The first half of my career was spent in state-owned-enterprise in hotel, shipping, and manufacturing industries before participating in a management-buy-out of a railway engineering company, of which I became its Finance Director. After the earn-out period, I was invited to join De Montfort University and worked with a number of universities and private sector training organisations on a freelance basis before joining Sheffield University in 2010.
My qualifications are somewhat of an inversion of the norm. My industrial career was served by becoming a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) in 1983 and my first degree, BA Politics, was awarded in 1999, followed by an MSc International Business & Management (2004) and MEd Teaching & Learning in Higher Education (2017). I am also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. This life-long approach to learning has enabled me to adapt to new challenges, instilled in me a belief in education as a process, a desire to explore epistemology, and the perspective of a student in continually questioning praxis as a teacher.
I am a teacher, first and foremost. I'd like to think I practice student-centred learning, with an emphasis upon the process of engagement and the enduring outcome for the learner. I teach across ten postgraduate programmes and am the School's Dissertation Officer and this extensive engagement with students who are here for a year, about to embark on their career, makes prescient the need to prepare them for their futures. So, a hallmark of my teaching is the use of real-world scenarios and the development of their skill to adapt knowledge out of the classroom.
My extant interest is the pedagogy of the Chinese learner. Field research in East Asia in 2015 and the dissertation for the MEd with our University's School of Education have provided the foundation for subsequent work. The research has already resulted in study skills workshops for students adapting to the Sheffield academic culture and collegial seminars on teaching strategies. Papers are currently being presented at conference on the stereotyping of the Chinese learner and their experience of pedagogic transition with a view to publication.