Personal profile

Research interests

I am a member of the Centre for Academic English at the University of Hertfordshire.  My research interest is in rooting evidnce based/theoretically supported atttention to compassion into the academic curriculum.  Rationales are a) increasing competitive individualism amongst educational cultures that negatively impact child and student mental health; and b) a growing body of evidence of statistically identifiably enhancements to group intelligences where group behavioural norms attend to compassion.  Compassion is defined in neuroscience, anthropology and clinical psychology as:  noticing distress/disadvantaging to others or the self AND addressing it.

Current  projects.  

The Micro skills of compassionate group management:  focus on applying compassion in the task focussed seminar/tutorial room for enhancing social and learning interconnectivity between students in group work. This involves collecting qualitative and quantitative evidence of outcomes, across faculties, in terms of student experience and academic performance. 

Production of a UH-funded docu-film demonstrating the micro skills of compassion, in use/action by students, and comment on the appropriacy of these skills by university teaching staff representing a range of disciplines.  The fim is for dissemination to other HEI's (USA and Europe) who have expressed an interest in applying these skills amongst their own student cohorts. 

Website under construction:   Compassion on the University Curriculum.


Commercial and public engagement

In 2016 work began with a national theatre company, Upswing, on translating aspects of my research on compassion in education into theatre. This was initiated through the Sparks Might Fly Theatre Commission 2016, an innovative scheme organised by the Heritage Hub and UH Arts which aims to engage public debate with the Higher Education research.

Teaching specialisms

Teaching under and post graduate students:

The micro skills of compassion in group work in midwifery, computer science, humanities, business, and others.

Research skills, critical reading and writing skills - undergraduate to Phd programme students the UH Doctoral College.  (Research and Critical Reading skills).   (Writing Your Research Dissertation).   

Seminar and presentation skills.


Teacher and researcher in academic communications:  the micro skills of compassion for task-focussed group work;  critical thinking and research skills,  academic writing.

Work involves quantiative and qualitative research in my own and with HEIs;  transferring this work into the public domain, eg through funded collaboration with theatre makers concerned with education; and dissemination of work through website:  Compassion on the University Curriculum, conference papers, book chapters, journal papers and invited talks. Recipient of the Times Higher Education award/judged by Advance HE/presented by the UK NUS: Most Innovative Teacher, 2018.

Education/Academic qualification

Education , PhD, Using the Concept of Compassion to Inform Pedagogical Strategies for HE Seminars, University of Hertfordshire

Award Date: 30 Apr 2016


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