An English Lecturer and Teaching & Learning Coach at Solihull College & University Centre has been announced as one of the first Association of Colleges (AoC) and NCFE Research Further scholars.
Rachel Arnold is set to graduate with a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Improvement from the University of Cambridge in June 2023. She was one of 11 practitioners selected to take part in the landmark scholarship programme for which the AoC received dozens of research proposals.
The programme has been launched by the AoC in partnership with NCFE to support practitioners such as Rachel who are carrying out Master’s or doctorate level study.
Rachel currently travels to Cambridge via train every Wednesday alongside teaching full time at the College’s Woodlands Campus. She first became aware of the scholarship programme by colleague Kerry Scattergood who encouraged her to apply. Already an expert in her field, Rachel’s commitment to furthering her professional development and improving education for students inspired her to submit her research proposal to the AoC in December.
Rachel comments: “I’m excited with the news and look forward to receiving expert training from the AoC. I find the College very supportive and I’m able to explore ways in which I can improve students learning experiences and engage them to the fullest extent.”
Rachel piloted a project at the College last year entitled ‘Teach the Teacher’ and now hopes to measure its impact. The following is an excerpt from her research proposal: “What happens when the teenagers become the experts? My research explores tackling a failure mindset with GCSE English resit learners, by enabling them to excel in an environment where they have only ever failed. I will be exploring the impact of a role reversal between learners and teachers in an attempt to allow learners to become the ‘experts’ in teaching a novice, their English teacher, consequently increasing engagement, confidence, resilience and ultimately attainment.”
Upon graduating from Cambridge University, further academic study is an option for Rachel but ultimately her focus is on placing herself in a position where she can constantly influence teaching practices to bring the best out of students.