‘Highest level of recognition’ for education researcher

Posted by er134 at Apr 03, 2014 10:25 AM |
Third Principal Fellow elected by Higher Education Academy at University of Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 3 April 2014

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images

The Higher Education Academy has recognised the expertise of a University of Leicester lecturer with its highest level of recognition.

Dr Chris Wilkins, Director of Teacher Education in the University of Leicester School of Education, has been elected Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Dr Wilkins is now the third University of Leicester academic to be recognised in the way, along with Dr Tony Lawson and Professor Jon Scott.

One of the responsibilities of the HEA is to provide a supportive process for the professional recognition of teaching and supporting learning, which it does through its Fellowship service. There are four categories of recognition; Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow and Principal Fellow, of which Principal is the highest.

Professional recognition is based on the commitment of the applicant to the Professional Standards Framework of the HEA, which consists of three dimensions; Core Knowledge, Professional Values and Areas of Activity.

For Principal Fellow, the criteria for recognition are different to the preceding categories, in that the commitment to the Framework should be manifested in teaching, learning, leading and policy-making at institutional, national and international levels.

Applications are reviewed by an expert panel of Accreditors, who determine whether the claim meets the highest standards of teaching and learning practice for the category applied for. In the case of Principal Fellow, there are only around 160 Principal Fellowships awarded in the country.

Dr Wilkins said: “I am immensely proud of this award as it recognises my contribution to supporting students and colleagues.

“This recognition demonstrates the importance of continuing to reflect on and learn from experiences of learning and teaching in higher education.  Teacher education is a particularly complex and demanding field, so it is vital that teacher educators maintain a clear focus on the principles and values that underpin our work.

“My application focused on the way I have focused in my teaching, leadership and research on the relationship between quality and equity, between excellence and inclusion in the student experience; this has been made possible by working in an institution that is quite rightly proud of being 'elite without being elitist'.

“The School of Education engages with many hundreds of teachers and student teachers every year, and so our work brings together professional and academic learning to support their development as teachers.  I hope that I have made a modest contribution to society through the teachers I have worked with over the years, and I believe the principles and values of the UKPSF are consistent with the principles and values our graduates go on to demonstrate throughout their teaching careers.”

Professor Janet Ainley, Director of the School of Education, said: “I am delighted that we have a second Principal Fellowship within the School of Education, to recognise that very strong contribution that Dr Wilkins had made to Learning and Teaching in the University. His strategic leadership during a period of change and uncertainty in Initial Teacher Education has been invaluable in supporting colleagues, and maintaining our positive relationships with schools across the region.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Dr Wilkins at: caw11@leicester.ac.uk

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