National Teaching Fellow 2014
Kim Whittlestone trained as a veterinary surgeon and spent two years working in a small animal practice before focusing his attention on education. Realising on graduation how unprepared he was for working in practice, he began a lifelong exploration of how to better prepare students for the workplace. Initially this focused on the development of students’ abilities to study but it gradually became apparent to him that teachers needed just as much help as students!
Following completion of his MA in Medical Education in 2010, Kim has worked with both teachers and students developing their educational practice and academic skills. This led to a growing interest in the participation of both in the sociocultural practices of a community. As a founding member of the WikiVet project, bringing together students and staff to engage in the co-construction of an online encyclopaedia, the power of a community of practice had already been demonstrated to him. Kim recognised that the active participation of the learner and their developing identity was more important than the wiki itself, although creating the ‘product’ became a vital part of funding the continuation of the community.
Creating effective communities of practice to enhance the educational experience of staff and students subsequently became a passion of Kim’s. He has developed courses in practical education for veterinary residents and been involved in curriculum design and delivery internationally.
Being actively involved in the development of the only MSc in Veterinary Education, Kim has been able to engage colleagues in transforming and enhancing the student experience. Having multiple roles within post-graduate and undergraduate veterinary education, Kim has helped many individuals within the veterinary community to develop their educational capabilities and identities.
Senior Lecturer in Independent Learning
Roval Veterinary College