"I started my working life as a secondary school teacher in London – I had always enjoyed working with children and I entered the profession very committed to making a difference to the lives of the young people in my classes.
It takes a while to become confident and creative enough to move from surviving each day to genuinely being a support to young people as they explore possibilities and come to see their time in school as worthwhile. Certainly I have come to believe that teaching (if approached whole-heartedly) requires a kind of intense energy that can simultaneously be both invigorating and draining.
Working full time, bringing up a young family and renovating a house whilst studying for my MA and then my PhD was, I think, one of the most challenging periods of my professional life. I take my hat off to our postgraduate students who make the same journey in probably even more demanding situations. I discovered, however, that studying whilst working offers us the opportunity to reflect on practice and improve our craft. Importantly it also refreshes our sense of what is of value in what we do - and I think that grounding process creates its own energy that feeds back into life.
About our courses
The MA Education is a large modular programme where participants can either choose a broad curriculum or can pursue a specialism such as: the Autistic Spectrum, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Early Years, Leadership & Management, Special Educational Needs (SEN), Autistic Spectrum, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
I am proud that we have designed such a flexible programme that meets the diverse needs of educators working in different professional contexts. I am really proud also of the commitment and professionalism of the team I work with.
As I teach on the Research Methodology core module, I meet most of the 400 or so students that are on our different pathways. I also have responsibility for the full time MA group and I especially enjoy the interaction with students in that group from all over the world.
In my current research I am looking at the use of critical thinking both to raise academic standards and to promote social and emotional competence. I am particularly interested in the cultural differences that the critical thinking programme helps us to explore in our community of enquiry.
One of the high points of my career has been the opportunity to travel to teach (and learn from) people from a number of different countries."