Although initially leaning towards a career in engineering a love of education captured me soon after graduating from Durham University with a Master's in Mechanical Engineering. Initially my experience with education was in a very practical setting, spends years teaching English in Japan, followed by time in Google's HR department as a team working on Learning & Development. Finally I decided to obtain a more academic perspective and so undertook a Master's in Education from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. My most recent pursuits have brought me to The Open University to research Learning From Incidents in the oil and energy sectors.
My research interests form three broad categories:
- Collaboration: my Master's thesis focused on dialogue between pairs working in a scaffolded environment. Everyone has experience working in groups and therefore knows that it isn't always easy to work together successfully. Understanding how best to work together is vital at every stage of life.
- Technology: As the world changes technology in education is at the centre of many discussions on education. How best should it be used to enable learning and engage students socially will be at the heart of much research to come in the next decades.
- Professional learning: Having experience as a professional, and especially during my time at Google, I know that education doesn't stop when you leave school. Life is constantly throwing news challenges in people's ways and as the labour market demands more and more those who can learn new skills it's important to invest in understanding how people grow and develop at work. Particularly interesting is the idea of assessment in this context, how do you know that people are growing if the kind of tests that are present in schools become almost meaningless.
While not at the centre of my current research I have a long interest in Teaching English as a Second language and still engage in some private lessons during my spare time. This most likely comes from my times as an English teacher in Japan but is sustained by a love of learning languages myself.