Different class! Chichester University lecturers Duncan and Linda get top award for innovative teaching

Duncan Reavey Linda Cooper

University of Chichester lecturers Duncan Reavey and Linda Cooper have won a national award for encouraging students to make a difference in their community.

Drs Duncan Reavey and Linda Cooper developed an innovative teaching module which urges their class of teacher-trainees to lead projects which benefitted nearby schools charities and helped children to learn.

The prize was awarded by the national Teacher Education Advancement Network, known as TEAN, which supports and promotes innovation and development in learning.

Dr Reavey, of the university’s Institute of Education said: “We challenge our final-year primary education undergraduates to make a real change in their workplace. One day a week, across four months, groups of three to five students work to provide genuine products for community groups and schools.”

More than 120 teacher-trainee students in around 35 individual groups undertake the module each academic year. Projects ranged from building a World War Two air raid shelter at Fishbourne Primary School to creating an adventure trail at the Weald and Downland Museum.

Dr Cooper added: “The students manage the work themselves, from finding an idea to sourcing materials to build the developments, and forging close relationships with schools and community groups. It means they graduate from Chichester with the experience to lead projects and the confidence to tackle problems and try out new ideas.”

The TEAN award, a commendation for effective practice in teacher education, was presented to Dr Reavey and Dr Cooper last month.As part of the module, which will resume from September, the BA (Hons) Primary Education students are assessed by the university lecturers on the outcome of their projects.

TEAN director Dr Alison Jackson said: “We had an interesting range of entries for the award which showed innovative and effective practice in teacher education, and it was a pleasure to award the University of Chichester as winners.”

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Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son. And he is a life-long Arsenal fan.