National Teaching Fellow 2014
Dr Ian Turner is Assistant Head of Department at the University of Derby where he has worked for eight years. He is a creative and innovative lecturer whose personal teaching philosophy echoes the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle’s famous quote,
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”
Ian’s creative teaching methods are exemplified by an approach described as lecture theatre pantomime that uses a simple interactive approach to the delivery of complex scientific principles. He uses costumes, props, role-play and analogy and has even been known to perform a handstand during his session. These sessions can have a transformative effect on a students learning journey. One student said:
“I think your sessions are interactive and informative and you deliver with such flair and enthusiasm ... [your] sessions have made me sit up, listen, be inspired and have the desire to be a better student and scientist.”
Ian also uses popular culture such TV quizzes and lonely heart columns to open up hard science to students. He is a keen ‘geek’ and uses popular science fiction programmes such as Dr Who and Superheroes to teach scientific principles. To communicate with students and the wider community he has talked at countless schools and colleges and even a Dr Who convention. Using his alter ego @DocWithTheSocs he engages with the wider community on the science of superheroes.
Ian is a volunteer for the British Science Association and has chaired the Derbyshire Branch and sat on the General Committee. In recent years he has organised a number of highly successful public events across the county including a Festival of Science at the University of Derby (attended by 2000 people), two National Science and Engineering Weeks’ events with Derby County Libraries at Central Library, Derby (each attended by 1500 people), two Science of Halloween events at the local Westfield shopping Mall, several science-based pub quizzes and a scientific seminar series for the general public.
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Biology
University of Derby