When Dr Claire France Smith started teaching 16 years ago higher education was a different landscape, she has been part of a major transformation in education with digital literacy, major medical advances, tuition fees and a changing political landscape.
Each of these has brought opportunities for learners and the field of anatomical education as it was previoulsy considerably limited, creating great opportunities for pedagogy. Claire immediately became interested in educational theory and undertook a PGCert and later a PhD in Anatomy Education.
Impact of work
The impact of her pedagogical research through peer revised manuscripts and conference contributions have been internationally acknowledged. In particular, research on approaches to learning, assessment and core syllabi have increased the profile of anatomy education, created standardisation and improved practice. The impact of Claire’s teaching can result in better quality care for patients, through safe clinical practice, accurate diagnosis and improved communication skills and values.
She has also contributed to others’ development through designing and facilitating workshops, invited guest talks to disseminate practice and through mentorship and coaching. As her career developed her roles and responsibilities increased and she has designed and implemented new curricula and led a team as Head of Anatomy.
Claire has demonstrated innovative, sustained high quality educational experiences. For example, she created 3D prints from a donor that students can ‘take away’ to bridge the formal and informal learning yet retain a 3D experience. She has also published core text books (Gray’s Surface Anatomy and Ultrasound) in response to changing clinical need.
Plans for the future
Claire is currently planning three projects. At a teaching level she is planning to continue innovations in 3D printing in anatomy education to create more flexible and variable learning experiences. In research, she is planning studies in dyslexia and dyspraxia in anatomy to inform practice and at a strategic level she is working at institutional level on developing new programmes and new core syllabi in a national and international framework.
Head of Anatomy, Research Lead for Medical Education
University of Brighton