After working as a primary school teacher, Professor Chris Wilkins moved into teacher education, seeing this as an opportunity to influence the professional learning of the teachers of the future. As a teacher and then leader of learning he focused on promoting critical inquiry-based pedagogy underpinned by rigorous scholarship.
As Director of Teacher Education at the University of Leicester he has utilised his expertise in a wider context, making significant contributions to national policy/practice developments, and leading on transnational system-level teacher education reform projects across a number of countries in Europe and beyond.
Impact of work
He has enhanced the overall student experience through ensuring that his teaching and leadership of learning is underpinned by sound pedagogic understanding, with particular success resulting from work to engage stakeholders (schools and local authorities) not just in evaluating programme outcomes, but in programme design and development.
His design of critically reflective assessment models that empower students to take responsibility for their own professional learning has led to rapidly improved student outcomes (in retention, attainment and employability). This has been achieved alongside significant successes in promoting equality and widening participation through a proactive approach to teaching and leadership that ensures the pursuit of equity is of equal importance to the pursuit of quality. e.g. my initiatives improving the recruitment and retention of Black and Minority Ethnic students in ITE has been widely adopted across the sector.
He has also had a significant impact in a transnational context through my capacity development work supporting system level reforms in several countries, stemming from my expertise in developing school-university collaboration.
Plans for the future
He plans to continue to champion the role of scholarship as the key element of developing and sustaining excellence and innovation in higher education pedagogy. In particular, he anticipates expanding his work in promoting excellence in pedagogy in a transnational context by using expertise to further support policy and practice reform in different national contexts.
As someone with a deep understanding of pedagogic principles and practice, he wants to continue and extend his pedagogic research, and find further ways of sharing research outcomes that maximises their impact on practice.
Professor of Education
University of Leicester