I have undertaken a number of roles at the University of Sunderland in the Faculty of Education and Society firstly, as a Senior Lecturer in Education, and later as a Principal Lecturer and Team Leader. Prior to working at the University, I spent many years teaching in schools and colleges across the UK including teaching in London.
As a Team leader, until 2017, I managed the Secondary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and taught on the PGCE (with QTS) and Master's programmes. I now support the work of the School of Education as an Academic Tutor on Master's modules and as a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) for PGCE (IDL). It is very interesting to engage with and support teachers in many countries across the world on such a dynamic programme and to discuss and debate teaching and learning in an international context.
Teaching and supervision
I also teach the module 'Developing Reflective Practice in Teaching' for teachers at the beginning of their careers.
Research interests for potential research students
I am interested in the professional development of teachers and, in particular, how experienced school teachers in their role as mentors, manage the process of developing the beginning teacher during the PGCE training year.
I presented an impact case study as part of a conference presentation at Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET) in 2017. This looked at the impact of mentor training on secondary schools in the region as part of the NCTL National Standards for school-based initial teacher training the University provided this year.
I am also currently leading a paired placement research project at the University as Head of Secondary ITE and supported by Dr Lynne McKenna, Head of the School of Education and Head of Faculty Research with our partnership schools, mentors and trainees as co-researchers. The results of this research project will be disseminated at an event later in the academic year and the project design and research approach will be disseminated at the UCET Annual Conference in 2018.
Many teachers remember their own first year of teaching and will agree that being a newly qualified teacher, the journey through the early years of teaching is a unique experience. It is a period of time when access to high-quality support structures can make the difference between success and failure and this is an area of great interest to me.