National Teaching Fellow 2014
Dr Ruth Pilkington began lecturing in languages and has developed the communicative and active learning characteristic of languages into the mainstay of her current work as an academic developer based in the School of Education and Social Sciences.
She developed specialisms through national project leadership in language learning and employability, and disseminated her work through conference papers, workshops and the Staff and Educational Development Association. Invited to lead the postgraduate certificate in learning and teaching in higher education (HE) at her University, she now applies her skills in assessment, professional education and activity-based, reflective learning as leader of a suite of professional education programmes. She also leads the University’s Pedagogic Research Forum which holds an annual conference and has a monthly programme of speakers and exchange events for sharing and building excellence through learning and teaching scholarship.
A colleague comments that Ruth “has been the driver for pedagogical innovations across the university and has also led professional development strategies for academic staff”.
Ruth’s courses progress through continuing professional development (CPD) to mastery structured by the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Education (MEd) and, since 2011, by the Doctor in Education (EdD).
Her approach to teaching and learning focuses on a dialogic approach using processes of deliberative reflection and the concept of critical professionalism, through which practitioners are encouraged to engage in enhancement of practice through scholarship and research.
Ruth has gained a national profile for her research and innovative use of dialogue as a means of assessing and recognising the professional learning of academics in higher education (HE). This has been adopted by a number of institutions for their CPD frameworks and resulted in national recognition and external work.
A colleague comments: “Ruth is making a sector wide impact through her approaches to the use of professional dialogue to enhance learning and teaching.”
Her development and support of others emphasises facilitation, collaboration and active commitment to professionalism in HE and she motivates and inspires others to do the same.