I am a senior lecturer with over 20 years’ experience. I am a registered nurse (adult nursing) and specialist community nurse (district nursing). Learning and teaching have always been central to my professional career, a career that has evolved into one whose aim is to help practitioners to maximise their learning in order to develop personally as well as professionally. I am currently undertaking an Educational Doctorate at the School of Education, University of Birmingham.
I am a Learning and Teaching Catalyst for the Institute of Health. This is a newly established role created to support the development, enhancement and quality of learning and teaching across the Institute and Faculty. As a catalyst I work alongside colleagues to support pedagogical advancement in relation to learning, teaching, assessment, feedback and feed forward. Promotion of excellence in learning and teaching is fundamental to my role in aiming to enhance the quality of student learning and in maximising opportunities for staff development within the Institute. Within my role as catalyst I have recently instigated a new initiative: a Community of Practice (CoP) for newly appointed lecturers. The CoP enables those who are new to teaching or new to the Faculty to come together in an informal but structured environment to share common experiences in a forum that is collegiate and developmental where pedagogic practice can be explored. The CoP is an excellent environment in which to network.
I am course lead to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved Post Graduate Certificate in Education for Health Social Care and Allied Professionals. I have successfully led two conjoint revalidations of this course since its initial development. The course prepares experienced health and allied professionals for professional teaching practice within the higher education or professional practice setting where teaching is fundamental to their role.
My role within the Institute of Education has also included working with graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and other post compulsory PGCE students.
I am currently undertaking doctoral studies at the University of Birmingham. The focus of my research is enquiry based learning. My current research interests focus upon adult learning and in particular enquiry based learning (EBL) as a transformational pedagogy. EBL is an emerging pedagogy that is gaining increasing popularity in higher education. My current research focuses on how EBL is situated within the current context of post graduate provision and continuing professional development (CPD) where there is a general understanding that learners should aim to be independent and self-directed. As such there is now a greater emphasis on enhancing the quality of the learning experience with students increasingly viewed as active participants in the learning process. EBL is reported to foster independence, self-direction, creativity and problem solving; qualities that are correspondent with postgraduate requirements. At the onset of my studies I was reliably informed that a doctorate requires a lot of reading and accordingly I seem to have done a lot of that. But of one thing I can be certain, the more I read the less I know. However, I take comfort from the American playwright James Thurber who once said “it is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers”. I am a member of the Institute of Education Readers and Writers Research Cluster Group and have written a chapter in a forthcoming book published by Routledge entitled Identity and Autonomy in Lifelong Education.