I graduated in art specialising in ceramics and have experience of working in a range of educational settings including schools and the wider community. Following time working on community projects using art to promote well-being I worked in early year education before being appointed to MMU Faculty of Education.
Within the Faculty I lead the teaching of art in primary education on both the undergraduate and postgraduate Initial Teacher Education Programmes. In addition, I have extensive responsibility for organizing subject specialisms within the undergraduate degree, managing tutors from different subjects and overseeing all aspects of assessment and curriculum planning.
I am actively engaged in research and teaching, working more recently on interdisciplinary learning in art and science education.
I have been developing research led approaches to teaching focused on trans-disciplinary approaches with pre-service in teachers in art and science (STEAM) education. This has involved working with colleagues to research how these disciplines complement each other in supporting student understanding of pedagogy and the research process itself. Initially focused on the conceptual area of materials, the work has subsequently extended to image formation and visualisation. This has had a very positive impact on both the student and staff experience and has resulted in two international publications during this period (see publications below).
Heywood, D., Parker, J., and Jolley, N. (2012) Pre-service teachers shifting perceptions of cross-curricular practice: the impact of school experience in mediating professional insight International Journal of Educational Research (55) 2012: 89-99 DOI10.1016/j.ijer.2012.07.003(lead contributor)
Parker, J., Heywood, D., and Jolley, N. (2012) Developing pre-service primary teachers’ perceptions of cross-curricular teaching through reflection on learning Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 18 (6) 693-716
Projects and initiatives
I have recently worked on a successful European FP7 project in partnership with ten European countries supporting the MMU contribution to this important work in STEM education. The project, [EU FP7: ‘ENGINEER’: BrEaking New Ground IN the SciencE Education Realm] was focused on developing engineering in primary schools across 10 European countries and secured £250,000 funding for MMU. I was part of the MMU team responsible for establishing productive collegiate relationships and networking with colleagues across Europe to support them in working on creative approaches to pedagogy in engineering for the purposes of developing units of work for use in schools and museums. This was the critical core element of work, facilitating the successful implementation and completion of the project and leading museum educators and teams of teachers from the partners to ensure a sustainable product for successful delivery in museum settings and schools. The impact factor of this project is substantive with an outreach programme of 28, 000 schools across the ten partner countries over a five-year period.
I continue to work across the disciplines of art, engineering (D&T) and science within the Faculty of Education and trans-disciplinary work involving the Manchester School of Art Faculty. As part of this, I have been developing research led approaches to teaching focused ontrans-disciplinary approaches with pre-service in teachers in art and science (STEAM) education. This has involved working with colleagues to research how these disciplines complement each other in supporting student understanding of pedagogy and the research process itself. Initially focused on the conceptual area of materials, the work has subsequently extended to image formation and visualisation. The approach has had a very positive impact on both the student and staff experience resulting in two international publications during this period and conference presentations at BERA
In 1977, Paul Johnson transferred the Book Art Project to the private sector where it continues to provide courses, workshops and publications and extends to the general public (some workshops are run from his home-based studio) and embrace a wide range of structures such as movable and sculptural books and how to make your own limited editions [http://www.bookart.co.uk/]
I have put together a bid to secure funding for a permanent display to house his art installation and collection of books made by artists from around the world. This resource will fed directly into ITE programmes to enhance the student experience. I am currently in the process of working alongside Paul to develop and extend the project to provide a focus for CPD in art for staff, schools and students
I have also been involved with promoting approaches to partnership work in schools with colleagues from art education using art as a vehicle for promoting language with SEN pupils. This work received a small amount of funding from the Dunham Trust, a consortium of 3 schools including a teacher training school. The work has been presented to staff of the school with a view to promoting the role of research in CPD. This work will form the basis for future bids for funding to extend the project and build on ITE partnership approaches with the university and schools.