I conceive who I am as a process, never ending and difficult to encapsulate in words. Thus, this description of self is an attempt at capturing 'key' moments-in-time which, in and between themselves, are fluid - constantly mutating. I will attempt to highlight these entities in their 'captured form' - assuming fixity, though in 'reality' not.
Even in non-fixity, one's history seems 'settled' enough to be 'factually' described. Mine is 'fixed' in the following way: Born in Zimbabwe and made in Zimbabwe and England, I consider myself to be a culturally rich person. This gentle collision of backgrounds has accorded me the privilege of working in both countries - contrasting in outlook but sharing a common history. Thus, my practice benefits from my academic, professional and social experiences from both countries - a reflection of today's highly mobile, hence cosmopolitan, global communities.
The countless reasons behind my choice of teaching can be summarised in one very basic, but profound, verse:
I came into the world
Looking at the world I saw emptiness
To opening my eyes there was no value
To me the world added no value
The intervention of education to me became
An invention casting virtue
My eyes opened
In the same world, yes the same
I saw fullness, riches incomparable
My life became full
Inspired Transformed Energised
That's what Education added to me
I was taught well
Inspired Transformed Energised
Therefore I teach
To Inspire To Transform To Energise
So the world can see a full world
Rich in promise and full of light
Difficult does not mean Impossible. It just requires a bit more effort.
My lessons are built on one simple pillar - colloboration with students. Students are experts at their academic needs. Therefore, my approach promotes joint 'ownership' of the learning and teaching experience with students - a student-centred approach where no two students are the same, yet all of them matter.
PhD Education, (Manchester Met. University)
MRes, Education and Society (Manchester Met. University)
BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Manchester Met. University)
Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) (Manchester Met. University)
Personal Tutoring and Academic Advising (SEDA)
Personnel Management (IPMZ)
Personal and Academic Tutoring Coordinator
Year 3 Cohort Leader
Shona - mother tongue
Nyanja - functional
English - second language
One of the most popular programmes in the university, Early Years and Childhood Studies (EYCS) opens many doors to a plethora of opportunities. As a student, you get the unique chance of being taught by truly world-class professionals from a broad range of backgrounds such as education, early years, children's service health, criminology and business. This helps your development as a well-rounded student, while at university, and a consumate professional after graduation.
The MMU EYCS programme is more than just a subject. It is an experience for which students from a diversity of backgrounds and countries are converging to become a part of. The open secret behind this popularity with students is the warmth of the learning and social ambiance pervading our department where there is a mutually positive relationship between students and staff and students and students. With high completion rates, the programme enjoys persistently high student satisfaction rates. Therefore, our students are sought-after on the job market with a significant proportion securing employment while on placement. Moreover, there has been a steady increase in students pursuing the entrepreneurial route, particularly in the Early Years sector, thanks to the inspiration guest speakers - mainly successful Early Years business leaders - give our students when they come in.
I have so much confidence in the doors our programme opens for students that after spending three years studying on it, I proceeded to stay within the department to do my masters and PhD degrees. That was a further five years! Oh, I have stayed on to work within the same department. Such is my endorsement of the EYCS programme and, indeed, the department. Come and join many like-minded students and realise your full potential.
Unit Leader: Level 4 Critical, Academic and Professional Practice Unit
Unit Leader: Level 6 Creative Leadership
PhD Supervisor: Examining young children’s relations with
food (Thekla Anastasiou)
I am currently and external examiner for Edgehill University, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies and
BA(Hons) Early Childhood Studies and Sociology.
Higher Education Student Persistence: Implications for Retention, Progression and Success
My current research focus is on student persistence in higher education. Particular curiosity is on what drives some students’ decision to stay on when others’ in similar conditions leave, hence the adoption of the
term persistence (which views the student as active) in lieu of retention (the student becomes a passive object of retention whereby the onus is solely on the institution to retain).
Posthuman Andragogy: Affective Dimensions of HE Learning
Another focus of my research is on the affective dimension of learning and teaching in higher
education, focusing on the potential of embedding a pastoral approach to andragogical practices and processes as a way of integrating students into higher education in a humanistic way, where they are humans first before they are learners. Such an approach would place equal importance on student academic
and human needs. The creative potential of a pastoral approach maybe helpful in drawing up risk identification protocols for the early identification of, and early intervention in, potential student attrition vulnerability. Thus, a pastoral approach to teaching and learning in higher education has the potential to enhance student persistence, sense of social and academic belonging to the university. Educating the human being seem to be better than educating the student as, educating the human being is person-oriented whereas educating the student is goal-oriented. Yet, from my experience, when I take an interest in the human being, I get through to the student more easily. Students tend to be more receptive than they would if all I was interested in were my objectives. Therefore, a pastoral approach to learning and teaching, in my view, thus helps us get through to the student via the human membrane (i.e. the layer through which to access the student). This might help enact an ethic of care and compassion in higher education learning and teaching.
Spaces of Compassion in Higher Education Learning and Teaching
I am also researching the nature of compassionate spaces in higher education, together with colleagues in the School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies. The research is based on the view that higher
education learning and teaching should be premised on a humane and compassionate andragogical practices and processes inscribed in reciprocal relationships. This has the potential to contribute to students' social and academic belonging to the university.
Areas of interest
Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed-Methods Research: Posthumanism and New Materialism; Postcolonial and Postfeminism.
Dobson, J.; Gabi, J.; Mugglestone, J. and Schofield, L. (2017) Measuring the unmeasurable: compassionate professionalism. EECERA Conference, Bologna, Italy.
Gabi, J. and Sharpe, S. (2016) HE Student Persistence, Progression and Success. BERA Conference, Leeds.
Gabi, J.; Sharpe and Sutherland, S. (2016) Unrelenting: Why Students Persist in HE. Centre for Excellency in Learning and Teaching (CELT), Festival for Learning and Teaching. Manchester Metropolitan University.
Dobson, J.; Gabi, J.; Schofield, L; Mugglestone, J. (2016) Compassionate Andragogical Approaches in HE. EECERA Conference, Dublin.
J. Gabi, S. Sharpe (2019). Against the odds: an investigation into student persistence in UK higher education. Studies in Higher Education. pp.1-17.
Gabi, J. (2017) Ethics of Caring and Compassion in the Early Years Practice in England. EECERA Conference, Bologna, Italy.
Gabi, J. (2016) Rhizomatic Methodologies: A De/reterritorialization. BERA Conference: Leeds.
Gabi, J. (2016) Posthuman Approaches to Personal Tutoring in HE. Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA) & SEDA Conference: Personal Tutoring: Supporting Student Development, Success and Satisfaction, Sheffield Hallam University.
Gabi, J. (2015) (Dis)ability and Belonging in the UK Early Years Education. Symposium: Sensing always more than the actual world: Provocations and Risky Adventures in Early Childhood Studies. EECERA Conference, Barcelona, Spain.
Gabi, J. (2010) Ethical Entanglements. Education and Social Research Institute Manchester, Met. University.
Gabi, J. (2008) No Longer I that Liveth: A narrative of the complexities of belonging and attempting to pick up a new identity in a new environment without shedding the old self: The University of Manchester, British Educational Research Association Annual Conference (BERA).
Gabi, J. and Moakes, K. (2016) MMU BTEC-educated Students. Manchester Met. University.
Gabi, J. (2016) 21st Century Personal Tutoring: A collaborative Approach to the Development of Effective Practice in HE. Sheffied Hallam University.
Gabi, J. (2016) A Pastoral Approach to Andragogical Practice in HE. Centre for Recording Achievements (CRA) Seminar on Supporting Student Development Success and Satisfaction. Wolverhampton University.
Gabi, J. (2015) Hellman’s Pentimento: I See and See Again. Workshop: Putting Deleuze to Work. Summer Institute in Qualitative Research: Putting Theory to Work (SIQR). Manchester Met. University.
Gabi, J and Schofield, L. (2015) The Experience of BTEC Students. Teaching (for) Transition: The Learning and Teaching workshop. Manchester Met. University, HLSS Department.
Early Child Development and Care
Gabi, J.; Sharpe, S. and Moakes, K. (2016) Higher
Education Student Persistence. CELT funded Research Project (£4000)
Moakes, K.; Gabi, J.; Bober, M.; Hughes, N. and Berry,
A. (2016) I am MMU BAME Students’ Digital Stories (CELT-funded project £4000
and also part of the Manchester Met Growing Ideas)
Gabi J. (2008) A Business Case: Research into the possible demand for Early Years Foundation Degree. Consultation with North West Workforce Development Coordinators (£1,600)
PhD Studentship, 2008 (Manchester Met. University)
Excel Education Student of the Year Award for Academic Excellence (2007) (sponsored by the Children's Workforce and Development Council.