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Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson

Arlene Holmes-HendersonAHRC Research Fellow in Classics Education

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Address Department of Classics
King's College London  
B11, North Wing 
Strand London WC2R 2LS




After studying Classics at Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge, Arlene qualified as a teacher. She taught for more than a decade in a range of schools in the UK and internationally, leading departments and assuming school-wide responsibilities. She holds a doctorate in Classics education and is a specialist in educational research, policy and practice.

At King’s she works with Professor Edith Hall to (1) research the role of Classical Civilisation and Ancient History in UK curricula and, (2) to raise the profile and status of these subjects as viable options for study in UK schools.

In addition to her role at King’s, she is a member of the Classics Faculty in Oxford where she leads the Classics in Communities project which seeks to understand what impact the learning of Latin has on children’s cognitive development.

Arlene has been the recipient of numerous prestigious international awards including a Fulbright scholarship, an Erskine Fellowship, a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship and she received a ‘Teaching Star’ award from the Institute of International Education in New York. She collaborates with international colleagues on a number of education projects in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Arlene has an extensive list of publications in the areas of pedagogy, curriculum policy and international education. She regularly provides training for teachers in the UK and around the world.

Selected publications

Holmes-Henderson, A. (2016) ‘Growing Greek in Schools: from gorillas to talking vases’, ARGO, 4, 16-17

Mitropoulos, A. and Holmes-Henderson, A. (2016) ‘A celebration of Greek language and culture education in the UK’, Journal of Classics Teaching, 17, 34, 55-57

Holmes-Henderson, A. (2016) ‘Teaching Latin and Greek in primary classrooms: the Classics in Communities Project’, Journal of Classics Teaching, 17, 33, 50-53

Holmes-Henderson, A. (2016) Responsible citizenship and critical skills in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: the contribution of Classical rhetoric to democratic deliberation’in Carr, P., Thomas, P., Porfilio, B., and Gorlewski, J. (eds.) Democracy and decency: what does education have to do with it?, Information Age Publishers,

In press

Holmes-Henderson, A. (forthcoming) ‘Classical subjects in schools: a comparative study of New Zealand and the United Kingdom‘ in Tatum, J. and Perris, S. (eds.) Athens to Aotearoa: Greece and Rome in New Zealand Literature and Society, Victoria University Wellington Press

In preparation

Holmes-Henderson, A., Hunt, S. and Musié, M. (forthcoming) Forward with Classics: Classical languages in schools and communities, Bloomsbury Academic Press (under contract)

Expertise and public engagement

Arlene provides expert advice to a number of curriculum and assessment organisations around the world including the International Baccalaureate, OCR, Cambridge International Examinations, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the Australian Curriculum and Qualifications Authority.

Arlene shares her knowledge and experience with various organisations; as a council member of the British Curriculum Forum, as a member of the US-UK Fulbright Commission Alumni Advisory Council, on the Association for Language Learning's 'Language Futures' steering group, as a board member of the Latin Programme and as a board member of the Capital Classics project. 

She is frequently invited to discuss her research findings with a range of stakeholders including teachers, policy makers and politicians.

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