This comprehensive exposure to all things education enabled to develop a bespoke and personailsed approach to teaching. An approach grounded in inclusive practice, patience and most of all enthusiasm for the subject at hand.
My personal goal is to ensure each learner can finish a session feeling more confident and comfortable in approaching subject matter, content and theory. I have a person-centred philosophy which I think adds real value in this respect.
A recent graduate receiving a 1st class honours in Education Studies; a multidisciplinary degree focusing on pedagogical methods, sociology, politics and psychology. The modules I undertook critically evaluated an array of teaching styles, societal barriers restricting educational access and the current political education environment. Listed below are the modules I studies during my time at university along with the grade given:
• Social Justice Matters (an exploration of theories surrounding social justice; a sociological based module): 82%
• Exploring Places & Spaces: Education beyond the classroom: 78%
• Language & Learning: 72%
• Educational Identities (a critical analysis of theories of how identity is constructed and reshaped within societal institutions): 82%
• Schooling Bodies, Disciplining Minds; Discourses of the Self in Education (a thorough investigation of how knowledge is constructed within society): 84%
• Dissertation Project: 72%
The work I have been lucky enough to partake in with the charity NACRO, NCS (The Challenge) and others has enabled me to cultivate a child/student-centred approach to teaching practice. My most recent position was working as a student researcher for a higher education institution, working primarily within the Learning Enhancement and Academic Development directorate. I was given wide access to cutting edge research that is continuing to shape teaching practice and pedagogy throughout the university. This wide range of educational environments also means I am comfortable in a variety of settings - leading, facilitating and working with children and young adults from a diverse range of backgrounds. I’m keen to make a difference. It’s been said before but every child or student matters.
Below are exerts from a reference received from my lecturer of three years, academic supervisor and dissertation supervisor reiterating my positive attitude towards learning and my high degree of knowledge in my specialisms:
“…he is well motivated, disciplined in his study habits and demonstrated a high level of engagement with his subject area…”
“Alexander demonstrated clear evidence of a sharply critical mind both in terms of his engagement with the academic literature surrounding this subject, and his approach to data gathering and analysis.”
A real interest of mine is social research as my postgraduate pathway suggests. This exert refers to my relative success in my dissertation research project: (A critical evaluation of ‘aspirations’ within the lived experiences of learners in a post-16 setting within the neoliberal paradigm.)
“…his organisation and analysis of this data Alex showed evidence of a mature and sophisticated approach to research. He was able to discuss and locate his empirical findings within the broader literature, drawing upon complex ideas from Hayek, Bourdieu and other key sources, in a way that demonstrated considerable intellectual maturity.”
I believe we do our best work when we have passionate interest for something; my passion comes from my past and my present experiences of education and I am excited by the prospect of being part of some thinking that might shape the future.
A recent graduate with a range of employment and volunteering experience in a diverse environment with a variety of different stake holders. Such experience, along with strong academic qualifications demonstrates a number of qualities: a pro-active and determined mind-set, versatility and a commitment to personal and professional development. These qualities have enabled me to manage high workload whilst maintaining positive results on a consistent basis. It is of my belief that I can add real value to your workforce or programme through my passion for learning, and my ability to build strong, purposeful relationships through great interpersonal and communicative skills.
Student Engagement Officer (Sixth Form in Sheffield - Present)
Student Researcher, Learning Enhancement and Academic Development, Sheffield Hallam (November 2017 – September 2018)
• I was part of a cross university research project looking at assessment and feedback within student’s respective courses. This involved leading focus groups and developing research instruments.
• I lead and facilitated focus groups with fellow students, empowering student voice within higher education.
• Thematically coded a large selection of transcripts. A process of which involves concision and attention to detail.
• Worked to multiple deadlines, always successfully.
• As a student representative within the project, I wrote numerous reports on our findings, presenting them to senior course leaders. Using my knowledge and understanding of education policy and practice, I recommended meaningful change to pedagogy and course structure.
Accommodation Coordinator, National Citizen Service, The Challenge, Leeds (June 2017 – September 2017)
• Working on a residential basis, I worked as the logistical on-site lead for a social action programme for 15-17 year olds. This role was pivotal in developing my organisational skill-set.
• This entailed managing the relationship between The Challenge and the residential accommodation site, ensuring strong lines of communication were maintained throughout programme.
• Every week I would conduct an induction and briefing sessions for each new cohort of young people & seasonal staff as they arrived at the accommodation.
• I successfully created a time effective strategy to disseminate food across 8 blocks of flats with approximately 80 young people over a period of 3 months.
• As the on-side logistics lead, I developed my leadership and interpersonal skills as the fast paced nature of the programme meant I worked with a variety of professionals, all with different styles of ‘doing’.
• Although an integral part of this role was to work well within a team, due to the unique nature of the role, I spent large proportions of time working on my own. This enhanced my ability to take initiative and work independently.
• I ran and monitored risk-assessments for the site, demonstrating an ability to work within strict procedure
Junior Education Policy Advisor, Doncaster Borough Council, Work Placement (February 2017 – April 2017)
• Worked directly with an independent commission on education and skills in Doncaster, providing research and analytical input where appropriate.
• Doncaster and its surrounding areas have been identified as an opportunity area for the implementation of a social mobility initiative. It is my role within a team to appropriately integrate this programme across Doncaster. This has been a brilliant opportunity to combine university based learning with my professional development.
• My analytical and problem solving skill-set have been comprehensively developed via extensive document analysis and report building.
• General administrative duties have increased my understanding of the logistics of the educational landscape within a local authority.
• Shadowed weekly meetings.
Student Researcher (x2), Sheffield Institute of Education & Centre for Development and Research in Education (May 2017 – December 2017)
• I have worked as a student researcher in two separate projects on voluntary basis.
• The first was a research project funded by the British Academy – Leverhulme Project. I was part of a team that qualitatively researched educational spaces and their implicit and explicit effects on society.
• I collected ethnographic data through semi-structured interviews within a higher education setting.
• This data was then decoded using thematic coding processes. As this was my first exposure to social research, it was in this role I developed a number of research based skills.
• Both roles also improved my interpersonal skill-set, as I worked strategically and cohesively in an intense team of mostly academics.
• My role within CDARE was to hold focus groups with young people, reviewing the outcomes of an aspiration based programme within local schools.
• This introduced me to quantitative research methods. I gathered information from a range of questionnaires and statistically analysed the data using excel as the main platform to do so. These results were then presented to the senior researcher.
Course Assistant, NACRO, Doncaster, Work Placement (February 2016 – April 2016)
• My role within NACRO, a social justice charity, was based upon working individually and collectively with young learners who struggled to gain the necessary qualifications to find work or further education. This was a pivotal factor in my development of communicative and interpersonal skills.
• A responsibility of mine was to create strategy for students who had issues with attendance, where I would work closely with the parent/guardian attempting to implement usually successful strategy.
• The child-centred approach to learning within the ‘college’ meant I could develop a personal style of coaching and facilitating which was described as “crucial” when creating an “excellent rapport” with learners.
• I gained vital experience in working with children and young adults who suffered from social deprivation. This was pivotal when developing my interpersonal skill-set.
• Assisted and mentored with learners on external visits to local gyms helping senior members of staff carry out NACRO strategy.
BA (Hons) 1:1, Education Studies, Sheffield Hallam University (September 2015 – May 2018)
• A multidisciplinary degree which cultivated my passion for social research. During my time at Sheffield Hallam University I developed an in depth understanding of qualitative research methods through several self-lead research projects.
• My degree developed my ability to become critically literate, sourcing and examining high levels of information through an analytical lens. This can be evidenced through my 1:1 accreditation.
• Through academic and professional recommendations, I am currently in the process of applying to become a school governor for the after-school club I worked for. If successful, this voluntary role will give me real insight into policy integration at primary school level.
• I have a deep interest in education policy which has lead me to become an active and vocal member of the university’s education society.
• I have a deep interest in sport and sports writing. I was the captain of the university’s table tennis 2nd team. This responsibility has enabled me to develop organisational and leadership skills in a competitive environment. I have also managed and captained a 6-a-side intramural football team who won the league in their final year!
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