National Teaching Fellow 2010
Dr. Jane Spiro is Learning and Teaching Development leader, University Teaching Fellow and leader of MA programmes for international teachers at Oxford Brookes University Institute of Education. Her qualifications include an MPhil in Cultural History, MA in Applied Linguistics and PhD in Education, and her career has involved teaching, development and leadership in all these areas. Her pioneering work includes the bringing together of creative writing and language education, so that students of all ages and levels, with English as a first or second language, develop language through the writing of story and poetry. Students have said of her classes, "Jane has helped to liberate myself in the way I looked at creative writing. --- she has led me to a brand new world where we ourselves can be creative."
She has worked worldwide with teachers to empower them to be creative in their own classrooms, and give them the confidence to develop their own skills as writers. Teachers in her workshops have written "What Jane has given us is a wonderful tool in a teacher's hand." Jane's two books on the use of story and poetry in the language classroom are used worldwide and have led to keynote talks and workshops with teachers in Malaysia, Ireland, Finland and Sweden.
At Oxford Brookes University, Jane has championed the needs of international students and teachers, developing online resources to support their transition into UK study, and leading university policy on internationalisation of the curriculum. She has developed an online MA programme for international teachers of English with innovative forms of assessment which involve real professional change. Teachers have reported the programme's impact, not only on their own practice, but on their whole teaching community; "it has inspired a culture of change throughout my language institute." Years later, teachers remain inspired by her example: "I'm still teaching and enjoying every minute of it! You are one of my inspirations to become a better educator! "
Colleagues and students alike note the inspirational example of Jane's work. "Jane supports every individual student and whoever she comes into contact with in her working life."