Prior to this role I was the Director of Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster with responsibility for overseeing strategic development and change in learning cultures and structures. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK and have worked in creative arts education in a variety of roles and organisations, across levels and subjects.
After working for several years as a photographer in industry and advertising, I studied photography as an art form, moved to London to continue my practice as an artist, and participated in exhibitions and taught photography across different levels, including higher and further education and in the community sector. The focus of my practice shifted from producing artworks to working with photography as a tool for engaging people in creative processes of self discovery and creative expression, and as a medium to develop new ways of seeing, thinking and collaborating through understanding connections within culture and society. This practice developed into researching art and design pedagogy, resulting in my doctoral thesis Learning Through Photography: Creativity As Concept And Process.
As an educator I draw on a range of creative arts experience working across diverse sectors. For example, in addition to the seventeen years I have taught in higher education, I have produced photographic sculptures with teenagers in a big tent in the centre of Birmingham, taught A-level students about the power of the photographic image, and worked with homeless people to explore their creativity through photography and story telling. Within higher education I have supervised degree level students in the production of final year projects, mentored colleagues studying for teaching qualifications and facilitated numerous workshops for course teams to develop course design and curricula.
My approach in creative arts education is underpinned by my educational research into the creative process, collaborative learning, interdisciplinarity, learning environments and the student as co-creator. I have been involved as a researcher in inspiring projects such as the ‘Innovators Grant 2015’ at the Node Centre in Berlin, and Broad Vision, an art/science programme that offered students across the University of Westminster a range of opportunities for art/science collaborative research and interdisciplinary learning. I have presented on all of these subjects at national and international events and published a number of outcomes in international journals and anthologies.
My involvement with educational institutions also includes working as an adviser and consultant. I have held numerous external examiner appointments, and have chaired and participated in a number of validations and institutional reviews, most recently for the Open University Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships.
If you would like to find out more about me, my involvement in education and related research and activities, please check out my website.