UWE Bristol lecturer wins National Teaching Fellowship Award

Issue date: 27 June 2013

Jane Carter

Jane Carter, a Senior Lecturer in Primary and Early Years Education at UWE Bristol, has won a National Teaching Fellowship Award, which recognises and rewards academic teaching excellence in higher education.

Each year the prestigious National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NFTS), managed by the Higher Education Academy, awards 55 exceptional individuals a grant of £10,000. The award is used for professional development in learning and teaching or aspects of pedagogy – the science and art of teaching.

Jane Carter originally trained in law but soon became interested in teaching through volunteer work with children in inner-city Bristol. Her teaching career has included primary classroom teaching, local authority literacy consultancy, in service training and deputy headship of a primary school. Jane now leads UWE Bristol's English team on the Initial Teacher Education programme.

Speaking about her award, Jane said, “I am delighted and honoured, as a relative newcomer to teaching in Higher Education, to be awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. The award really belongs to the Department of Education at UWE Bristol. The department is a truly collaborative and collegiate place to work. The expertise and innovation of my colleagues have made it possible for me to take risks and innovate.”

During her time at UWE Bristol, Jane has developed and led a number of different styles of teaching practice including an innovative project linking schools in more challenging circumstances, the Local Authority and the University in order to support the teaching of reading. This particular project employed students as 'volunteers' working one to one with identified children over a period of ten weeks. This not only produced a rise in the attainment of each child but also an increase in student confidence and competence in the teaching of reading. The experience has enabled students to be part of a project with social justice at its heart and so experience the transformative power of education.

A colleague, who could not be named due to the award process, noted: “She is an inspirational practitioner: passionate about her subject and about developing the necessary enthusiasm, knowledge and skills in others to become excellent practitioners themselves.”

Jane's teaching has been commended by students and led to nominations in a number of student-led teaching awards including 'Tutor of the Year' and the 'Innovative Teaching Award'.

Jane continued, “I am very lucky to have a job that I find both challenging and enjoyable. Working with students is the best part of my role and they have enabled me to constantly reflect on and develop my teaching. I am aware that it is not the teaching that really counts but the learning of the students. This is particularly true for the students I teach, who are aspiring primary school and early years teachers. If they leave UWE Bristol as learners who are knowledgeable, reflective and inspiring, then we can feel, as a department, that we have done a good job.”

A first-year student, commented, “Jane's passion, dedication and exceptional knowledge has inspired, motivated and supported every Early Years and Primary Education student at UWE Bristol.”

Jane has been involved with a number of research projects including work across Europe with a focus on children's literature. She has spent time in Turkish classrooms exploring the aspirations and motivations of children as learners and has presented findings to a variety of national and international conferences.

Jane said, “I hope to use my award grant to focus on learning. I have an interest in the teaching and learning of reading and I am particularly keen to find out more about how this is done in other countries that work with the complexity and richness of the English language.”

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