Welcome to my blog!

That’s me, over there (or at the bottom of the page if you’re reading this on a mobile device) →

Having recently completed a Doctorate in Education, I didn’t quite know what to do with all my residual pent-up energy (for ‘energy’, read nervous tension), so I decided to start this blog as a way of moving forward.

I will be using this space to present summaries of educational theories, practical strategies for how to use them in the classroom or clinical settings and tips on how to present them in academic writing. A very insightful student said something during an impromptu tutorial recently that really resonated with me, that ‘you have to really understand something well to be able to talk about it succinctly‘. I agree, so that is what I am aiming to produce. Not over-simplified ‘cheat versions’ of theory, but properly referenced (and largely diagrammatic) overviews that summarise the key points so that readers can quickly decide:

  • whether it is something that might fit their needs and encourage them to read more widely, or
  • discard and move on (having not had to read the fourteen page original article describing that theory).

So, how did I get to this point? Well, I work as a Lecturer in Medical Education at Newcastle University where I teach across the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters in Medical Education programmes. My students come from a range of professional backgrounds, including intercalating medical students, nurses and dentists, but are predominantly practicing doctors who themselves act as teachers for undergraduate medical students in NHS and general practice settings.

I originally trained as a Podiatrist, and worked for a time in the NHS (at Oxford and Gateshead respectively) before moving into my first educational role as a Lecturer in Podiatry with the Durham School of Podiatric Medicine at New College Durham. I never looked back…

I was responsible for coordinating student placements as part of my role at New College, which eventually led me to take up a similar role at Newcastle University Medical School before finally moving into my current role as a core member of the postgraduate academic team. This is where I really started to explore educational theory in earnest, and see the challenges that it can present.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have a job that I love. Newcastle University is a great place to work and my colleagues and students are fantastic. I don’t have that ‘Sunday night dread’ for the week ahead – I genuinely enjoy what I do, and have definitely found my vocation. However, I have become increasingly aware that some educational theory can appear quite complex when you don’t have the luxury of time to peruse it in the midst of a busy clinical role, and it is here that I feel I might be able to offer something useful.