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Dr Kate Noble

Senior Research Associate: Museum Learning and Participation

Kate is the strategic lead on research relating to learning and participation and co-lead of the Museums Participation, Practice and Co-creation Research Community. She has a particular interest in collaborative action research and its’ potential to stimulate change within the university museum. Current projects include Connections Through Collections and a programme of Early Childhood research which investigate how people experience museums and collections to inform more participatory and inclusive programming and displays. 

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 has contributed chapters to books on children's visual literacy and participatory, creative research methodologies and worked as a researcher for Tate's Young Cultural Creators Project. Kate has led learning research and evaluation projects on behalf of the University of Cambridge Museums and The National Gallery including the AHRC follow-on funded Practical Evaluation Project. She is a member of the All -Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education research group and was co-author on the Art Now Inquiry. Kate was runner-up in the Early Career Researcher Category of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Research Impact and Engagement at the University of Cambridge and member of a team of researchers who won the 2020 BERA Anna Craft Creativities in Education Prize.



Wallis, N. & Noble, K. (2023) The slow museum: the affordances of a university art museum as a nurturing and caring space for young children and their families, Museum Management and Curatorship, DOI: 10.1080/09647775.2023.2269145

Wallis, N. and Noble, K. (2022) Leave only footprints: how children communicate a sense of ownership and belonging in an art gallery, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal

Noble, K (2021) Challenges and Opportunities: Creative Approaches to Museum and Gallery Learning during the Pandemic, Conference Edition,  International Journal of Art and Design Education

Noble, K (2021) “Getting hands on with other creative minds”: Establishing a community of practice around primary art and design in the art museum’, International Journal of Art and Design Education, 40(3), p. 615- 629.

Noble, K. and Wallis, N. (2021), "It's our museum too: co-producing research in a university museum through a nursery residency programme"Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Editorial with Nicola Wallis and Lawrence Bradbury in Museum and Gallery Learning in the Early Years, Special Issue, in GEM Journal 40, Group for Education in Museums (2020) pp3-7

'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

‘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

Contributions to edited books and volumes

Arizpe, E. Noble, K. Styles, M. (2023) Children Reading Pictures: New Contexts and Approaches to Picturebooks; 3rd Edition; Routledge (including new chapters on visual literacy in informal contexts such as museums and galleries)

Noble, K (2022) Enacting Change through Rebellious Research in the University Art Museum chapter in Burnard, P. Mackinlay, E. Rousell, D. & Dragovic, T. Doing Rebellious Research in and Beyond the Academy; BRILL

Noble, K., Wallis, N., et al. 'Leaving Room for Learning: University of Cambridge Museums Nursery in Residence' chapter in Hackett, A., Holmes, R. & MacRae, C., Working with young children in museums; weaving theory and practice, (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 2016), pp99-120

‘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

'Beyond the Text: metafictive picturebooks and sophisticated readers' chapter in Teaching Through Texts, ed. Morag Styles and Holly Anderson, (Routledge, 2000)

Research and Evaluation Reports

Broadhead, S., Gilliam, M., Leach, S., Noble, K., Thompson, P. (2023) Art Now: An Inquiry into the state of Art and Design Teaching in Early Years Foundation Stage, Primary and Secondary Education, All Party Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design Education

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 ConsultationResearch 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

Look Think Do with Rosanna Evans and Holly Morrison (The Fitzwilliam Museum 2020-2021)

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 Rosanna Evans and Holly Morrison (University of Cambridge Museums, 16.9.20)

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)

British Educational Research Association (

National Society for Education in Art and Design (

AHRC Peer Review College 

Associated Research Projects

Associated Exhibitions

Associated Departments

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