Give me something to Blog about

grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change
courage to change the things I can
wisdom to know the difference

It has been been just over a year since my last blog and somehow the blogsphere and the twitterverse did not collapse in on itself.

Its the summer break, a time to once again regrouop, reflect and maybe, even, reblog.

My last blog, which not ironically starts with the sentence ” when I decided to restart the blog” shows I have form, an unsuccessful history in trying to maintain a regular blog.

Looking at the ‘must read’ section of the TES F.E pages  shows that things don’t seem to have moved on an awful lot. So I can do a continuation of that blog. Arguing from a certain perspective, being student rather than employer focused.

so One Year Later.

(As of 21st July, the top 10 most read stories. pop pickers)

10; Ofsted: Wilshaw slams ‘alarming rate of underperformance and failure’ in colleges
9; Gordon Marsden: funding cuts have reduced colleges’ capacity to deliver HE
8; Employer contact ‘most useful’ form of careers advice, say nine in 10 students
7; Amanda Spielman confirmed as new Ofsted chief inspector despite MPs’ concerns
6; A third of businesses plan to cut non-apprenticeship training because of levy, poll suggests
5; Robert Halfon named as new apprentices and skills minister
4; Successive governments’ policies have ‘failed’ FE, claims former skills minister
3; Qualifications cull could kill off awarding bodies
2; Sainsbury review: what changes are on the way for post-16 education?
1; Ofstedwatch: the latest Ofsted reports for FE and skills

The focus, if you can call it, of the last blog is about the lack of focus on pre-level 3 courses. So let’s have a look through these 10 stories and see if, one year later, pre-level 3 student focus has improved at all…

10; Ofsted: Wilshaw slams ‘alarming rate of underperformance and failure’ in colleges
“an alarming rate of underperformance and failure, especially when we remember that the majority of 16- to 19-year-olds are educated in the FE sector. Right across the country, we find colleges that simply aren’t delivering what’s needed. In too many cases, inspectors are coming across weak provision, characterised by poor outcomes for learners and apprentices, high drop-out rates and sub-standard work experience placements that fail to develop students’ industry-specific skills.”
“…packing their curriculum with low-quality courses that fail to match the skills gaps in the local and national labour market,”

So it’s Wilshaw’s view of F.E, and his ability to improve morale in the sector hasn’t changed. “Colleges simply aren’t delivering what’s needed” and the only thing that’s needed is preparing for jobs that existed yesterday and completing maths and English education not achieved in schools. apparently.

9; Gordon Marsden: funding cuts have reduced colleges’ capacity to deliver HE
‘The shadow minister says cuts to Esol and adult skills have adversely affected FE provision. 
The government has “reduced the capacity” of FE colleges to participate…’

Excellent point, well said that Shadow Minister man. this covers the issue’s I want to look at.

‘… in higher education.

Balls. Of course. it’s all about delivering H.E in F.E. Post level 3 courses. Sigh. Next.

8; Employer contact ‘most useful’ form of careers advice, say nine in 10 students
‘A survey of almost 2,000 students concludes that information from employers and work experience were the ‘most useful’ sources of careers advice’

Well I’m glad the survey was done to tell me that. (he said snarkily) out of interest what were the least useful? Non-employers and time-off presumeably.

7; Amanda Spielman confirmed as new Ofsted chief inspector despite MPs’ concerns
‘Amanda Spielman has been approved by the Privy Council to become Ofsted’s next chief inspector’

congratulations, best of luck to her.

‘– despite MPs raising concerns about her lack of awareness of the FE sector.”

Of course she has a lack of awareness about FE. why wouldn’t she.

6; A third of businesses plan to cut non-apprenticeship training because of levy, poll suggests
“Getting the skills and education system right across the country, particularly in partnership with the devolved nations, will be a big challenge ahead for the new secretary of state.”

And at this point, I remain positive and open minded, that the new Education Secretary will have a focus on Learner centered and pre-level 3 education in F.E. Next!

5; Robert Halfon named as new apprentices and skills minister
‘Mr Halfon…   In 2010 he became the first politician to hire an apprentice, and he helped to create the Parliamentary Academy…
asks MPs to pay their apprentices the national minimum wage’

Which, it would be churlish not to admit, is a great thing. *Mini clap*

‘In 2011, Mr Halfon voted in favour of scrapping the education maintenance allowance. He also voted in favour of raising university tuition fees.’

Of course he did. NEXT!

4; Successive governments’ policies have ‘failed’ FE, claims former skills minister
‘John Denham calls for the creation of an ‘academic and policy council’ to inform FE and skills policy’

Interesting, tell me more.

‘successive governments have “not delivered a consistent approach to policy or implementation” to get employer-supported higher-level qualifications to become a major part of the skills system.’

(breathes) not learner supported, either, to be fair.

3; Qualifications cull could kill off awarding bodies
‘Switching to single versions may put small, specialist organisations out of business ‘
“The resources you have to put into bidding for, let alone winning, a government contract are just phenomenal.”
‘Federation of Awarding Bodies’ 130 members would be affected by the changes, according to chief executive Stephen Wright.’
“If you boil down vocational and technical education into 15 areas, they’re going to be so enormously broad that they’ll have the same problem that we’ve had with the 14-19 diploma: the standards are such a compromise that employers don’t really value them.”

But do LEARNERS value them?!?

2; Sainsbury review: what changes are on the way for post-16 education?

This actually really newads to be looked at in it’s own right.
I might actually do that…

1; Ofstedwatch: the latest Ofsted reports for FE and skills

Is a sobering read.

Be Seeing You. May be.


Reviewing “Reviewing post-16 Education and Training Institutions” by HM Government

When I decided to re-start the blog, I didn’t expect BIS to release a document entitled “Reviewing post-16 Education and Training Institutions” and I didn’t expect to write about it. Hardly a soft blog to relaunch. I’ve read it and I have some queries which I don’t expect to be answered here, but will keep them fresh in my mind as more information becomes available.

Disclosure: I didn’t vote for this Government, nor do I agree with their policies.

Focus: My teaching practice is focused on 15-19 Level 1 learners in a Creative and Visual Arts environment.

As i tweeted (@drkeevil) earlier I can’t read lines like “removing 6,000 low-value qualifications from performance tables and public funding.” without thinking about this interview with Stewart Lee;

In the introduction the document states that critical to achieving their objectives:
– “progress to high level skills valued by employers
– “responsiveness to local employer needs and economic priorities”

This doesn’t seem particularly student focused. Focusing on what employers what now, based on what customers wanted yesterday doesn’t prepare anybody for tomorrow. I don’t mean to be glib.

The intro goes on to discuss a new network of prestigious institutes delivering high standard provision at levels 3-5. So Level 1, where does this fit in?

Section 2 looks at ‘A national programme of area-based reviews’ and it suggest threading a fine needle. That post 16-reform is necessary, and i don’t disagree. They expect it to;
“enable greater specialisation”
“create genuine centres of expertise”
“teaching basic skills”
“maintaining broad universal access”

whilst meeting the employer needs mentioned early.

Section three mentions area based reviews which does at least mention

“access to appropriate good quality provision within reasonable travel distances, particularly for 16-19 year olds and students with special educational needs and disabilities” So here the focus is on goiod quality not great, and a decision on what is ‘reasonable’ in terms of travel distances.

The document finishes by saying;
‘Governing bodies will be responsible for deciding whether to accept recommendations relating to their institutions.” Yet no clear mention is made about what if they aren’t!?

It does go on to say;
‘It is important that college governors give careful weight to the long term stability of their institution’
‘To duty under chairty law to comply with legal obligations’
‘We expect institutions to take the right action, in light of the findings of a review, to ensure that they are resilient and able to respond to future funding priorities.’

Which only reminds me of the difficulties and battles many a primary school has had, and often lost, to avoid becoming an Academy. I wonder if people if people would fight with the some passion to protect an F.E college.
And I prepare myself to work for the newly formed ‘Kent College’ in 2017-18.

Be seeing you.

Is Gordon Ramsey the Answer?

In response to Vic Goddard’s Piece in the TES, July 25th 2014.
In which he applied Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares to schools, and I now look to apply it to my F.E class room.

Goddard discusses the menu, often muddled and irrelevant, as is the curriculum. The need to look at the number of classes and rationalise them. Teaching whats right for students, not for staff.
We changed the Level 1 curriculum last year and it certainly was an over populated menu. Developed according to what I thought the customer needed and finalised dependent on what staff were available.

Vic Goddard talks about Ramsey’s willingness to turn the dishwasher in the matre‘d. It is important to get the right people. Developing skills, making sure they are used effectively. Empowering people, asking questions about what they do, helping staff gain confidence.
Developing a team has proved a difficult and elusive task. Transient staff, misconceptions/ assumptions about Level 1 learners and funding cuts have caused an unsettled environment. Putting it politely.

Goddard mentions Ramsey’s listening to customers, and not just though what would be student voice or parents, but going out and meeting those who choose to go elsewhere. And finally there is talk of decluttering and ensuring the space is bright and clean.

The curriculum for the 2014 academic year has been simplified and refocused mostly through an understanding of what you can do with a Level 1 programme of Study. Ensuring that the course is relevant to the learners, unique to the college and achievable in the current climate of resourcing budgets.
The timetable has been reduced, which I am not happy about and seemingly powerless to address. Though it does an allocate an hour to online learning in preparation for the FELTAG report. Other changes caused by staffing have been made and I have attempted to adapt as best as I can to scheme a coherent programme.
The scheme of work has been developed to make student voice an integral part, as has my schedule to ensure more opportunities for discussion with parents. To ensure that the programme of study is not muddled and the curriculum is communicated coherently.
I remain perpetually powerless and frustrated over staffing. And thats all there is to say about that.
After a number of years of requesting, I have finally been given a Level 1 base room. A job has been put in to get it cleaned, a paint job and extra white/notice boards. To ensure that information is clearly displayed and student work can be prominent.

The important thing to remember about kitchen nightmares, is that Ramsey revisits. This isn’t a one-off, its important to maintain and continually review.
Prepare for when somebody wants to order off the menu.

eduBlogger Learner

Why blog?
For me it’s about accepting that I am trying to build credibility as an expert in something.
In this case being a Teacher/ Learner

(note I’m writing this on an iPad, using the WordPress app, this will either result in me marvelling at the godsend and only blogging using the app, or hating it and never using it again. There is no middle ground)


#followfriday: @sjbatch



You shouldn’t necessarily follow Stephen Batchelor because of his Twitter account as it is, but rather what it could be, if encouraged.

As a Teacher/Learner he was my first Boss and I find him insightful, often funny and rarely dull. ‘The Batch’ is the Director of H.E at MidKent College and the nearest I’ve had to a mentor in F.E. Whether he wanted to be or not. I wouldn’t have my teaching qualification without him. Thank you good sir.

Essentially, when they come for me, and they will, I can say it was his fault.

The author of Dummy books and occasional blogs, about History, go say hi and tell him I sent you.


As a Bonus; from the archive…



Essay: Reflective Practice and Professionalism

From the Archive. 

This is my Module 4 assignment for my Dtlls qualification. Its over 2000 words long, so I understand if you don’t read it all.

Afterwards you’ll see the feedback I received.

Your comments also welcome.

Be Seeing You


Reflect on your status as a professional in the Lifelong Learning Sector and how you manage your professional roles and responsibilities. Show how you have used theories of Reflective Practice to identify a specific area for development in your subject specialist teaching. Based on your own research into the subject specialism, design a new activity/ session that will engage and challenge your learners. Implement this activity/session with one group of learners and then evaluate its success and limitations.


In this essay I will provide a definition for what Reflection is and an understanding of the concept of both professionalism and dual professionalism. I will reflect on my own reflection process and my roles and responsibilities as a professional in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Finally I will evaluate three models of reflective practice and use those models to develop a part of my subject specialist teaching.
When discussing how reflective practice can be used to inform Continuous Personal Development (CPD), changes to subject teaching or to create a sense of professionalism, it is important to first have a useable definition of what reflective practice is; the etymology of reflection comes from the Latin reflectere which means,
‘to bend back’, meaning a remark made after turning back one’s thought on the subject, and dates from the 17th Century.
Available: Last accessed 25th Nov 2012.
or to use the lyrics of Michael Jackson;
‘If you want to make the world, a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change.’
Michael Jackson (2012). Man in the Mirror. Bad 25th Anniversary Edition: EMI.

Though here it would be a metaphorical mirror, Geoff Petty (2009, p. 336) refers to the learning process as cyclic and indefinite and this is true of many views of reflective practice, a cyclical process, most commonly referred is Kolbs Cycle which we will critically analyse in the next paragraph along with Schon’s ‘Theory in Use’ and Brookfield’s ‘Critical Lens’, now that we have our definition of what Reflective Practice is.
With a working understanding of what reflective practice is, we can analyse three different models to ascertain their effectiveness with CPD, subject teaching or professional roles and responsibilities. The first model will be the experiential learning cycle, developed by Kolb as referred to by Geoff Petty (2009, p. 336) states that;
a Concrete Experience will be followed by Reflection on that Experience, followed by abstract conceptualism, then a plan of active experimentation which takes us back to concrete experience and on again.
Petty (2009, P. 336) believed that following this cycle would,
‘Maximise the learning that takes place from experience’
The cycle is clear and effective, if used, Abstract Conceptualisation requires teachers to become what Well (1986, p221) referred to as ‘theory builders’ cited (Petty, P.517), but many stop studying Pedagogy once they are qualified, resisting non mandatory CPD, or subject changes. Teachers can often be the worst students, but with systematic reflection being in personal time, commitment will always be minimal, unless teachers can be convinced of its effectiveness, and it will not be effective if not systematic. Petty (2009, P.519) believed that every Teacher has a theory about learning using this theory, perhaps unconsciously, in their teaching, citing Shön, who called this ‘theory in use’ Reflection improves your theory’s, helps you become more effective, able to solve problems, however Schön states;
‘Much reflection in action hinges on the experience of surprise’ The Reflective Practitioner, Shon, 1983. Cited by Bassot)
We ignore what we expected to happen, assuming that means it was positive. Wider reading like Holt’s ‘Why Children Fail’ or Friere’s ‘Pedagogy of the Oppresed’, may not give you a bite size theory, but can change the assumptions made about Further Education Students, how we teach them and what our responsibilities to them are. Any discussion of Models of reflective practice would be incomplete without Brookfield, ‘How to become a Critically Reflective Teacher’ and the critical lenses. Personally I found ‘The Skillful Teacher’ easier to read and equally informative. The complication however is that the lenses are listed in a different order, so I will be using the former, more academic text. The lenses are;
The Autobiographical, the students eyes, our colleagues experiences and theoretical literature.
If used, all four lens can be very effective, however as we discussed regarding the issues with theoretical literature not being read, the other lens can be just as unused. If a learning establishment doesn’t value reflective practice, provide time and an environment for it, then the second and third lens become particularly ignored, feared or resented. Discussing negative experiences with colleagues can be felt as weakness, part time and sessional lecturers may worry it will cause a loss of work. The student voice is important, but if the information is used as a statistical stick to beat teachers with rather than a starting point of discussion, then even valid points can be ignored. Having looked at models of reflective practice and its effect on CPD, Subject teaching and teachers responsibilities we will now look at professionalism.
Professionalism as a concept is this paragraphs focus and Peter Scales described Professionalism as including;
‘the primary importance of student learning and the teaching process, maintaining loyalty to students and colleagues, expressing concern for academic standards, recognition of teachers as experts, and some elements of autonomy.’ (2011, p.27)
Teaching as a profession, requiring qualifications and membership of a governing body and the impact of values, beliefs and skills on professional effectiveness and the creation of Professional standards, is applying more pressure to Lecturers. Leading to what Woods described as ‘strategic compliance’ Shaun and Gleeson (1999) noted this in F.E. Both sources cited by Rushton (2012, P.86) with increased paperwork and inspections, activities undertaken without real commitment. People don’t behave professionally just because they are told to.
‘We joke in our staff room that teaching sometimes gets in the way of the paperwork’ anonymous. Cited by Rushton (2012, P.85)
Maynard and Martinez (2002) cited in Petty (2009 2nd Edition. P. 355) referred to the 5 D’s;
Denial, Displacement, Deference, Despair and Destiny.
With teachers feeling that reflection and improvement is unnecessary or impossible. Teacher’s are rarely given recognition as experts, Government policy is often about Curriculum and Assessment, as discussed by Black and Wiliam, with teachers as the problem that Education needs to planned around. Continued cuts to funding or changes in core curriculum are often picked up by Teachers as extra work, after school clubs or personal projects and this is assumed by Parents and Management, and by the teachers themselves, so that the learner is not disadvantaged, because teaching is a vocation. This contrasts against the ideals of professionalism that Scales discussed and is referred to by Brookfield as a;
Hegemonic Assumption: “a lie we tell ourselves to explain the extra unpaid work that we do” (1995, P.15)
I personally found this idea revelatory to my own outlook, especially as I personally went from being single and child free last academic year, to in a relationship and being step father to two children this year, the need to stay late is still present but the desire to do so, less. We can now look at the professional standards we face, the implications for CPD and our responsibilities when we consider the idea of F.E Teacher’s being a Duel Professional.
The Institute For Learning (IFL) comments that many in FE hold a Dual professionalism, both as a Teacher and as an expert in their subject specialism. We will now look at the consequences for Teachers with regards their professional roles and responsibilities and as Scales suggests the paradoxes that exist. An issue, which certainly applies to myself, is that many F.E Lecturers come to the role almost by accident, with no formal training in teaching, and after working for a significant time as a part time sessional member of staff are finally offered a permanent position. The establishment’s need for teachers to be flexible and available, conflicts with the specialism and many find themselves cancelling specialist work for the perceived reliability of teaching. Lifelong Learning UK, refers to five domains;
Professional Values and Practice, Learning and Teaching, Specialist Learning and Teaching, Planning for Learning, Assessment for Learning, Access and Progression. (2007 P.5)
The second and third domains apply to Duel Professionalism in relation to observation. A constant argument is the validity of an assessment when the assessor does not have your subject knowledge, the response being that teaching practice standards should be the same whatever the specialism is certainly true, however recommendations that fall into the third domain of specialism are often unhelpful. Meggison and Whitaker (2003, P.19) Cited by Scales (2011, p.4) identified seven paradoxes with CPD,
Compulsion or Voluntarism, Employer or Individual Responsibility, Teaching or Learning, Personal Development or Organizational Learning, Values Driven or Pragmatic Development, Journey or Exploration.
Many of these conflicts are often applied to the observation process, the recent shift to ‘No Notice’ Observations were met with open hostility until OFSTED changed its decision, but college observations remain this way and it is often viewed as a compulsory negative burden, rather than as an opportunity for reflection and growth. Having explained Reflective Practice and discussed Professionalism and Duel Professionalism, I will reflect on how this applies to me.
With a working hypothesis for reflective practice and professionalism I can now reflect on my own status. Malcolm Gladwell said,
‘It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something’ Cited by Scales (2011, P79)
I am what Richard St. John refers to as a ‘Workafrolic’, I enjoy what I do. I have a an approach which is Humanistic but I utilise behaviourist theory for behaviour management and in January I will reach my five year mark in teaching. Four of those years have been full time and so I am about half way through my ten thousand hours. My development as an educational professional has been hindered by the fact that I do not yet hold my teaching qualification. A peer, who started at the same time as me, was recently promoted to Teaching and Learning Manager. I never intended to become a Lecturer and when Cert Ed was first explained to be, essentially it was compulsory, I did not engage with it, and thus for a variety of reasons, took three years to pass the first three modules. I however have benefitted from this; the time has enabled me to develop and commit to the role, and the experience. Also I embrace the role of theory builder, the experiences I have shown me the relevance and I enjoy discussing with like-minded colleagues. I have benefited from having supportive Managers, so that when I identify gaps in my knowledge I have been able to complete extra training, and when opportunities arose they have put me forward, for example filmclub co-ordinator. Two activities I engage in to highlight areas of development are; firstly I update my CV every six months, removing anything that I haven’t done for five years, adding new elements where required, ensuring the CV stays at two pages often leads to gaps to be filled, secondly I research jobs of interest that I would be suitable for in about ten years, I then research what skills or experiences I would need to accomplish that role. This led to me becoming a Governor of a primary school. As a Level 1 and Level 2 Course leader, I am not only interested in my students successfully completing the course, but also that they complete the next level also; I have no interest in setting them up to fail. This led to me looking at potential additional courses which could serve as a Level 1.5 or 2.5, and research led me to the Certificate in Learning for Life, essentially a study skills course, focusing on team building, independent learning, cultural literacy and reflective practice. I now exclusively teach this on Level 2, where I use to teach Script writing and video production, so I have essentially lost my dual professionalism status. Although I use my experience to provide the students with a variety of alternate options for how to present work, my area of expertise and interest is now in Cultural Literacy. My own reflective practice is weak; I own a journal that I regularly fail to update and a blog that hasn’t been updated this year. I regularly ‘Reflect in Action’ (Schon) through teaching the same subject to more than one class means I often worry that the final class get a better lesson as it is developed with experience. Scale’s paradoxes also applies in that due to my focus on Level 1 and 2, I am fractured from the teaching team, centred on the Level 3 course, and often find departmental meetings have occurred without me. This has led to me pursuing my own educational goals, which ultimately are to focusing more on Level 1 and 2 deliveries, which I did through my subject specialist workshop.
I will now discuss my specialist workshop, how I came to decide upon it and then evaluate its effectiveness. Using Brookfield’s four lenses An area within Level 2 that needed focussing on was student research skills, not only for the successful completion of the course, but as previously mentioned, to ensure suitability for Level 3. Kolb’s cycle was effective in discussing previous experiences with students skills, and I decided to arrange a workshop session within the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), this would ensure that students would actually use the resources, but also by discussing the task with support staff, it meant students were not able to use computers and would have to focus on non-ICT secondary sources. To also develop my interest in students Cultural Literacy, I used, a student focused news site, to provide a current affairs hand out. Having set out my concept I then planned my experiment, using three different classes I then set them three tasks. One, to reflect on their existing knowledge or ideas on the issue; two, to conduct a small primary source vox pop on the topic; three, to summarise the information in the article to around 100 words. The length of the session was only an hour and so many of the students did not complete all three tasks, however I decided to give them extra time to complete rather then remove one of the tasks. Overall the sessions were successful, the LRC staff was happy to support and see the facilities used, students engaged in the topic and I got some interesting responses. Reflecting on the classes as they happened and afterwards, as Schon describes knowing in practice, I have changed the Level 2 timetable so that the workshop occurs every week, ensuring students engage in a diverse range of topics and stimulate some student’s interest. This ultimately is a responsibility of mine as their tutor, to lead them to their own thoughts, not tell them what those thoughts should be.
In conclusion, the models of Schon, Kolb and Brookfield have enabled me to analyse and utilise reflective practice to develop my understanding of my roles and responsibilities as a Lecturer within F.E. I have also used the academic work of Petty and Scales amongst others to describe Professionalism and Duel Professionalism and how that applies to me, my CPD and my subject teaching and finally I have developed my specialist teaching, developing a workshop which is beneficial to my students and their chances of success.


The Feedback I received:

This is an excellent insight into your own perceptions of your role and professional values. You have carefully structured the content to fully meet the assessment criteria but also provide an interesting discussion underpinned by theory and practice. Your personal development is evident and your critique is embedded well within the essay. The depth of your knowledge is indicative in your reading and research to support your views. Clear links to your role and practice including the subject specialist project where it is good to see the impact of reflective practice.

 You discuss the reflective models of Brookfield, Schon and Kolb by highlighting the impact of ‘in’ and ‘on’ action including the element of surprise; explaining the cyclical reflective processes on your classroom practice and interpreting the four lenses approach.  You explain the process of reflecting as both tutor and learner drawing on your own autobiographical experiences and other perspectives.                                                                                                                      

The discussion around professionalism is very good and relates well to the LLUK professional standards– it is good to see the direct references to the standards in your essay. You consider the concept of the ‘dual professional’ and discuss how your role as a personal tutor has changed your perception of your own subject knowledge. I also note the tensions you highlight about how to maintain the personal and work life balance whilst being fully committed to improving professional standards and skills.

You clearly recognise the value of CPD in developing a knowledge base for your teaching role by attending courses such as DTLLS as you manage your career change and up-skill in relevant areas whilst trying not to diminish your subject specialist skills. I am interested to hear more about your journey to qualifying as a teacher.

The structure of the essay is excellent and you signpost the reader well through the introduction; the main body content flows well and you summarise the key points to conclude.  I am pleased to see that you have read around the subject and draw on a variety of texts – well done Steve.



Content wise this is a well written essay however for future essays review the paragraphs by wrapping the text up into essay style but otherwise this is a thoughtful and well researched essay.

 Thank you for your lively contributions in the group sessions and congratulations on achieving ‘outstanding’ during the STE – I thoroughly enjoyed observing you teach.


Dr Barbara Bassot (2011). Reflective Diary. London: Matador.
Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam (1998) Inside the black box. Kings College London
Stephen Brookfield (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. London: Wiley Imprint.
Stephen Brookfield (2006). The Skillful Teacher. 6th ed. London: Wiley Imprint.
Geoff Petty (2009). Evidence Based Teaching. 2nd ed. London: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
Geoff Petty (2009). Teaching Today. 4th ed. London: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
Ian Rushton and Martin Suter (2012). Reflective Practice for Teaching in Lifelong Learning. London: Open University Press.
Peter Scales Et al (2011). Continuing Professional Development in the Lifelong Learning Sector. London: Open University Press.

Sector Skills Council. (2007) New Overarching Professional Standards for Teachers, Tutors and Trainers in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

Michael Jackson (2012). Man in the Mirror. Bad 25th Anniversary Edition: EMI. Last Checked 25.11.12

Personal Statement: Lecturer

This is part of a series of blogs in which I pull apart my personal statement (as adapted for my About page) to see what it means, and what it means for me. My job title, or at least the role I was ostensibly hired for is Media Lecturer. This is partly out of date, as whilst I am currently a course leader within the Media department, I don’t actually teach the Media production units any more. And it bristles me more than it should when I see myself referred to as such, as if the career development I have made has been ignored, intentionally or otherwise. But what about the title Lecturer, this bothers me also, again maybe more that it should, as I don’t feel it applicable to what I do, what ever that might be. Is a job title important, and if so what should mine be? I blogged about this before here when I discussed business cards, and toyed with the idea of having ‘Cat Herder on mine. According to this article in the Chicago Tribune, job titles are no longer a simple thing and the more specific we can get the better. Increasingly this has come to be two words seemingly put together at random, to create an evocative image of what the person does. Like ‘Probability Engineer’ or the aforementioned ‘Cat Herder’. However as this piece states more emphasis can be put on a job title then it is worth, for example when everybody is a VP, does it mean anything to be a VP?

“In most cases a job title is also worth nothing, especially to you. Authority, responsibility, control, freedom… those things matter, but those things are not automatically conferred by a job title.”

Dharmesh Shah; Founder and CTO at Hubspot.

According to Ask Jeeves, when asked

What does “job title” mean?

The answer was:

A job title is the name used to describe a specific group of tasks performed by an individual for a business or another enterprise. A job title is an efficient way to tell what a person does.

So what does this all mean for me? But am I really? According to the Oxford dictionary a Lecturer is


  • A person who gives lectures, especially (British) as an occupation at a university or college of higher education:

Well I don’t feel I give lectures and I don’t work in a college of higher education. This might be though because I think of lectures like this

and I might be in a rush to claim it if I thought of it like this


What do you think about the job title Lecturer?

Leave a comment and let me know.

More thoughts on this soon.

Be seeing you.