University Dean practises what he preaches

Published: 17 November 2007 at 11:23

An Associate Dean from Anglia Ruskin University’s Faculty of Education is about to celebrate the completion of his recent Doctoral studies proving that you should always practice what you preach.

His role at the University, as Associate Dean, centres on him managing and building relationships and links within the region to promote a wide range of higher education programmes including continuing professional studies and development in Education.  As well as applauding hundreds of students from the Faculty of Education graduation at Chelmsford Cathedral next week, he will be lining up with them to pick up his own award, a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD).

This latest award will be added to the Masters Degree in Entrepreneurship he gained at Stirling University. Originally from Wales, but now happily married and settled in Colchester, Tony comes from a family inspired by education.  His mother retired as Deputy Head of Kings Road Junior School, and his father was the first Headteacher of the Hayward School, both in Chelmsford.

Talking about his motivation for taking up the six-year, part time research-led degree at the age of 53, he said:

“The older you get the more inquisitive you become, not so much about the subject you teach, but about the learning and teaching methods behind it.”

He recently opted for major career change when he moved from the Ashcroft International Business School, where he had taught for 14 years, to the Faculty of Education to ‘look around another corner in his academic development.’

“I moved from marketing into education to explore professional teaching practice in terms of the transfer of learning.  Action learning, through research, was my way of helping new teachers who were coming through the University, many for the very first time. Through my research, I have developed a new model of learning and teaching for adults. It focuses on the role of the tutor and how he or she develops the students’ experience of learning.”

“The academic’s role as ‘facilitator’ provides a significant link to the way in which adults transfer learning to the work place.”

“To make a small contribution to knowledge makes the research all worthwhile.”

“I would recommend this part time method of study to anyone. It is challenging and exciting.  Those interested in studying for higher degrees can certainly plan it into their lifestyle and, like me, make it part of their teaching practice.”

“I think my family will be pleased to see me finally graduate. As a follower of Colchester United, I have even had time to make my studies fit around my passion for football!”