Keynote: Finding purpose in practice
- Ambitious, capable learners who are ready to learn throughout their lives.
- Enterprising, creative contributors who are ready to play a full part in life and work.
- Ethical, informed citizens who are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world.
- Healthy, confident individuals who are ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
It is difficult to disagree with these purposes, but to what degree do they align with the teaching priorities held by teachers in Wales? More important, how do educators interpret broad purposes of education into more specific concepts and ideas that improve their teacher and the educational experiences of their pupils? This keynote draws on recent research in Wales regarding teachers’ top priorities in the classroom. These responses underscore the importance of not only reflecting on what we believe are our duties and responsibilities as educators, but also our beliefs regarding the general aims and goals of education and the methods through which we hope to achieve these goals. These values and beliefs help construct our sense of purpose as educators, which in turn, influences how we engage with research evidence, conceptualise and perform our pedagogical practice, and perceive ourselves as professional educators. The current efforts underway in transforming Wales’ educational system provide an important opportunity for all of us to consider our sense of purpose and how to nurture a curious and thoughtful disposition that critically informs our practice. In this keynote, I discuss the necessity of interrogating our assumptions and beliefs about education, and the potential benefits of educators engaging in purposeful, philosophical discussions about their practice.
Keynote: “I would have become wallpaper had racism had its way”: UK Black female Professors strategies for surviving higher education
Earlier this year, Nicola was also appointed as the Specialist Adviser to the Home Affairs’ Select Committee inquiry – the Macpherson Report 20 Years On – which is examining whether there has been progress in meeting the 70 recommendations published in 1999.
Her most recent research examines the career experiences and strategies of UK Black female Professors, the findings of which were widely covered across the media including WonkHE, The Guardian, Stylist magazine and British Vogue.