Since joining the University of Warwick in 2008, Dean has learned that teaching is more than delivering lectures and sharing information – it is about creating a motivating and inspiring environment that encourages the students to perform up to their potential. This is the kind of environment he aimed to create through various strategies and efforts as a tutor at Centre for Lifelong Learning. His philosophy is student and skill centred, facilitating and encouraging independent learning; 'the learner,' he states, 'is at the heart of my teaching philosophy. I focus on creating a challenging environment and providing the support necessary for students to prepare and overcome challenges.'
He completed the Postgraduate Award in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and since September 2014 has worked with the Centre for Lifelong Learning as a module tutor for the new module Foundations in Social Studies, with the Student Careers and Skills department as a tutor for Academic Writing and Critical Thinking, and also as a Coach for students completing the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award. He credits especially the support of Professor Sonia Blandford, Dr Mick Hammond, and Dr Will Curtis in his continued development.
Will Curits, CLL's Director of Undergraduate Studies, writes:
Dean is a whole-hearted and committed teacher who is well-liked and respected by the groups of students he teaches. Dean joined our teaching team last year, taking responsibility for the development and delivery of a new core module for ‘non-traditional’ students on our part-time and full-time BA Social Studies – Foundations in Social Studies. It has been a real challenge to develop a module that supports students with extremely wide-ranging educational skills and experiences. Dean has made an outstanding contribution. The module has proved a real success. Dean has managed to balance support and challenge – providing stimulation for the students who have wanted to explore in greater critical depth while also supporting the students who have needed to work at a slower pace. I have observed his classes and moderated presentations with him – he is an innovative and student-centred practitioner who facilitates a warm and thought-provoking learning environment. His classes are engaging, exploratory, participatory and discursive.