My first degree is in Applied Social Psychology (University of Wales), which I have found a usefu basis for my later career in education. I trained in TEFL whilst teaching English in Spain, and then more recently studied for a Certificate in Life History Research (University of Sussex).
I studied for my MA (Applied Linguistics) through the Open University, whilst working fulltime, and have recently registered to study for a PhD here, at MMU. My research interests are grounded in my concern for the changing politcal educational landscape - the rise in state-funded but independent academies and free-schools., in particular. I shall be focusing specifically on patterns of governance, accountability and identitiy within the academies programme.
I am a Fellow of the HEA (Higher Eductation Academy).
I have worked in the field of education for around 15 years. Before qualifying as a primary teacher at Christ Church University College Canterbury, my interests focused on policy and research development in social care provision (at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea), and at the Health Education Authority in London, as a research manager in youth health.
From 2001 I taught in schools in Kent and Oldham, across all key-stages, developing a particular interest in leading literacy. Between 2009 and 2011 I was a literacy consultant for the Primary National Strategies, working with the Oldham School Improvment Team to support school and deliver training to teachers across the borough. When the funding for the National Strategies was withdrawn, I moved into higher education, first at Leeds Trinity University as Associate Principal Lecturer in the Institue of Education, and then here, to MMU, in the Faculty of Education.
Whilst various governments come and go, introducing new policies and White Papers, demanding ever more 'rigorous' modes of accountability and assessment, I truly believe in the magical influence of the devoted and inspirational teacher. We are there to challenge young people's thinking, to help them express their ideas and desires, to build up their confidence in, let's face it, a very difficult and complex world. Yes, teaching IS hard work, but when you know you've got your students entranced, and when they 'get it' then, that's when you know you are in the most worthwhile career.
I teach English on all levels of the BA Primary Education course, and on the PGCE and School Direct programmes. I occasionally teach Teaching Studies.
Ryan-Atkin, H. (2015) The use of an on-line discussion forum to support collaborative studying practices and argumentation amongst trainee teachers. Teacher Education Advancement, Network Journal, Vol 7(1) pages 25-37, University of Cumbria.
HP. Ryan-Atkin The use of an on-line discussion forum to support collaborative studying practices and argumentation amongst trainee teachers. Teacher Education Advancement. Vol 7(1), pp.25-37.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.