After a 20-year career in light engineering and occupational safety management, I completed a part-time BA (Honours) in English Literature with the Open University, finishing in 2009. In 2010 I began a career in teaching English at a Further Education College where I completed my teacher training in 2012 and was presented with the ‘Excellence in Skills’ award for top trainee and innovation in observed lessons. In 2013 I took over the running of the department where, with a team of eight teachers, I ran the GCSE English and Access to HE provision, and at this time I also started an MA in Shakespeare and Education at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. When I finished this in 2016 I took on the additional responsibility for the college’s English Literature degree provision. In 2017, I became a Fellow of the Society of Education and Training, which recognised my insight into teaching in the further education profession. I started my PhD in 2018 and became a full-time student in 2020 although I have continued to teach on the National Tutoring Programme and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant here at Warwick. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
The working title of my thesis is: Lessons from Shakespeare: examining early modern pedagogy as "pattern, precedent and lively warrant" for modern tertiary education.
Using Shakespeare’s early schooling (of which, in reality, we know very little) I am examining why his schooling, rife with rote and repetition, resulted in such a creative outcome - his writing, his ability to think critically and his resounding success in the world of work. Today’s learner, in contrast, benefits from student-centred pedagogic approaches, a creative curriculum, free education until the age of 18 and opportunities for work experience, however the Learning and Work Institute claim there is a massive skills gap in the UK. With these advantages, why is it that young people are unprepared for employment? My experience as a FE practitioner has given me insight into the way current educational policy can work to the detriment of marginalised students. My research examines past and present educational theory to ask whether young people are being alienated by the very system that claims to be inclusive in preparing them for the world of work.
My supervisor is Professor Carol Chillington Rutter.
Newcastle Civic Centre, The English Association, ‘Shared Futures’ – The Problem with Will. 7 July 2017
University of Warwick, ‘Early Modern Teaching Symposium’ – Keeping Shakespeare in a Job. 4 May 2019
Guildford School of Acting and Drama, ‘Applying Shakespeare’ – Be More Bard. 21 June 2019
Mslexia – ‘A Life in Numbers’ (short story)
Nene Valley Living – Various Articles (journalism)
Birmingham University Special Issue ‘Writing Back to Shakespeare’ - Rutland’s Reeve (sonnet)
British Shakespeare Association Teaching Special Issue - Keeping Shakespeare in a Job https://www.britishshakespeare.ws/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/TeachingShakespeare19_AW_WEB_1.pdf
University of Warwick Journal PGR Pedagogic Practice Pilot Issue - Filling the Void: A Reflection Journal of PGR Pedagogic Practice