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Professor Frank Banks

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am Emeritus Professor of Teacher Education.

I was Director of International Development in Teacher Education; and a Teacher Educator of teachers of design and technology, science and English. I worked on English in Action in Bangladesh and TESS-India.

Before joining the OU I worked as a school teacher of science, engineering and technology in different secondary comprehensive schools in England and in Wales, including head of department, and as a primary school advisory teacher in Powys. I was a lecturer in physics education at the University of Wales, Swansea.

I have authored or edited 14 books/ handbooks for teachers and over one hundred academic papers, and acted as a consultant in the professional development of teachers to Egyptian, South African and Argentinean government agencies, UNESCO and the World Bank.

I enjoy amateur dramatics, particularly Gilbert & Sullivan and playing with my grandchildren.

Research interests

The Professional Development of Teachers, particularly through the use of open and distance learning.

The links between School Science and School Technology.

Convenor of ‘DEPTH’ technology teacher international education research group

This research group, developed from a Special Interest Group of the Pupils Attitudes Towards Technology (PATT) conferences, has produced a set of linked international studies of Developing Professional Thinking for Technology Teachers (DEPTH). The group has presented at refereed conferences around the world and published in international journals, including a special edition of the International Journal of Technology and Design Education in 2008.  In 2013 DEPTH is extending to look a professional development of school mentors of Design and Technology.

Teaching interests

Teacher Education - especially in the subject areas of Science and Design & Technology

Impact and engagement

International Consultancies since 2005

May 2013             Facilitation of Accreditation of the Bachelor of photography and Masters in Broadcast and Cross-Media Journalism at South Asian Media Academy, BMB Mott MacDonald, Netherlands.

May 2012             Facilitation of Accreditation of the Post Graduate Masters in Broadcast Journalism at South Asian Media Academy, BMB Mott MacDonald, Netherlands.

Dec 2011              Workshop on Education Resilience:  Mixed Research Approach Training, University of Juba, South Sudan, World Bank.

March 2010         Leader of an International Team evaluation of the Teacher Education Programmes, School for Continuing Teachers’ Education, North-West University, South Africa.

Feb 2007               Evaluation of the programmes and processes of the School for Continuing Teachers’ Education, North-West University, South Africa.

Feb 2006               Workshop series for Iraqi teachers on Mentoring for New Teaching strategies and Open and Distance Teacher Education including the production of a Mentor Guide, UNESCO.

Oct 2005               Workshop series for academics in Sub-Saharan Africa designing the curriculum in Physics Teacher Education using Open and Distance Education,  African Virtual University (AVU).

Sept 2005             Workshop series for Iraqi teachers on New Teaching strategies and Open and Distance Teacher Education, UNESCO.

External collaborations

Academic editorial work

2015 - present     Academic Reviewer, Springer Publications, Singapore and Germany.

2013 – present    Academic Reviewer, ‘Educational Research and Reviews’, On-Line

2012 – 2017         Editorial Board, ‘Australasian Journal of Technology Education’

2012 – present    Editorial Board, ‘Science and Technology Education Journal (SATEj)’, University of Johannesburg, Open Access.

2012 – present    Academic Reviewer, ‘Educational Research’, NFER, UK

2011 – present    Academic Reviewer, ‘International Journal of Educational Research’, Elsevier.

2009 – 2013         Editorial Board, ‘International Journal of Technology and Design Education’, Springer.

2005 – 2009         Academic Reviewer, ‘Learning, Media and Technology’, Routledge.

2003 – 2010         Academic Reviewer, ‘Curriculum Journal’, Routledge.


2012                       Elected Fellow, Institute of Physics

2007                       Elected Fellow, Higher Education Academy

2001                       Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Arts, Commerce and Manufacturing

1983                       Elected Chartered Physicist

DEPTH Researchers:  Frank Banks (Group Convenor), Open University, UK; David Barlex, (formerly) Brunel University UK; Sarah Davies, Nottingham Trent University, UK; David Ellis, Southern Cross University, Australia; Jouni Hintikka, Oulu University, Finland; Esa-Matti Jarvinen, Oulu University, Finland; Arto Karsikas, Oulu University, Finland; David Leask, (formerly) Manchester University, UK; Matt McLain, John Moores University, UK; Gary O'Sullivan, Massey University, New Zealand; Sue Miles-Pearson, Roehampton University, UK; Gwyneth Owen-Jackson, Open University, UK; Marion Rutland, Roehampton University, UK; Ruth Seabrook, Roehampton University,UK; Cliff Seggie, Edge Hill University, UK; Paul Spencer, Edge Hill University, UK; John Williams, Waikato University, New Zealand.