National Teaching Fellow 2009
Institution at the time of award: University of Derby
Dr Des Hewitt is Head of Primary Teacher Education at the University of Warwick. At the time of his award in 2009, Des was Assistant Head of Teacher Education at the University of Derby. For over ten years, he has been teaching with enthusiasm, passion and a concern for others. These are the values he holds as important for the next generation of primary school teachers.
Story is at the centre of much of the learning in his primary English sessions.
A group of Dutch students visiting Derby took part in an activity, with Des, singing the story ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. Later that week as they visited different parts of England, they could be heard singing ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, we’re going to catch a big one….’ Indeed an inspiring sound as they walked the dales of Derbyshire and the streets of London!
‘No one tells a story like you Des.’ (B.Ed student 2009)
Des is particularly committed to working in partnership with others. He has promoted and evolved the model of placements for trainee primary school teachers. This has culminated in a model of short focused placements in Schools Facing Challenging Circumstances and a network of Leading Literacy Schools.
He has been keen to support the wider teacher education sector at regional and national level. For example, this year he was invited to advise a team in the Qualifications Curriculum Authority in developing English and Languages in the new Primary Curriculum.
In 2009, Des led a group of universities investigating ways of developing practice in special education needs and disability. In addition, he sits on a steering group in the Department for Children Schools and Families, evaluating the impact of training for inclusion in teacher education.
Des became a teacher educator with the hope of inspiring teachers to be creative, enthusiastic, inspiring and above all to help everyone achieve:
‘The students are amazed at how enthusiastic you are about teaching and you really communicate this to them.’ (Head Teacher 2009).
His influence on the lives of teachers continues!
‘Des, you’ve inspired me to find out more…’ (B.Ed student 2008).
Head of Primary Teacher Education
University of Warwick