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OSL People

Professor Jonothan Neelands

Jonothan Neelands

Jonothan Neelands is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Investigator of the Open-space Learning project. He holds the Chair of Drama and Theatre Education in the Institute of Education, where he teaches graduate and research students and, since 2010, the Chair of Creative Education at Warwick Business School (WBS). He is the lead academic for the RSC/Warwck Centre for Teaching Shakespeare based at WBS. In addition to his academic profile he is an experienced trainer and workshop leader with a national and international reputation for delivering high quality professional training and development opportunities.

Research interests include the theory and practice of drama and theatre education, teaching artistry and the work of teaching artists; models of cultural and creative learning; the politics of cultural and education policy-making, teaching in urban settings, the sociology of educational disadvantage and the articulation of a pro-social pedagogy of dramatic practice.

He has a close working and research relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has developed and researched with them the RSC’s Masters and Post Graduate Teaching Certificate in Teaching Shakespeare and their impact on students. He also runs a Post Graduate Award for RSC Actors training to work in schools.  Jonothan also advises government on the identification and training of talented young performers.

Jonothan is the author of several texts for teachers and students, which have influenced the development of drama in recent years including Structuring Drama Work; Beginning Drama 11-14;  Drama and Theatre Studies at A/S and A level and Improving Your Primary School Through Drama. Peter O’Connor’s Creating Democratic Citizens through Drama Education: the writings of Jonothan Neelands  is published by Trentham.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Dr Robert O'Toole


Robert is a National Teaching Fellow (2008) and winner of the Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence. In his role as Learning & Teaching Technology Advisor at Warwick, he guides learning technology service development and adoption using a methodology that combines Open-space Learning, Design Thinking and service management approaches.

He has undertaken learning technology design experiments for the project, has run its Media Suite facility, provided training in digital film making, and has written the Handbook of Open-space Learning Technology, which introduces an OSL inspired "ecological" approach to learning technology (now used by IT Services at Warwick).

Robert is also researching the impact of participatory learning design approaches in HE. He completed his PhD in 2015.

He studied Philosophy at Warwick, followed by a Masters in Knowledge Based Systems (cognitive science, artificial intelligence, evolutionary epistemology) at Sussex, and is the author of "Contagium Vivum Philosophia: Schizophrenic Philosophy, Viral Empiricism and Deleuze" in Deleuze and Philosophy, Routledge, 1996. He is a PGCE qualified ICT teacher.

Thoughts on OSL: "As an ICT and design teacher I've always had to use learning spaces that seem over-constrained and immobile. The subject is typically taught in glorified computer labs, with rows of screens blocking socio-cognitive interaction. And yet we know that team work and rapid-prototyping (in simple media such as whiteboards) is the key to effectively learning the 'threshold' concepts that underpin successful mastery and use of ICT. The integration of OSL into ICT and design (and vice versa) will provide an ideal environment for my teaching."

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dr Nicholas Monk

Nick MonkNick Monk was Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Open-space learning project 2009-10, and is now Assistant Professor at IATL. He was the recipient of Warwick's 2008/9 Butterworth Award for Teaching Excellence.

His publications include a book on OSL on which he is lead author (Open-space Learning: a Transdisciplinary Pedagogy. Bloomsbury, 2011), and a co-authored piece on the use of performance to teach Chemistry in the October 2010 issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal, Chemistry Education Research and Practice. His other research interests include contemporary American fiction, and performance and performativity in native literatures. He is editor of a collection on interdisciplinary approaches to Cormac McCarthy (Routledge, July 2011), and has been commissioned to write a piece for the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Cormac McCarthy.

Before receiving his PhD from Warwick Nick studied at Rutgers University in the US where he received an MA in 2003. He has taught the practical version of "Shakespeare and Selected Dramatists of His Time" for finalists in the Department of English, also, "Literature in the Modern World" for first-years, and a module of his own design, "Drama, Performance, and Identity post-1955" for second-years and finalists. He runs workshops across the University faculties, for the Learning and Development Centre, and for the Graduate School Skills Programme.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Dr Barry Sheils


Barry was Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Open-space Learning project 2010-11 and continues to be a tutor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary studies. He completed a PhD on the influence of the European aesthetic tradition on the poetry of W.B. Yeats in June 2010 and has since held an Early Career Fellowship with the Institute of Advanced Study. He has helped devise specific OSL projects with Chemistry (‘Real World Chemistry’) Maths (‘How Does a Theorem Act?’) and a group of Early Career Researchers (‘Collaboration and Co-Authorship’) and has authored a general evaluation of the OSL project.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Jonathan Heron


Jonathan was Research Associate on the Open-space Learning Project 2009-11 and is now the IATL Teaching Fellow at Warwick University. He is also Artistic Director of Fail Better Productions. His research interests include Shakespeare and pedagogy, Beckett and performance, as well as drama education and applied performance. His recent work as a theatre practitioner includes revivals of Gogol’s Diary of a Madman (Underbelly Edinburgh) and Beckett’s Rough for Theatre II and Ohio Impromptu (Oxford Playhouse). At The CAPITAL Centre, he launched the digital project Re-Performing Performance (Shakespeare Archives in Teaching and Learning) and designed learning events with various departments including Chemistry and Philosophy.

His work for Fail Better has included a Pinter double-bill, A Kind of Alaska and Silence (RSC Summerhouse, Play in English Festival in Bratislava); two Sarah Kane revivals Crave (2002) and Phaedra's Love (2004), both at Underbelly Edinburgh; two devised projects in London, Echo and Narcissus (2003) and Diary of a Madman (‘Best Fringe Show of 2007’ Time Out); and three productions with their student ensemble, Garcia Lorca's Play without a Title (2008), The Persephone Project (2009) and Discords (2010). Jonathan was the winner of Warwick's 2009/10 Butterworth Award for Teaching Excellence.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Adam Cartwright

Adam has provided technical support for the Open-Space Learning project 2010-11. He is Technology Officer for the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Amy Clarke

Amy has provided clerical support to the Open-space Learning Project 2010-11. She is Office Manager at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, 29 July 2010