Partnership in Initial Teacher Education:  Research Report., Northern College (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J. and KWIATKOWSKI, H. (1993) Partnership in Initial Teacher Education:  Summary Report,  Northern College (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J. and KWIATKOWSKI, H. (1993)  Partnership in Initial Teacher Education   Appendices (Vol II).  Northern College (Dundee)

ELDER, R. J. (1993) Mentoring in Scottish Teacher Education, SOED (Edinburgh), 1993